By Sam McBride

As he was born in an era of large families, Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters had many first cousins, and even more second and third cousins and those “removed” to older and younger generations.

Some were as close as brothers and sisters, and others were casual acquaintances.  The following list includes cousins who were part of his life story, or who otherwise became prominent in Canadian or British history.

Abbott, William Hamilton – 1887-1976.  Son of William Abbott and Mim Gray, and grandson of the Canadian Prime Minister John Abbott.   Met up with Peters boys at the Front while serving in the First World War.  Prominent civil engineer in Montreal.  His uncle Arthur Everett Abbott was a grandfather of Canadian actor Christopher Plummer.

Bayfield, Frances Edward – 1876-1952.  Son of Carrie Peters and Edward Bayfield, and grandson of Admiral Henry Bayfield.  Came to Victoria, B.C. in 1899 to article with his uncle Fred Peters` law firm with Tupper.  Went on to a distinguished legal career in Vancouver.  Was North Vancouver`s police magistrate when he died in 1952.

Carman, Bliss –1861-1929.  Renowned Canadian poet, related on the side of the New Brunswick Peters.  Similarly descended from Loyalist James Peters and Margaret Lester.

Cunard, Bache Edward  — 1851-1925.!/2010/03/portrait-of-lady-miss-nancy-clara.html.  Was last Cunard to be involved in management of the company.  His estranged wife Lady Maud Alice “Emerald” Cunard was a leading British socialite and friend of Wallis Simpson.

Cunard, Nancy – 1896-1965. Daughter of Sir Bache Cunard and Maud Adams.  Writer, artist and political activist.

Francklyn, Annie – 1851-1944.  Spinster sister of Helen.  Mentioned in Fritz`s 1942 letter to his sister Helen Dewdney in Canada.

Francklyn, Helen – 1854-1945.  Spinster daughter of Sarah Jane Cunard and Gilbert Francklyn.   Her home near Bristol had an open invitation to members of the Peters family to stay.  It was her friend in Switzerland who claimed that Private Jack Peters was alive and a prisoner in Hanover.  Fritz`s Royal Navy file listed Helen as his next-of-kin in Britain.

Jarvis, Edward Worrell — Son of Judge Jarvis and Elizabeth Gray, sister of Col. John Hamilton Gray.  Had a remarkable career as an engineer, railway route designer, lumber merchant, militia officer in the Northwest Rebellion, and superintendent in the Northwest Mounted Police.  Best-known for leading the amazing Jarvis-Hanington winter expedition through the Northern Rockies 1874-1875 for the CPR, described in the 2015 book “Through an Unknown Country” by Mike Murtha and Charles Helm.

Lord, Roland Ernest – 1878-1915.  Son of Margaret Gray and Artemus Lord.  Served in the Boer War, earning the South Africa Medal with three clasps: Paardeberg, Dreifontein and Cape Colony.  Served with the Royal Canadian Regiment, and later was a sergeant in the Bush Veldt Carbineers in Transvaal.

Mellish, Henry – 1856-1927.  Son of Margaret Ann Cunard and William Leigh Mellish.  A keen meteorologist and sharpshooter.  He had an open invitation to his Peters cousins to stay at his stately home known as Hodsock Priory in Nottinghamshire.

Paton, Hugh “Pete” – Charlottetown businessman and expert on ancestor Samuel Cunard.

Peters, Arthur Gordon – 1891-1918.  Son of Premier Arthur Peters.  Died in September 1918 while serving as a sergeant major with the 64th Artillery of the American Expeditionary Force.

Peters, Benjamin Lester – 1790-1852.  Prominent New Brunswick merchant, militia officer, politician and justice of the peace.  Son of Loyalists James Peters and Margaret Lester.

Peters, Charles Jeffrey – 1773-1848.  Son of Loyalists James Peters and Margaret Lester.  Became solicitor general for New Brunswick in 1825, and then in 1828 became attorney general for life.

Peters, Col. James – Career officer in the Canadian permanent force.  Was mentioned in dispatches for service in charge of an artillery battery in the Riel Rebellion of 1885.  Let the first battery of professional soldiers to protect Canada`s west coast, arriving by train and boat from Quebec in 1887.  In 1885 he had the distinction of taking the world`s first battle action photographs.  Also served as a correspondent for the Quebec Morning Chronicle.

Peters, Francis White — brother of Col. James Peters.  Known as the Grand Old Man of Canadian Railroading.  Began his career as a telegrapher operator with the Intercolonial Railway in his hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick.  After working in the U.S. Great Lakes area for several years, he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway soon after its inception in 1881.  His work with the CPR in Manitoba, as well as heavy involvement in community affairs, led him to be included by the Manitoba Historical Society in its pantheon of “Memorable Manitobans”  In 1896 he began work in Nelson, B.C. as assistace freight agent, and would be heavily involved in economic development in the West Kootenay region, as well as holding positions such as president of the B.C. Curling Association.  He rose to be CPR’s general superintendent for B.C.  In 1923, as past president of the Shaughnessy Golf Club in Vancouver, he played in a foursome at Shaunessy that included the president of the United States, Warren G. Harding.

Poole, Dorothy – 1879-?.  Daughter of Florence Gray and Henry Skeffington Poole.  Known in Nova Scotia for her exceptional beauty.

Poole, Eric – 1886-1916.  Son of Florence Gray and Henry Skeffington Poole.  Born in Nova Scotia, he served in the Canadian Army and then moved to Britain, where he was a second lieutenant with the West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War.  On Dec. 16, 1916 at Poperinghe, Belgium he was the first British officer in the war to be executed for desertion.  His court martial was later acknowledged to be a travesty of justice.

Roberts, Sir Charles G.D. – 1860-1943. Renowned Canadian poet, related on the side of the New Brunswick Peters.  Like Fritz Peters and his cousin Bliss Carman, he was a direct descendant of Loyalists James Peters and Margaret Lester.