Peter was born on 17 April 1984, son of Robert Patrick Ashe, MBE, and Var Hong, in Bangkok, Thailand, where his father, Robert Ashe, was working at the time. At his birth, Peter had two older half-sisters, Somaly and Panita, daughters of Var Hong and Virak Phong Lach. Somaly’s and Panita’s father died during the Khmer Rouge years of 1975 – 1979.
Peter’s mother, Var Hong, came from Cambodia and settled in England in 1979. She married Peter’s father, Robert Ashe, in 1982.
Soon after his birth, Peter moved from Thailand to Geneva, Switzerland, where his father worked for Food for the Hungry International. At the age of two, Peter moved with his parents to Khartoum in the Sudan, where he stayed for two years. At the age of four, he moved to Es Showak, a small village in Eastern Sudan, where his father was the Head of the UNHCR Sub-Office.
Peter started school in England at the age of five, but after one term in school moved to Geneva, where his father had been transferred in late 1989, and attended the Geneva English School in Genthod. When he was seven, Peter started boarding school at Aldro, near Godalming, and stayed there for four years.
Peter’s parents, Robert and Var, separated in 1991 and were divorced in 1993.
At the age of 11, in 1995, Peter moved with his father to The Hague in the Netherlands, where he attended the British School of the Netherlands for one year. When his father was transferred back to Geneva in 1996, Peter returned to Aldro School to complete his final year there, before joining his father again in Geneva in 1997 to attend the International School of Geneva. His father re-married in February 2002 to Aam Zamila Blair (née Dachlan).
Peter graduated from the Geneva International School in June 2002, and started at Exeter University in Sept. 2002 studying Economics and Finance. He broadened his university experience by spending the third year at a bank, JP Morgan, in Geneva.
Graduating with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2006, he then joined Barclays Capital in London.
- 1984 onwards: Father and son over the years
- 2005: Peter’s electronic 21st Birthday Card
- 2006: Diving in Indonesia
Diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Peter sailed through surgery and treatment as if the event was the most normal thing in the world. Six months after completing treatment, he participated in the Paris Triathlon on 8 July 2012. Below are his three updates on this amazing effort:
Date: 14 June 2012
Subject: Raising Money for Cancer – Paris Triathlon
Dear Friends & Family,
I know many of you receive these charity raising emails on a frequent basis and I have to say I was apprehensive to send another one. However, my email is slightly different. If you could spare a few minutes to read the below please:
What Am I Doing?
On the 8th of July I will be doing the Paris Triathlon which will be my first triathlon ever. For those that don’t know, it is an Olympic length triathlon which consists of (in this order) a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and finishing with a 10km run. Yes, the swimming is in the river Seine and I’m looking into appropriate antibiotics pre-race!
Charity Raising Money For?
ICR, Institute for Cancer Research
Why Am I Doing This?
As most of you will know, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year. I had to have an operation to remove the tumour, following which I had 3 months of chemotherapy. Thankfully, I was given the all clear in December 2011 and each monthly check-up since then has also shown no return of the cancer. The reason I’m doing this is not only to raise money for cancer, which an ever increasing number of people seem to be diagnosed with, but also to send a message. A friend recently was diagnosed with cancer as well and I was able share my experience in order to give him comfort around his diagnosis. In a similar vein I want my completion of the Paris triathlon six months after treatment to be a message for people that are diagnosed (at a minimum with testicular cancer), that recovery and getting back on one’s feet to their old self is fully possible despite the side effects.
On a lighter note, weighing 30 grams less, I should float better and run faster, though balance may be an issue.
Thank you for reading and for generously donating.
Sent: 02 July 2012
Subject: RE: Raising Money for Cancer – Paris Triathlon
With six days left to go before the triathlon, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone that has donated. I’ve been overwhelmed with the response and kind words. Circa 150 people have donated which has exceeded any expectation that I had.
Preparation is going well and I’ve been training everyday for the past few weeks with a few days of rest in between. Inevitably, one always wishes for just a few more training sessions before the event! Still, I’m confident I’ll be able to finish in a respectable time and do you all proud.
The website remains open for donations for those that would still like to help.
Thank you again,
Sent: 09 July 2012
Subject: Re: Raising Money for Cancer – Paris Triathlon + PICTURES
What a great experience! I’ll get the numbers out of the way first and then talk about some of the interesting difficulties I had! I finished in 2hrs 37mins 27secs (~1500m swim 0:24:46, ~40km bike 1:17:02 and ~10km run 0:42:41) which I was extremely pleased with as was targeting anything sub 3hrs. So some of the difficulties….:
– My triathlon race bars (which my gear change levers were in) were illegal as they were too far forward & pointy and so I had take them off and duct tape them to my bike frame. Made changing gears a little tougher.
– It was wet/rainy and I took the first sharp corner 5km into the bike ride with too much speed and fell quite badly. Thankfully my bike was OK more or less and bar some scratches on me, I could continue.
– My cycling shoe strap mechanism broke in the bike fall which meant that when I came to transition two, I couldn’t release the strap tying my right foot in and couldn’t take off my cycling shoe. Thought I might have to run in cycling shoes! After a minute, and some help, it was pulled off and I could continue the run.
I’ve attached some more photos on the Just Giving website including my duct tape job with the bars/gears (what it’s meant to look like and what I did to it), my scratches and some photos of the day.
Thank you again to everyone that has donated, I still can’t believe that ~200 people donated in the end. Together we raised £15,900 and if you include gift aid £18,380.
On a sadder note, a family friend died on the Saturday before I raced after having fought lung cancer for 2yrs. I know, he too, would be extremely thankful for the donations to this cause.
On behalf of him and myself, thank you.