Fritz Peters Book Recognized with P.E.I. Heritage Award

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On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, Sam McBride, author of “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars”, received a Heritage Award at the annual awards night of the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Authority.

The presentations were made at the Carriage House at historic Beaconsfield House in Charlottetown. The Honourable Robert Henderson, Tourism and Culture Minister handed out the awards.

The Heritage Award Citation reads: “Born in Charlottetown in 1889, Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters was one of the most decorated soldiers in Canadian history. Over the course of two wars he won siz awards for valour, including the Victoria Cross. Since he’s from here, many Islanders know the bare bones of his story, at least the part about winning the Victoria Cross. One of his great-nephews, Sam McBride, knew there was much more of the story to tell. In The Bravest Canadian: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars, McBride explores Peters’ life and career through family correspondence and presents a detailed examination of the battles he fought in. The result is an excellent history of one of the Island’s fascinating figures. In recognition for his work in creating The Bravest Canadian, we are pleased to present a Heritage Award to Mr. Sam McBride.”

heritage award plaque

award presentation

Exploring Fritz Peters Sites in Charlottetown

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church collageprovince house collage
Capt. Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters, VC, DSO, DSC and bar, DSC (U.S.), RN was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Sept. 17, 1889.

He lived in Charlottetown until moving at age eight with his family to Victoria, British Columbia in late spring of 1898. Many of the houses, churches and government buildings of his era are still going strong today.

At top are are images of St. Peters (Anglican) Church, where the Peters family worshipped, and Fritz attended school classes. The collage includes a black and white photo taken in about 1920 of the First World War memorial plaque in the church that includes the names of Fritz’s brothers John Francklyn Peters and Gerald Hamilton Peters, as well as his cousin Arthur Gordon Peters. A photo to its right taken last week shows the additional plaque below which has names of Island men who lost their lives in World War Two, including Fritz Peters.

The photo collage below shows Province House at the time of the Charlottetown Conference in September 1864, including Fritz’s maternal grandfather, Col. John Hamilton Gray, who is the bearded man in the middle, holding a scroll in one hand. Other photos are of Province House today, along with a very impressive war memorial.

Interview With Author on CBC Charlottetown TV Can Be Viewed on Web Link

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CBC Charlottetown

CBC Charlottetown

by Sam McBride

My taped interview with Bruce Rainnie, host of the CBC News: Compass evening show, aired on Monday, February 25th at about 6:15 pm on CBC Charlottetown TV.

The focus of the segment was my recently-published book, “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars”. Capt. Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters is the only P.E.I.-born recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Earlier this week I was interviewed by Karen Mair of CBC Radio for the Mainstreet show heard throughout Prince Edward Island.

Many thanks to CBC for their interest in the book and in the story of Fritz Peters.

The show can be viewed for the next couple of weeks as a streaming feature on the link It is about half-way (15 minutes) through the February 25th Compass show.

Busy in Heritage-minded Charlottetown

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Book signing session happening at the Bookmark in Confederation Court Mall on Friday, Feb. 22 during the noon hour

Book signing session to be held at the Bookmark in Confederation Court Mall on Friday, Feb. 22 during the noon hour

By Sam McBride

Despite difficult winter weather, it is wonderful to be back in Charlottetown.

I have always had a soft spot for Charlottetown in my affections because my wonderful grandmother Helen Peters Dewdney was born there, as were her four brothers, including the famous war hero Capt. Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters, VC, DSO, DSC and bar, DSC (U.S.), RN.

On Tuesday, Feb. 19th I was proud to receive a Heritage Award from the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. Mine was among 12 Heritage Awards presented in the Foundation’s annual awards night at the Beaconsfield Carriage House in Charlottetown, along with a Natural Heritage Activity Award, Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year, Publication of the Year, Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Award, Irene Rogers Award, Wendell Boyle Award, and Award of Honour.

Hearing the citations for each award, I was impressed with the extraordinary community spirit and contributions of many individuals to preserving and promoting the province’s heritage.

Presentation on “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC” at Pownall in Charlottetown on Feb. 23rd

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Sam McBride will present slides and readings from his book “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars” from 4:30 pm to 6 pm on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Pownall Meeting Room, The Hotel on Pownal, 146 Pownal St. in Charlottetown. 

As well as McBride’s greatuncle Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters (the only P.E.I.-born recipient of the Victoria Cross), the presentation will include images and stories about other members of the Peters, Gray and Cunard families of 19th century Charlottetown.

This event is in addition to the signing sessions the author will have on Friday, Feb. 22nd at noon at the Bookmark store, and on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 1 to 3 pm at the Indigo store in Charlottetown.  For more information, contact


P.E.I. Heritage Award and Book Signings in Charlottetown

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Letter announcing the Heritage Award.

Letter announcing the Heritage Award.

By Sam McBride

I was very pleased last week to receive notification from the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation that they are giving me a Heritage Award in recognition of my book The Bravest Canadian – Fritz Peters, VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars. I will receive the award at the Annual Heritage Awards Ceremony at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield in Charlottetown on Feb. 19, 2013.

If all goes as planned, I will be in Charlottetown from Sunday, Feb. 17 until Sunday, Feb. 24. I have arranged to do book signings in Charlottetown at the Bookmark Store on Queen Street on Friday, Feb. 22nd at noon, and then at the Indigo Store at 465 University Avenue on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 1-3 pm. In addition to book promotion activities, I plan to do further research on the Peters and Gray ancestors.

As part of the cross-Canada trip, I will be in Cranbrook Feb. 13-14, Ottawa Feb. 14-17, Ottawa again Feb. 24-26, and Cranbrook again Feb. 26-27. In Ottawa I plan to visit, and conduct research, in the Canadian War Museum and the National Archives, and visit bookstores and Ottawa-based veterans’ associations.

Once again, many thanks to the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation for the prestigious Heritage Award.

Biog readers with suggestions for book promotion events should contact me either through this blog, or by emailing sammcbridebc(AT)

“The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC” Reviewed in Naval Association of Canada’s Starshell magazine

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The Winter 2012-2013 edition of Starshell, the national magazine of the Naval Association of Canada, features a review of “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters, VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars”.

The latest issue of Starshell can be viewed through the link

Many thanks to Mike and Starshell editor Cdr (Ret’d) George Moore for helping spread word of the book on a nation-wide basis.

Interestingly, an article on Capt. Frederic Thornton Peters, VC, DSO, DSC and bar, DSC (U.S.), RN in Starshell magazine in 1992 was titled “The Bravest Canadian of Them All”. This was one of the sources that were the basis for the title of the new biography of Fritz Peters released in November 2012.

starshell review 1 001

starsshell 2 001

Genealogy event in Castlegar, B.C. on February 11, 2013

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A common finding of public opinion surveys is that genealogy and gardening are the most popular hobbies in Canada. February is a few months away from gardening season, but a great time to start working on the Family Tree.

In celebration of B.C.`s first Family Day, the West Kootenay Family History Society (WKFHS) is hosting an Introduction to Family Tree learning experience at the Columbia Basin Trust Building in downtown Castlegar on Monday, February 11 from 1-4 pm.

The free, come-and-go event will includes demonstrations, exhibits and one-on-one assistance.
Since its founding in 1988, the WKFHS has shared ideas and materials related to researching family history and promoted the collection, publication and preservation of materials relevant to the promotion of ethical principles, scientific methods and effective techniques in genealogical and historical research. The group meets monthly at Stanley Humphries Secondary School.

For further information, contact WKFHS president Sam McBride at 250 364-1601 or WKFHS Programs and Publicity head, Ingeborg Leavell, at 250 367-0076.