Online features, interviews and reports related to the life and achievements of Fritz Peters VC

Leave a comment

Halifax Chronicle-Herald newspaper

New Brunswick Historical Society newsletter

Monday magazine, Victoria, B.C., November 2012

Nelson Star

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum web site, Local Heroes section

CBC Charlottetown – radio—frederick-thornton-peters

list of authors interviewed by Mark Forsythe on CBC British Columbia

News 1130, Vancouver, B.C.

World Naval Ships Forum – discussion

Victoria Cross forum – discussion

Military Times – Hall of Valor


abcbookworld web site

Photos from the presentation of 2013 Heritage Awards by the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation

The article below in Legion Magazine was done in 2006 before information from the Peters Family Papers became available.   The story of Fritz is included along with the stories of Canada`s other naval VC`s, Robert Hampton Gray and Rowland Bourke.   Further details on all three are in the Local Heroes section of the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum web site.   Ironically, each of the heroes  has a special connection with the small mountain community of Nelson, British Columbia, 400 miles inland from the West Coast.  Gray and Bourke lived in Nelson, and Peters` U.S. DSC medal was officially presented to his mother as next-of-kin in a ceremony at her home in Nelson.

Veterans Affairs Canada, virtual memorial for Frederic Thornton Peters.   Click on digital collection. listing and reviews

Canadian Expeditionary Force research forum

Details of mountains in the Nelson, B.C. area named after Fritz Peters and Hammy and Jack Gray, along with geographic naming of Rowland Bourke on the B.C. coast.

Fritz and Operation Reservist noted in An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson, winner of Pulitzer Prize

Special Forces roll of honour (SOE)

Bartley family tree, including Gray and Peters families

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum web site, Defending the Coast section.  Story of Peters` cousin,  Col. James Peters

Veterans Affairs Canada virtual memorial for Fritz`s brother John Francklyn Peters.   Click on digital collection.

Veterans Affairs Canada virtual memorial for Fritz`s brother Gerald Hamilton Peters.   Click on digital collection.

Biography of Fritz`s paternal grandfather Judge James Horsfield Peters

Biography of Fritz`s uncle, the Hon. Arthur Peters

Biography of Fritz`s maternal grandfather, Col. John Hamilton Gray

Biography of Fritz`s maternal great-grandfather, Col. Robert Gray

Biography of Fritz`s paternal great-grandfather, Sir Samuel Cunard

Biography of Fritz`s Loyalist ancestor Charles Jeffery Peters

Biography of Fritz`s Loyalist ancestor Benjamin Lester Peters

Biography of Fritz`s uncle Henry Skeffington Poole

Biography of Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, RN, father of Fritz`s uncle Edward Bayfield

Biography of Fritz`s maternal great-grandfather, Gen. Sir John Lysaght Pennefather

Ancestry of Frederic Thornton Peters, VC

Leave a comment

One of Canada`s greatest war heroes, Frederic Thornton “Fritz” Peters, was strongly influenced by his United Empire Loyalist roots.  Three of his four grandparents (Judge James Horsfield Peters, Mary Cunard and Col. John Hamilton Gray) were direct descendants of Loyalists who sided with King George against the colonial rebels in the American Revolutionary War.  The Loyalist ancestors were James Peters and his wife Margaret Lester of Hempstead, Long Island, New York; Col. Robert Gray of Norfolk, Virginia; and Abraham Cunard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Loyalist James Peters in 1816 (McBride collection)

Frederic Thornton Peters ancestry chart

The fourth grandparent, Susan Bartley Pennefather (wife of John Hamilton Gray) was the daughter of Lieut. William Bartley and Margaret Carr, both of Anglo-Irish stock.  Susan was just a baby when Bartley died while serving in Jamaica.  Bartley`s commanding officer, Major Sir John Lysaght Pennefather, married Margaret and she became Lady Pennefather.

According to A Peters Lineage, this branch of the Peters originated in France and migrated through Flanders to Devon and Cornwall.  A distant ancestor, the Rev. Hugh Peters, was a Puritan who arrived in America in 1636 and was a founding governor of Harvard College.  He later returned to England and was a right-hand man of Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War.  The first Peters ancestor to permanently settle in North America was Dr. Charles Peters from London, who arrived in New York in 1703 and married Mary Hewlett, who was a third-generation New Yorker, as her Dutch ancestry went back to when the city was known as New Amsterdam.

The most famous ancestor was Abraham Cunard`s son Sir Samuel Cunard, who pioneered steam-driven passenger service across the North Atlantic and was a major factor in the economic development of Canada`s Maritime provinces.  Fritz Peters` father Frederick Peters (who served as Premier and Attorney General of Prince Edward Island from 1891-1897) was a grandson of Sir Samuel Cunard.  The Cunard ancestors –known at the time as Kunders — were among the first Germans to settle in North America, arriving in modern-day Pennsylvania in the 1680s.  A century later, Abraham and his brother Robert stayed loyal to King George in the American Revolution, but the rest of the Cunard family sided with the rebels.

Ancestry of the Cunards in Germany goes back to Duke John of Cleves (brother of Ann of Cleves, fourth wife of England`s King Henry the Eighth) in the 1500s.

ancestors of Fritz`s father, the Hon. Frederick Peters

Cunard ancestors going back from Loyalist Abraham Cunard of Pennsylvania