The published Naval General Service Medal rolls confirm Peter Suther as an Acting Surgeon aboard H.M.S. Swiftsure at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21.10.1805 and as a Surgeon aboard the Eurydice during the Martinique operations of 1809.
Deputy Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets Peter Suther entered the Royal Navy aboard H.M.S. Swiftsure shortly prior to the Battle of Trafalgar, thereby being present in the pursuit of the enemy Fleet to the West Indies and back, in addition to Nelson's crowning victory.
'Swiftsure was present, under Captain William Gordon Rutherford, in the Lee Column at Trafalgar on 21 Ocotber 1805. She engaged the French Achille, which, in about 40 minutes, having had her mizen-mast and foreyard shot away, and having caught fire, ceased firing, and waved a Union Jack at her starboard cathead; she afterwards blew up. The Swiftsure had her own mizen-topmast shot away and mizen-mast badly damaged, and lost 17 killed and wounded, including a Midshipman [A fact, no doubt, not lost on Suther]. After the Battle she took in tow the French 74, Redoubtable, one of the Prizes but when the latter was found to be sinking, the Swiftsure cut herself loose. It was a dreadful night of wind, rain and lightning, but she sent her boats and succeeded in saving 170 of the Redoubtable's crew, but five of her own men unfortunately went down in the wreck' (The Trafalgar Roll, by Colonel McKenzie, refers).
Suther went on to witness further active service in the Martinique operations but thereafter appears to have been fortuitous in avoiding 'shot and ball', enjoying in later years such appointments as that of Surgeon to the Royal Yacht William and Mary between 1839-41 and Surgeon to Woolwich and Chatham Dockyards between 1841-55. Retiring on a Greenwich Hospital Pension in 1866, this long served Trafalgar veteran lived to the ripe old age of 90 years, dying at Southsea in 1877.