Peter Wilde

Peter and Douglas Wilde came to live with the Kerrs in October 1940. They were two of the 'guest' children evacuated from Britain to avoid the bombings of the Second World War. When Les accepted the post of Superintendent of the Sutherland Forest Station, Peter moved with them to Sutherland. Blanche recalled that she had to get government permission to take the boy to Saskatchewan. Douglas had by that time been placed with a different family in Carman, Manitoba. Peter stayed with the Kerrs till the end of the war at which time he traveled home to Grantham to be reunited with his siblings and parents.

In 1981, 36 years after waving goodbye to his surrogate parents at the train station in Saskatoon, Peter Wilde, on vacation from his job as a test pilot for a company in Hull, on England's east coast, returned to Saskatoon for a visit. Blanche recalls that before setting off for the bus station she studied his wedding photo and hoped to be able to recognize Peter. Peter had flown into Calgary and then took the bus to Saskatoon. Blanche could hardly believe that this greying man was really the boy she had known, but the scar on his cheek, he received as he ran into a barbed wire fence in the Sutherland area was still visible. Peter as well remarked about his Canadian mother 'She's a lot shorter than I remember'.

In the 12 days that he spent in the Kerr's apartment in Nutana, a lot of reminiscing took place. Peter recalls that he and Doug were very disappointed to discover that there were no mounted police as they embarked from the train in Morden, Manitoba, the excitement of their first Halloween in Canada, complete with trick or treating. He visited Sutherland and was disappointed that the school had been torn down. He also remarked that the corals and stable at the Forest Station had been moved. These areas had been important to him as a child since he had a Welsh pony that he could ride during his time there. He used to pretend to be a cowboy in the old West.

The Kerrs attempted to contact old school friends of Peter's, but after three decades it was pretty difficult to remember the names of people even when looking at old photographs.

Les Kerr did not like to travel so he urged Blanche to go to England to visit. She finally did make the trip after Les passed away and had a lovely reunion with both boys.

Photo credit: Friends of the Forestry Farm House Archives - Appeared in the Star Phoenix on June 2, 1981