A memorial service is being held today in honour of Guernsey's former Lieutenant Governor Sir Peter Le Cheminant, who died peacefullly at his home in the island earlier this year.
Sir Peter, who was 97 at the time of his death in April 2018, had served as Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey between 1980 and 1985.
He had the distinction of being the first native Guernseyman to hold the position in peacetime for more than 600 years. Sir Peter was also the senior holder of the GBE.
Prior to his role in public life in Guernsey, Sir Peter had served as a senior commander of the Royal Air Force, including serving as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff between 1974 and 1976 and also as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces Central Europe from 1976 until his retirement from active service in 1979.
He was born in 1920 and was educated at Elizabeth College and the RAF College, Cramwell before he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot officer in December 1939. He was promoted numerous times including to squadron leader (war-substantive) in 1943. That same year, Sir Peter was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Further promotions followed with Sir Peter being given the permanent rank of squadron later in 1947 before he served in the Korean War in 1951, the same year he was promoted to wing commander and then again to group captain in 1958.
In 1966 Sir Peter was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer, Far East Air Force with the acting rank of air vice marshal, with that rank made permanent in 1967. His role as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy) was confirmed in 1971 with a promotion to Air Marshal in 1972 and then to Air Chief Marshal in 1976.
Sir Peter's final role in the armed forces was as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe, which he relinquished in 1979 when he retired from the RAF.
He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in the Birthday Honours List in 1968 when he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CBE) before he was knighted in the 1972 Birthday Honours List with a following honour as Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1978.
Paying tribute to Sir Peter when his death was announced, the Bailiff of Guernsey said Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter de Lacey Le Cheminant, GBE, KCB, DFC & Bar, KStJ "had enjoyed a "distinguished career in the RAF" and that he had been a popular Lieutenant Governor.
"The abilities which had taken him to the very top of the RAF and the rank of Air Chief Marshal served him well when, in 1980, he was appointed as the Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Guernsey and its Dependencies," he said. "Sir Peter is thought to have been the only native Guernseyman to have served as the Sovereign’s personal representative in the Bailiwick, other than as Bailiff. He was a distinguished and rightly popular Lieutenant-Governor for his five-year term."
The memorial service in honour of former Lieutenant Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter de Lacey Le Cheminant, GBE, KCB, DFC & Bar, KStJ, will be held at Guernsey's Town Church on Monday 4 June, 2018.
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