VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – One of the most decorated Canadian war heroes spent much of his life on Vancouver Island, but not many people know his story. And to highlight Remembrance Day this weekend, a local author has a new book that hopes to change that.
Sam McBride’s new book, “The Bravest Canadian” focuses on the life of Captain Frederick “Fritz” Peters, who was born in PEI in 1889 but grew up and lived most of his life in Victoria.
But because Peters served with both the Canadian Navy and British Secret Service, McBride says not a lot is known about him.
“Except for the fact that he won so many of the top medals for valour. And what makes him really unusual is winning the top medals in both World War I and World War II. I can’t think of any other Canadian who has done that.”
He adds Peters was most decorated for storming the Port of Oran, key to the Allied Invasion of North Africa just over 40 years ago.
“Well there were 90 per cent casualties and many of the crew were dead. So, it fell to him to do all the crew work by himself and here he was, he was 53-years-old and he did it and miraculously he survived.”
Ironically, Peters was killed less than a week later when the transport plane carrying him home crashed. McBride hopes “The Bravest Canadian” shows off a different side to Peters, drawing on letters and notes home to show the man behind the medals.
“It shows a hero in a day-by-day experience and how he reacts to events and the family and his personal opinions on world events and on religion and politics. It sort of gives a better idea of where his courage might have come from.”