Cosmo Gordon Grant-Peterkin

Cosmo Gordon Grant-Peterkin

Cosmo Gordon Grant-Peterkin was born on 16 April 1879, the third son of James Grant-Peterkin of Grange Hall, Forres, and Catherine Annie Grant–Peterkin, daughter of Henry William Whyte of Monar and Lentran, Invernesshire.

He was educated at the Reverend L Sanderson’s school at Elstree and Winchester Public School.

In 1898 he went to the Royal Indian Engineering College and in 1900 joined the Ceylon Survey Department.

In 1912 he was topographer and surveyor on the Bullock-Workman Expedition to the Eastern Karakorams in North India. He also travelled through the Himalayas collecting stones and rocks which he sent to the British Museum.

He enlisted in December 1914 at Dunkeld joining the Scottish Horse and served at Gallipoli from August 1915 until the evacuation and afterwards spent a year with his regiment, serving with E Squadron, including a time in Egypt.

In December 1916 he returned to England to take a Senior Officer’s course at Aldershot and in July 1917 went to France, attached to the 1/5th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders. The Battalion were in a training area initially but on 23 July moved to St Janster in the Ypres Salient.

The Battalion Diary for 30 July 1917 reads:

Preparations were made for the attack: issue of rations, water etc. The Battalion rested from 1400 to 1800. In the evening the Battalion moved to position of assembly in the British Front Line trenches, in one line behind the parados, and immediately in rear of the 1/7th Black Watch.

The next day, 31 July, the Third Battle of Ypres began.

The Battalion’s War Diary of September 1917 records:

Siege Camp, 1st-11th, while the Battalion was carrying out a practice attack, on the Training Ground near Siege Camp, three hostile aeroplanes flew overhead and dropped several bombs, as a result of which Capt C. Grant Peterkin, Captain D S Gay and 8 other ranks were wounded.

Cosmo Grant-Peterkin, surveyor, explorer and soldier, died the following day, 12 September, at the Dozinghem casualty clearing station at Westvleteren and is buried in the Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

On his headstone are the following words:

Out of the stress

Of the doing

Into the peace of the done

He was also commemorated on the family headstone at Kinloss Abbey, Moray.

At the time of his death his sister Miss Monica Grant-Peterkin “had been engaged in nursing in France for over a year”. She was a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) Ambulance Driver.  His eldest brother, the Laird, Montagu James Grant-Peterkin, was also on the Western Front as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Cameron Highlanders. His other brother, Malcolm Henry Grant-Peterkin, served in Mesopotamia.

Cosmo Gordon Grant-Peterkin
Cosmo Gordon Grant-Peterkin