John Peto (politician)

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Major Basil Arthur John Peto (13 December 1900 – 3 February 1954)[1] was a British Conservative Party politician.

Early life[edit]

Peto was born 13 December 1900 at Chertsey, Surrey the son of Sir Basil Peto a former Member of Parliament.[2] Peto was educated at Harrow College and St John's College, Cambridge reading history and political economy.[2]


In 1924 Peto was commissioned in the Royal Artillery, two years later he transferred to the King's Dragoon Guards.[2] In 1929 he was appointed as ADC to the Governor of Bombay and from 1932 to 1935 he served in India.[2] Peto retired in 1939 but with the start of the second world war in 1939 Peto rejoined the Army.[2]


As a founder member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association and his father being a Member of Parliament he always had an interest in politics and in 1941 Peto was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham King's Norton at a by-election in May 1941 following the death of the sitting MP Ronald Cartland.[2][3] From 1941 to 1945 Peto was a parliamentary private secretary to Geoffrey Lloyd chairman of the Oil Control Board.[2] Peto stood again at the 1945 general election but was defeated at the by the Labour Party candidate, Raymond Blackburn.[3]

Family and later life[edit]

Peto had married Patricia Geraldine Browne in 1934 and they had a son and three daughters.[2] On 3 February 1954 Peto was found shot dead in the garden of his home in Witley, Surrey with the gun beside him.[2] It was concluded that Peto who regularly shot in his gardens had slipped on ice and shot himself.[4]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "K" (part 2)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Major John Peto." Times [London, England] 4 Feb. 1954: 8. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 86. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  4. ^ "Former M.P. Found Shot Dead." Times [London, England] 4 Feb. 1954: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 28 Apr. 2013.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ronald Cartland
Member of Parliament for Birmingham King's Norton
Succeeded by
Raymond Blackburn