'A lesson for life: Never point a gun or rifle at anybody, especially yourself, unless you mean it.'

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'A lesson for life: Never point a gun or rifle at anybody, especially yourself, unless you mean it.'


Peter reflects on some of the lessons he has learned throughout life and why he chose to become a Quaker.


Peter Layton


Trinity College Dublin




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Peter Layton

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There ends a short version of my life. There are many things that I remember. My oldest brother,my uncle Franz,whom I last saw in the concentration camp,both of them perishing in the gas chamber? (assumption). No records were available after the war. How one ought not to bring up children. Let them choose their beliefs later in life,when they can make up their own minds. And the time during my service in Burma,when we were larking about. We were shooting with our pistols at a hornet's nest,with our Smith and Wesson pistols,using rimless ammunition,which was not designed for them The rounds used to slip forward,causing misfiring. I tried to fire once,but nothing happened. Turning my pistol,I looked at the barrel,pressing the trigger again. Nothing!! So dropping my arm to my side,I pressed the trigger again,and bang it fired. I nearly fainted. A lesson for life. Never point a gun or rifle at anybody,especially yourself,unless you mean it. I could go on and on,but there has to be an end. In 1948 I joined the Society of Friends (Quakers),and never regretted it. With this I denounced war and strife,which caused me and my family so much misery'.


Irish Research Council for Arts,Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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