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Born: Oct 19, 1923

Date of Passing: Jan 06, 2022

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David Murray Peden QC, DFC, was born October 19, 1923, and passed away peacefully on January 6, 2022 after a short illness.
He is survived by his son John (aka Jock) (Karen), daughter Laura (Greg), daughter-in-law Sara and five grandchildren, Kirstie and Alexander Peden, and Andrew, Ryan and Scott Miskiewicz, as well as two great-grandchildren, Alfred Urban and Eloise Peden. He is also survived by his younger brother, Allan. He was predeceased by his son Roderick in 2013, and his wife Jean in 2018.
Murray was born in Winnipeg, but grew up in Portage la Prairie between the ages of 6 and 16, taking most of his early schooling there. He played in the City band, and was active in Portage Collegiate's cadet corps, winning several rifle marksmanship awards.
In 1940 the family returned to Winnipeg, and Murray took Grade 12 at Gordon Bell and also played solo cornet with the band of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Upon turning 18 in 1941, he enlisted in the RCAF, took pilot training and in November, 1942, was sent overseas to fly operationally.
After further training in England, he was posted to #214 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command. He and his crew first operated Stirlings performing bombing missions and special operations dropping supplies to the Free French underground. They later converted onto B-17 Flying Fortresses, doing secret radar-countermeasures work. He and his crew were one of five on his squadron selected for a special radar mission in support of the D-Day landings on the night of June 5/6, 1944. He received a special commendation later in June, 1944, following a raid into the Ruhr, when his aircraft was attacked twice, two of his crew were wounded and the flight terminating in a successful crash-landing back in England. He was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon completion of his operational tour, he served as an instructor on Fortresses until his return to Canada in July, 1945.
Upon discharge, he took his B.A. at United College (1948) and his Ll.B. (1952) winning a Gold Medal in each. During this period, in April 1949 he married the daughter of Rev. Phillip Barker, Jean Duncan Barker, with whom he had graduated at United.
Upon graduation, he first joined Manitoba's Attorney-General's Department, working as a Crown Attorney for three enjoyable years and then in 1955 joined the firm Greenberg, Arpin and Rich. In 1960 he was appointed Counsel to the Greater Winnipeg Transit Commission and later, the first counsel of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg. In 1961 he rejoined the provincial government as Assistant Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs and later as Deputy Minister of Public Utilities. In 1968 he became the first Chairman of the newly-formed Securities Commission, an appointment he held until his retirement in 1988.
He was gratified, late in life, to be awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government, in recognition of his services during the Second World War.
Throughout much of his life, he was a writer. Three of his books were published, "A Thousand Shall Fall" an account of his flying experiences during the Second World War, "Fall of an Arrow", detailing the development and eventual cancellation of the Avro Arrow fighter aircraft in the 1950s, and "Hearken to the Evidence" a description of the criminal justice system of the 1950s. The first two were repeatedly reissued over a period of 20-odd years and "A Thousand Shall Fall" received wide acclaim as one of the best and most accurate first person accounts ever written about that conflict.
From childhood on, he was a keen duck hunter, fisherman and skeet shooter. In addition to his writing, his other hobbies included photography, the study of military history and music. As an adult, he learned to play the bagpipes, played with the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band, and later taught the pipes with the Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band (now Lord Selkirk RFM Pipe Band).
Murray had a brilliant and incisive intellect, possessed a wonderful sense of humour, tremendous musical talents, and was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Murray and Jean enjoyed 69 years of a loving marriage and both were admired for their devotion and commitment to their family. Murray frequently said however, that his greatest satisfaction and enjoyment in life came from being in company with, and keeping abreast of the accomplishments of their five grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Thomson "In the Park" Funeral Home. COVID protocols require that all in attendance be fully vaccinated. Only those who can show proof of vaccination and government issued ID will be permitted to attend. COVID restrictions unfortunately, will also preclude the usual reception following the service.
Friends and family are invited to visit Murray's memorial page at where memories and condolences may be shared. The service will be live-streamed and can also be viewed at

Obituary may also be viewed and
condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 08, 2022

Condolences & Memories (11 entries)

  • I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Mr peden he was a good friend of my grandfather Vern Corbett - Posted by: Leanna Burridge (Granddaughter of his friend vern corbett) on: Jan 21, 2023

  • We were saddened to learn of Murray’s death. We have always been proud to have published his books, and been among the first to recognize the excellence of his writing. We very much enjoyed getting to know him on his visits to Ottawa. He will be missed. Our sympathy to his family. Carl and Elizabeth Vincent (Canada’s Wings) - Posted by: Carl and Elizabeth Vincent (Friends and publishers of his books) on: Mar 02, 2022

  • We are so sorry to hear of Murray’s passing, the world truly lost an all-around exceptional person. I knew Murray essentially my entire life. He and my father (Willis Grant Flewelling RCMP –Ret) became good friends back in the 1950’s when Murray was a Crown Prosecutor in Manitoba and my father a young RCMP officer. Their work friendship blossomed into a lifelong friendship that eventually included both families. There is no one in life that my father respected more than Murray Peden. When my father passed away in 1993, Murray prepared the eulogy, an eulogy so well written that I have kept it till this day. Such an accomplished man yet so humble, he truly was an inspiration to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. I followed my father’s footsteps into the RCMP, during the application process Murray was one of my references. Rumor has that when the RCMP investigator went to interview him regarding my application for the RCMP, the interviewer walked away with much more than he bargained for. He got a fascinating glimpse at the WWII Bomber command and insight to the Manitoba Criminal justice system in the 1950’s and may have even left with a signed copy of Hearken to the Evidence. Needless to say that reference interview went well for me. I have fond memories of meeting my father and Murray for lunch occasionally. Murray always had an interesting story to tell and you simply could not bring up a subject that Murray was not aware of and had some insight to. I found him to be such a fascinating person, a man that will be dearly missed. Jock, Laura and families please accept our sincere condolences. Wayne Flewelling, Nanoose Bay, B.C - Posted by: Wayne Flewelling (Family friend) on: Jan 27, 2022

  • Murray was a very special person as noted and from a very special family that I have known since elementary school in the Riverview District. His younger brother Al and I watched him go away to war and watched him come home. His accomplishments in life are admirable and he will always be in my mind as a good person and friend. - Posted by: Bob Rendall (friend) on: Jan 11, 2022

  • I was deeply saddened to hear of Murray’s passing. My memory of Murray reaches back to the early 90’s when he spoke out strongly and eloquently on a highly controversial documentary. We corresponded often by way of letter, later by email. His thoughts of his friends and squadron mates who sacrificed their lives were never far away. On November 11, 1992 he wrote, “They were talented and enthusiastic young men, with their whole lives before them, they realized all too well how high the odds against their survival ran; but they carried out faithfully the hazardous duty they were assigned, until death overtook them.” I was deeply honoured to have known Murray. For his family, friends and colleagues, my sincere condolences. - Posted by: Gerry Brosso (Friend) on: Jan 11, 2022

  • My dad, Chester Hull, and Murray, fellow WW2 bomber pilots, knew one another well. Dad said that Murray's book was the best he knew in communication what it was like to be a member of an aircrew and a pilot during those terrible times. When my dad passed Murray was there for me as a supportive listener to me as a prepared my dad's eulogy. My condolences to the family! Brian Hull (Ottawa) - Posted by: Brian Hull (Murray Peden and my dad were WW2 bomber pilots and knew one another well.) on: Jan 10, 2022

  • I first read ATSF about 20 years ago if I remember correctly (maybe 30!) and subsequently about once every 3 years. It is the best RCAF book in existence! Murray and I spoke a few times in recent years and i became more and more of an admirer. I too am an RCAF pilot -just 20 tears later -we shall not see his like again! - Posted by: Jock Williams (Admirer and friend) on: Jan 10, 2022

  • This guy is a true WW2 hero. RIP Mr Peden - Posted by: Dale (Never met) on: Jan 08, 2022

  • Dear Jock, Laura, Sara and family, We so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. Our families grew up together in the 70s across the street from each other on Aldershot so I have many fond memories of a wonderful person. One is Mr. Peden commenting once on our competition for loudest stereo. I think we won that one. And of course we always knew when it was hunting season by the activity in the Peden garage. My favourite might be getting to know Mr. and Mrs. Peden as adults at Rod & Sara's wedding and appreciating them on a whole new level. Our thoughts are with you. Dwight & Sue Peters - Posted by: Dwight and Sue Peters (Friend and neighbour, 45 Aldershot) on: Jan 08, 2022

  • A more gracious and finer gentleman I have not met. Murray not only took the time to meet with me, but invited me to his home to do so. He chuckled when I showed up with my well tattered, falling apart, and worn copy of A Thousand Shall Fall that he signed with pleasure. When I visit the cenotaph on Remembrance Day, I shall remember Murray Peden along with Plate, Dunphy and Penkuri. - Posted by: Lloyd Jensen (Admirer) on: Jan 08, 2022

  • Please accept my most sincere and deepest sympathy for the passing of your father. He will be missed by many family members and friends who knew him . He was an extraordinary man whose life touched many and was improved through his work and friendship. - Posted by: Roberta Rae (Family friend) on: Jan 08, 2022

Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

Thomson In the Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

1291 McGillivary Blvd. (Map)
Ph: 2049251120 | Visit Website

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