Peter Angus

Peter Angus

For much of the Great War Peter Angus thought himself lucky - he had survived. The son of Thomas Stout Angus, a builder, and Catherine Gray Laurenson, Windhouse, Law Lane, Lerwick, he was born in 1887. Before the war he worked for a draper, Laurenson and Co., and was a member of the Territorials. He landed in France in June 1917 and trained at Etaples. In Oudherham, Belgium, he first saw a man killed, Sergeant Betts, when a German shell landed on a parade ground. There were other incidents and near misses, an infantry soldier’s lot. At Merlincourt, a spent piece of shrapnel hit him in the throat.

After the armistice he was put on salvage duty at Wallingcourt. Another soldier picked up a German shell and it killed him and a dozen others. Peter was wounded in thirty places, lost his left leg immediately and had the other amputated later. He wrote a piece about the incident and it was published in the Shetland Times.

"I have still got my arms, hands and eyesight. So I am looking forward to a healthy and cheerful life in spite of 'Jerry’s' shell."

He came home and ran a business – The Shetland Book Shop – at 87 Commercial Street, a building now demolished. He also had an agency for Typhoo tea. He got around on artificial legs and two sticks. He also had an invalid tricycle, propelled by handles and a chain. He was able to live an interesting life, and when he died in 1955 his obituary in the Shetland Times said his bookshop had an "uncommon appeal".

The Shetland Bookshop. Shetland Museum photo.