Peggy was born in May 1919. She lived in Catford in South London before her family moved to the newly-built Becontree Estate. In 1930, at the age of 11, Peggy became one of the founder members of the Dagenham Girl Pipers, the first female pipe band in the world. It was founded by the Reverend Joseph Waddington Graves, Congregational Minister at Osborne Hall, using 12 girls from his Sunday school.

Dagenham is a district and suburban town in East London, England. In the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, it is 11.5 miles (18.5 km) east of Charing Cross. Historically a parish in the county of Essex, it was an agrarian village and remained mostly undeveloped until 1921, when the London County Council began construction of the large Becontree estate. The population of the area significantly increased in the 20th century, with the parish of Dagenham becoming an urban district in 1926 and a municipal borough in 1938. It has formed part of Greater London since 1965 and is a predominantly residential area, with some areas of declining industrial activity, including the Ford Dagenham plant.

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