Captain Frederic Thornton “Fritz“ Peters, VC, DSO, DSC and bar, DSC (U.S.), RN would rate among the greatest Canadian war heroes on the basis of his gallant exploits in either the First World War or the Second World War. The combination of these accomplishments – including three major honours for valour in each of the wars – give him a special place in Canada`s pantheon of military heroes.
Previous attempts to tell Peters` story have been stymied by the lack of a paper trail due to his involvement in top secret and controversial projects, his detestation of publicity and self-promotion, and never settling for long in one place. The heart of The Bravest Canadian is a recently-discovered treasure trove of letters from and about Fritz Peters and his family that give insight into his life experience, what he was thinking, and what made him tick.
His Maritime establishment family revered war heroes in its ancestry, ranging from Loyalist officers in the Revolutionary War, through the wars and British Empire skirmishes of the 19th century. Fritz was expected to live up to this tradition, which he did in spades. He was a loveable eccentric, in the best traditions of the Royal Navy in which he served. He loved the Empire and the exhilaration of battle the way other men loved their wife and children.
His is a world-wide story, encompassing boyhood on both coasts of Canada, naval servicer at the romantic China Station, tense battles with German U-boats in both wars, a mysterious career in the spy world, and culminating as leader of a modern-day Charge of the Light Brigade inside an Algerian port against Vichy French guns lined up against him in every direction.