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Obituary - Peter Laurie

I HAVE been asked to contribute a few words about Peter. I first met Peter twenty or so years ago when I was competing against him in the show ring - I with Fivevalleys Aurora and he with Viness Vinell Yum Yum, both eventually to be made up to Champion status. From those early days we became friends.

Peter was a very private person who had few words to say, but with a very dry sense of humour. He would always offer to help if he were able to do so, no matter what the circumstances. Always such a generous, caring person. Peter grew up on the south coast and he told me of his childhood and about his fight with polio at an early age, the adventure in the early ’60s of emigrating to Australia, and how hard life had been at that time, and how eventually the family came back home to England.

Peter often spoke of his beloved Bassets. Originally Peter and Jan (first wife) had very close ties to the Beacontree lines of Barbara Golding. Jan being the person who handled the dogs at the shows in the early years. I also believe that all of the Lelaurin Bassets were registered in Jan’s name. Together they campaigned and made up several Champions. Peter’s last Basset to be shown successfully was the very eye-catching Ch Vinness Vinell Yum Yum of Lelaurin.

After the loss of Jan in 2000 Peter remarried and moved from the kennels in Southampton that he and Jan had run very successfully for many years. Settling with his new wife Jean in Pangbourne on the outskirts of Reading. Peter took along with him his three remaining Basset Hounds.
Peter maintained his link and interest in the breed and was constantly to be seen around the ringside at some of the local shows, specifically the South of England Basset Hound Club Show which was held just a few miles away from his home.

Due to Peter’s ill health, which he had been courageously battling against for quite some time, and after the demise of the Bassets it was decided after much deliberation to purchase a Bernese Mountain Dog. Aoife, as she is called, had become Peter’s constant companion giving him great pleasure, having shown her as recently at Southern Counties this year.

The name Aoife is an Irish name, which linked to Peter’s Irish ancestery of which he was so very proud. Subsequently a few years ago Peter and Jean purchased a cottage in West Cork where, together with family and friends, many happy times were enjoyed.

I offer to Jean and all of Peter’s family my thoughts and best wishes, as a comfort, knowing that a quiet unassuming person will have left an enormous void in so many lives.

The funeral will have taken place by the time you read this but it was Peter’s wish that any donations to be made should be sent to Oxford Hepatobiliary Surgery Unit, Fund 0490, Oxford Radcliffe charitable fund Dept. Oxford.

Colin Wells

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