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News > In Memoriam > Peter Jenkins (N14/19) Obituary

Peter Jenkins (N14/19) Obituary

24 Apr 2024
In Memoriam

Peter Jenkins

7th May 2001 - 8th December 2022


By Clare (Peter’s mother) & Myles (Peter’s brother)

Peter was born on the 7th May 2001, a brother to Myles and second child to Mark and Clare Jenkins.

In 1999 Mark and Clare had moved back to Kenya from northern Mozambique to initiate, plan and execute a rehabilitation program in Meru National Park in north-eastern Kenya.  The park that Mark had himself grown up in during the days of George and Joy Adamson.

Peter was born into a dynasty of conservationists, and he was proud of their contribution to the protection of the natural world of Kenya and East Africa and a vocation that he later felt drawn to.

Peter enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Meru, living in the centre of the park at the Kinna Headquarters.  Together with Myles there were many hours of playing in the African dirt with their toys, Lego and any makeshift props for their games.  The daily routine of the park was all around them and the park was slowly coming back to life.  Peter particularly enjoyed the raising of orphan animals that were brought to the park headquarters to be cared for before returning to the wild.  These included buffalo, giraffe, dikdik, duiker and ostriches among others. 

School age loomed and a buffalo stable was converted into a schoolroom for Peter and Myles to do home school.  A few brief hours in the morning with Clare as the teacher before heading out to the place that they loved being the most – in the bush.  Always inseparable and reliant on each other Myles and Peter were the best of friends.

During these formative years Peter had a cameo role in a docuseries for French television his first and almost last attempt at anything remotely connected with acting. This series provided him with great comfort when he eventually went to boarding school and missed home so terribly as he was able to watch it repeatedly and it made him feel closer to home.

At around the age of 7 Peter went to weekly board at The Banda School in Nairobi, followed by a couple of years at Hazelgrove Prep.  Hazelgrove at the time had a small group of teachers that had origins in Africa and Richard Fenwick had previously been headmaster at a Kenyan school. This made the transition for Peter and Myles to school in England so much easier as they had a real understanding of where they had come from and the challenges they faced, namely the wearing of shorts when it was snowing.  This led Peter onto King’s and a happy five years in New House.  The New House rhino mascot together with Mr Dawe seemed to call the Jenkins boys to the House.  Peter enjoyed walking Mr Dawes’ dog at the weekend and talk of cricket was never too far away and Peter proudly did the leaving address for Mr Dawe.  George Beverly became the tutor for the year group and Peter kept in touch with George and many of the tutor group in the years after leaving school.

It was at King’s that Peter really found his love of sport, enjoying hockey, cricket and rugby in particular.  He was encouraged by the coaching staff and played first team for all three sports over several seasons and was captain of boys hockey.  He was delighted to be selected to go to New Zealand on a hockey exchange and he enjoyed everything about the three month trip, remaining friends with many of the young men that he met there and happily hosting them when a few of them made the reciprocal journey to King’s.  He had most recently seen Joe Morrison when Joe travelled to the UK in 2022 to play for New Zealand at the Commonwealth games in Birmingham.

Peter had the enviable position of having an unconditional offer to his first-choice university, Reading.  In spite of this Peter managed to gain very respectable A Level grades.

He had, not surprisingly, applied to study a BsC in ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT and the next few years he channelled his energy into gaining all the skills he felt were necessary to make himself an effective protected area manager.

Peter continued to play hockey at Reading and was a valuable member of the University First Team for all three years.  The Hockey Club was the focal point for most of his socialising and he enjoyed the high standard of the game that was played.  At Reading Peter joined the Oxford OTC and travelled every week to training.  This led him on to join his brother in the 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, based in White City, London.  In July 2020 Peter completed the Short Commissioning Course at Sandhurst and continued with 4 Para as a Platoon Commander.  With covid restrictions upsetting the daily workings of the university Peter decided to move to be near to White City for his final year at university and he could then be an active member of the Regiment at the same time as his mostly online lectures.  Peter rented a small flat in Barnes, close to his Aunt Siana. 

In February 2021 Peter and Myles both passed the regular “P” Company course and were able to wear the beret of the Parachute regiment, something that Peter was immensely proud of.  With 4 Para Peter travelled to America, Cyprus and of course very regularly to Brecon.  He went on to do his jumps and get his wings, again something that he was very proud of.

Even with the covid restrictions the final year of university went well and Peter gained his degree and started planning his next steps.  He decided to take a year off before attending Sandhurst in 2023 for the Regular Commissioning Course. 

Peter’s year off plan involved spending precious time with Mark in the bush doing anti-poaching in Galana, a huge area of land that adjoins the Tsavo National Park and an area vital for dispersal from the park.  Peter had written his dissertation on the bushmeat trade in the area. With his mounting experience he volunteered helping to put anti-poaching systems in place and joining the rangers to support them in their efforts.  He also wanted to fulfil an ambition to get his private pilot’s licence.

In September 2022 Peter went to TacAero at the Hood River, Oregan to learn to fly on a J3 Super Cub.  He obtained his licence in less than a month and stayed on to gain extra experience and some hours.  He loved flying.  Peter made his second cameo appearance in a promotional video for TacAero. 

Returning to Kenya from America before the start of Sandhurst Peter went back to Galana to help out.  Still unable to fly himself as his American licence had not been converted to a Kenyan licence he was ground based putting in repeaters, building camps and doing day to day patrols and anti-poaching work.  He was in his element.

On the 8th December following a two day operation assisting the Kenya Wildlife Service to remove illegal grazers from the most remote part of Tsavo East National Park, Mark took off with Peter from Galana and routed via the rangers still on the ground to check on their welfare before heading back to the family home near Kajiado to meet up with Clare.  Myles was flying out for Christmas in a few days.  Mark and Peter died together in Tsavo East National Park in the early morning of the 8th December 2022.

The world lost a truly exceptional young man whose future was incredibly bright and held real potential. The wild places of Africa lost a young champion of their cause and the sense of duty Peter felt to these places was going to lead him to fight to protect them, just as his father and grandfather had done before him.  Those that knew him best lost not just a best friend but also a brother who held those he loved closest.

Peter’s Friends Add:

Pete and I had grown up together, having gone through Hazelgrove and King’s with each other. We were nearly in every class together throughout King’s, whilst outside of the classroom, Pete and I spent a lot of time together in extra-curricular activities. We completed Ten Tors together in 4th Form and spent four years together in the King’s CCF. One of my fondest memories of Pete was our final CCF camp on the Isle of Wight where Pete, Poppy and I were the enemies and had a brilliant time. We also went on the History Trip in 2018 to Budapest and Krakow. As there were a limited number of our year who went, we made sure that the year above involved us in all their antics! Pete was an incredible human, always caring, vibrant, full of drive with an incredibly mischievous smile. Rest in Peace Pete.  Anna Wilmshurst

It is tragic to think that Peter left this world too soon; however, he did leave behind many happy memories to look back on. I had the privilege to spend five years with Peter at King’s in New House and many of these fond memories occurred from our shared passion for sports and love for the outdoors. Peter always gave 110% in everything he did, whether it was on the rugby pitch, in academia, or threatening the structural soundness of New House with various corridor games to entertain ourselves at breaktimes!

I will always admire Peter’s resilience and determination in the face of challenging situations. I would place this attribute on an upbringing in the African bush. I remember after one of the most bitter and unbearable days on Dartmoor training for Ten Tors, getting into camp and comparing blisters, chafing and early signs of trench foot with one another in our team. Having shortly returned from a half term in Kenya, Peter chipped in taking his boots off to reveal his tanned, perfectly preserved feet! Suspicious and envious, I made the decision as team leader that Peter would be most capable of putting up the tent which of course was no mean feat! Thank you, Peter, for creating these memories with me; may you rest in peace! Harry MacLeod-Ash

I hold very fond memories of Peter from the exercises and trips we did in our CCF days, he was tough as nails but always managed to put a smile on our faces and have a good laugh when things didn’t go so well! He was a real team player and was set to achieve great and memorable things. He had a warm heart and the biggest whitest smile that will never be forgotten. Pete was a courageous and kind bloke. Rest peacefully, Pete. Clara Bracey

Summarising the impact Peter had on my life at King's Bruton is challenging. After meeting him on the first day of school and discovering our shared love for sport, I knew we'd get along. I admired Peter's unwavering commitment and loyalty, both on and off the sports field, making him an invaluable teammate and friend. Yes, Peter and I often found ourselves in trouble for inventing creative sports games to pass the time in the corridors of the boarding house. But, those games created my happiest times and fondest memories of King's Bruton, and I have Peter to thank. William Sandy

Peter’s Teachers Add:

Peter was a hardworking and talented young man who gave every aspect of school life his all. He was an outstanding sportsman having played in the 1st XV Rugby, 1st XI Cricket and 1st XI Hockey teams, captaining the latter. In the 4th Form, Peter and his team completed the Ten Tors challenge in record time for the King’s Bruton CCF. Peter was proud to be part of New House as a full boarder, and it was an honour to have been his housemaster. Peter always got fully involved in the House – from house nights, Rhino society and MasterChef competitions to dodgeball in the sports hall, he was always leading by example. Peter moved from King’s to the University of Reading to read Environmental Management and in addition had successfully applied to commence training at Sandhurst. Peter achieved so much and had an exceptionally bright future ahead of him so tragically cut short. Ashley Marshfield

Peter was part of a vintage year of tutees I was honoured to tutor for five years at King’s. It is hard to express the admiration I hold for him, and the great joy he brought me and countless others. Peter was incredibly witty - always loving to share jokes and anecdotes during tutor periods, and regularly tapping on the Chaplaincy door just to have a relaxed chat and laugh. That is the Peter I will always remember: the smiling and sociable young man who was a pleasure to be in the company of. 

Peter was deeply loyal to his family and always sought to honour and care for them. I have scores of memories of him telling me stories from his home in Kenya and the great passion he had for the wildlife and countryside there. Nothing would come between Peter and his regular phone calls with his mum and dad – such a caring focus is a great example to us all. Indeed, it is no wonder that so many staff and pupils valued Peter’s companionship.

Peter also had a great mischievous side - like the time he got me to be his team’s opening bowler at the New House Cricket Sixes Charity Competition. He knew I lacked basic coordination and was hopeless at all sports - so he thought it would be funny to see me open the bowling. I ran to the wicket and bowled (chucked) a really slow “pie in the sky.” The batsman slogged it, only for me to jump up and catch it – we were all in disbelief and utter stiches of laughter! Peter’s trademark prank was jumping out at me to scare me which he never tired of (due to my reaction!). Such pranks would regularly happen whilst I was on evening duty in New House. He also liked to do scare me by suddenly banging on the Chaplaincy windows when it was dark in winter. I will always remember the belly-aching laughter and huge grin he would then display.

The fact that Peter kept in touch with me and so many others since leaving school is testament to his caring nature. We all miss him so very much, and our job now is to strive to honour all that he was and all that he did. Thank you Peter; you are missed more than words can express. George Beverly

All my memories of Peter are linked in some way to cricket. On duty in New House, Peter was in the room on the top floor in either the 4th or 5th Form, and if memory serves me, he was in with Harry MacLeod-Ash. The room and hallway had the advantage for the boys that they could hear me coming up the stairs by the sound of the two fire doors the floor below, and my feet on the stairs - but the disadvantage of thin walls and floors! The stage was set each Monday night for a battle in that "graveyard slot" of the last twenty minutes of prep between the game of corridor cricket in the top hallway (played in near silence, with only the tail tail sound of the single bounce of a tennis ball to give the game away against me the tutor). I waited and sat just out of eyesight in the hallway below. With a light thud on the ceiling above, I would run up the stairs. Arriving in the hallway, nothing. The bin had strangely been moved to one end of the corridor; a flip flop or old sock would denote the other end of the wicket - but every time, Peter's smiling face would appear from behind his door, "Nice to see you, Sir, I was just explaining the homework to Harry". I never caught that bunch of bandits on the top floor!

Elsewhere, I simply remember Peter as such a quiet, thoughtful, kind young man. We would sit in his room, and he always had photos of his family on the walls. I remember he gave me a baseball cap, which I still have to this day; and while he was new to the school, it was clear that while not homesick he valued his family hugely, and as I say, he would chat about life at home, mum, dad and indeed Myles.

Again, if I cast my mind back, I have one photo in my mind of Peter out on Abbey on one of those lovely long summer evenings, we still played 35/40 games back then and very occasionally (two or three times a summer) we would meet a side of even ability and the game would go long. I don't recall the opposition, but I do remember how good Peter was as a fielder. We needed the final wickets to win, and they only needed a handful of runs - it was the classic, with long shadows, the church stone glowing a sort of golden yellow in the setting sun, the afternoon traffic had died away, and it was silent and hushed. I remember Sam Holdsworth throwing up this ball from the station end, with Peter crouched low about 15 meters from the batsman in a line between the batsman and the small pavilion. The guy smashed it, and Peter stuck out a hand and grabbed it! Peter was the hero, but what I really remember, is he dropped the ball and ran over to Sam and grabbed him by the waist and lifted him into the air. It was one of those moments which passed in a flash, but I remember it so vividly due to the fact that Peter didn't think twice; he ran to his teammate to celebrate and focused all the energy on Sam, not himself. It's funny what you recall, but I still remember that like a little bit of cinefilm in my head. Dan Hodder

Peter represented all that is good about King’s Bruton sport. He was the consummate teammate who would give his all for his team and step up when it mattered most. Peter was also an exceptional leader; calm and mild-mannered in his approach, but fiercely competitive and someone who most certainly led by example. He was the ultimate all-rounder who played 1st team sport in every term and he was an absolute pleasure to coach as he was always looking to develop and improve. I loved that he kept me informed of how his sport, and especially hockey was going after leaving school, and I feel honoured and proud that I got to share some of his sporting journey and experiences with him. I will never forget the positive impact that Peter had on sport at King’s Bruton. Henry Eriksson

It was always a delight to welcome Peter into the classroom, whether for lessons or workshops, with his blonde hair (even more bleached after returning from home), broad smiling grin, sporting some sort of games kit (whether supposed to be or not) and an understated but kind “Morning Miss”. As soon as I started teaching Peter for A Level I was blown away by his passion for the Natural World. Peter seemed to know everything there was to know about Ecology, he regularly related what he had learnt to examples back in Kenya and he often regaled us with stories of incredible wildlife he had seen first-hand. Peter was always a conscientious and diligent pupil, and he thoroughly enjoyed the practical side of the course – dissections were definitely his forte!

My lasting memory of Peter is seeing him wading through the River Brue on our beautifully sunny L6th Form fieldwork trip. Peter, wanting to go bare foot but not being allowed, continued along into a deeper section of the river until water was pouring into his wellies and soaking his clothes – just to find the perfect spot! He was not remotely phased and told me in a laid-back manner, “Don’t worry Miss, it’s fine!” Being at one with nature with a calm approach and a smile on his face is certainly the Peter I very fondly remember, and it was an utter privilege teaching him. Kate Stainton




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