Peter Edward Hatch


My brother, Peter, was born on 24th July 1951, a little less than two years after me. Diagnosed as suffering from severe deafness at an early age, he at first attended a special school for the deaf, then moved to a deaf unit within a 'normal' school. At the age of 11 he followed me to our local state comprehensive school.

He left school and trained as a florist, maintaining plant displays in shops and offices. He then moved to Debenhams and then Selfridges in London's Oxford Street, where he worked as a window dresser, before eventually returning to his first career in floristry. He, like many people with reduced abilities in one area, had counterbalancing skills in others. He was extremely talented in interior decoration, garden design and maintenance and in major projects such as house extensions, where it seems he had all of the necessary skills without having to be taught them. Our father was a master builder, and often puzzled how it was that Peter knew all he knew without having to be taught.

In his final months, Peter started to take an interest in our family history and this set me off as well. To my surprise I found photographs of quite a few ancestors in our family collection, and this made the research more interesting. Unfortunately, he died before I'd made any real progress. The abbreviated version of the Hatch side, starting with our great grandfather is as follows:

ERNEST ARTHUR HATCH was born 26 September 1862, and died 29 September 1901.  He married ELLEN TURNER 24 June 1888 in Shooters Hill Baptist Church, London SE. He was therefore only 39 when he died.

Children of ERNEST HATCH and ELLEN TURNER are:
 i. ARTHUR EDWARD HATCH, b. 31 May 1891; d. 25 January 1978, West Wickham, Kent.
 ii. MABEL ELLEN HATCH, b. 13 March 1895; d. November 1985; m. WILL G JELLEY.
 iii. ELSIE EVELINE HATCH, b. 13 March 1897; d. 6 April 1963; m. WALTER HOBBS
 iv. PERCY JOHN (BOB) HATCH, b. 20 October 1900; d. 25 March 1944.

ARTHUR EDWARD HATCH was born 31 May 1891, and died 25 January 1978 in West Wickham, Kent.  He married IVY WRIGHT 25 September 1919, daughter of COBDEN BRIGHT VILLIERS WRIGHT and ARBINA STRINGER

Arthur and Ivy Hatch on their wedding day on 25th September 1919.

Bob died in March 1944 when fatally wounded in a bombing raid near his home. He was only 43.

Children of ARTHUR HATCH and IVY WRIGHT are:
  i. GRAHAM ERNEST HATCH, b. 16 February 1922, Brockley, South East London; d. 14 May 1981, Blackheath, South East London.
 ii. DAPHNE SYLVIA HATCH, b. 15 May 1927.

GRAHAM ERNEST HATCH was born 16 February 1922 in Brockley, South East London, and died 14 May 1981 in Blackheath, South East London.  He married DOREEN MARY WHITE 12 June 1948, daughter of HARVEY WHITE and HONORIA DELANEY.

Dad died of a heart attack at only 59 years of age. His mother survived him by almost five years.

Children of GRAHAM HATCH and DOREEN WHITE are:
 ii. PETER EDWARD HATCH, d. 19 September 1994, Hillingdon Hospital, Middlesex.

(l-r) Peter, Doreen and David Hatch in November 1985 after the funeral of Mabel Hatch (see above)


(l-r) Anne, Sarah and David Hatch in August 1997.

Which brings us back to Peter. Peter fell ill in August 1993 and died in intensive care on 19th September 1994 of an AIDS-related illness at the age of only 43.  He'd carried the virus for 12 to 13 years and if only he could have hung on for a little longer he could perhaps have been saved by the drugs that are now available. Those who are judgmental about others suffering from this deadly illness should be forced to witness the decline of a sufferer - it is harrowing for all concerned and I would not wish such a death even on my worst enemy.

So, he has been gone for fourteen years. I still find that I think about him nearly every day, even after such a long time, and I know that his this is also true of many others. All of his irreplaceable knowledge and skills went with him, so my epitaph for him would be a quotation from the end of Blade Runner; All these moments are lost, like teardrops in rain.

Requiescat in pace.

 Family links with Wiltshire
Click above for details of family history in the Trowbridge and Devizes areas

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