October 19, 2013
Bookmark, Charlottetown, Cunard, Frederic Thornton Peters, Indigo, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Maritimes, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Operation Reservist, Operation Torch, Peters, Prince Edward Island, Royal Navy, Saint John, The Bravest Canadian, Uncategorized, Victoria Cross Leave a comment
October 12, 2013
Bookmark, Charlottetown, Cunard, Frederic Thornton Peters, Indigo, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Maritimes, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Oran, Peters, Prince Edward Island, Royal Navy, Saint John, The Bravest Canadian, Victoria Cross, war heroes Leave a comment
by Sam McBride
My two-week book tour through the three Canadian Maritime provinces was a wonderful experience, and exceeded all expectations in publicizing “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars“ throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, as well as Prince Edward Island, where Fritz was born and his story is best known.
It was a thrill to meet so many people who came by my book signing sessions and either bought copies of the book or expressed interest in Fritz and the book. These included several current members of the Canadian military, as well as relatives who told me about the heroes of their own family.
I particularly enjoyed meeting several third cousins for the first time, as well as leaders of the PEI Genealogical Society, the New Brunswick Historical Society and the Cunard Steamship Society who I have corresponded with extensively in the past, but not met in person. Extremely pleased that my enthusiastic supporter in St. John`s, Newfoundland, Dr. David Peters, came to my presentation at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and we had a good chat afterwards.
Several people I talked to noted that next year, 2014, will be present opportunities to raise awareness of the Fritz Peters story across Canada. These are 1) the 150th anniversary of the historic Charlottetown Conference, in which Fritz`s family had a central role; 2) the centennial of the start of World War One, where Fritz Peters earned three major honours for valour; and 3) the 75th anniversary of the start of World War Two, where Fritz again received three awards for valour, including the Victoria Cross and the highest medal of the United States.
I have attached scans of a sample of print publicity from the book tour, and the links below have some, but not all, of the TV, radio and social media coverage. I did about 10 interviews by phone before i travelled, and then about another dozen while in the Maritimes between September 24th and October 5th, 2013.
October 4, 2013
Charlottetown, Cunard, Frederic Thornton Peters, Indigo, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Maritimes, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Operation Torch, Oran, Peters, Prince Edward Island, Robert Gray, Royal Navy, Saint John, The Bravest Canadian, Victoria Cross Leave a comment
Our book tour for “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters VC: The Making of a Hero of Two World Wars” has generated a flood of publicity in the newspapers and broadcast media, including several stations of CTV and CBC in the three provinces. Most of the people who bought books at the book signing sessions said they saw or heard about Fritz Peters in a recent media story.
The tour is winding down, but I am looking forward to returning to Prince Edward Island for a booksigning at the Indigo Charlottetown on Oct. 5 from 11 am until noon, and also meeting with representatives of the PEI Genealogical Society. With the 150th anniversary of the historic Charlottetown Conference coming up in 2014, there is a great amount of interest in Fritz’s grandfather (and my great-great-grandfather) Col. John Hamilton Gray, who was head of the PEI government in 1864 and served as host and chairman of the conference. On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 3, 1864 Gray invited the Fathers of Confederation home to his residence known as Inkerman House (named after his father-in-law’s famous victory in the Crimean War) for an after-dinner party, where much liquor was consumed and the conference delegates got to know each other on a social basis. As they arrived, they were introduced to Gray’s family, including two-year-old Bertha, Fritz’s mother. Later in life, Bertha introduced herself to new acquaintances as “a Daughter of Confederation.”
My presentation at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic was well-received by about 20 interested attendees who came out for the event despite heavy rain in Halifax. I had not been to the museum since 1992, and was greatly impressed with his improvements, including a wonderful section on Fritz’s grandfather Sir Samuel Cunard.
Maritimes Book Tour of “The Bravest Canadian — Fritz Peters VC“ Begins Wednesday, Sept. 25th in Charlottetown
September 20, 2013
Bookmark, Charlottetown, Cunard, Frederic Thornton Peters, Indigo, Maritimes, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Peters, Prince Edward Island, Saint John, The Bravest Canadian, Victoria Cross Leave a comment
Here is the updated schedule of the upcoming 10-day book tour.
Prince Edward Island (pop. 140,204)
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 12-1pm – Charlottetown Bookmark store, book signings; 172 Queen St., Confederation Court Mall, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4B5. (902) 566-4888
Saturday, October 5, 11am-noon – Charlottetown Indigo, book signings; 465 University Ave., Charlottetown, PE C1A 4N8 (902) 569-9213
New Brunswick (pop. 751,171)
Friday September 27, 3-4:30pm – Chapters Fredericton. book signings; Regent Mall, 1381 Regent St., Fredericton, NB E3C 1A2. (506) 459-2616,
Saturday September 28, 12-2pm – Chapters Moncton, book signings; Crystal Palace, 499 Paul St., Dieppe, NB E1A 6S5
Sunday September 29, 12-2pm – Indigo Saint John, book signings; East Point Centre, 41 Fashion Drive, Saint John, NB E2J 0A7. (506) 693-6987
Nova Scotia (pop. 921,727)
Tuesday October 1, 12-1:30pm – Chapters Bayers Lake, Halifax, book signings; 188 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax, NS B3S 1C5. (902) 450-1023
Tuesday October 1, 2:30-4pm – Chapters Mic Mac Mall, Dartmouth, book signings; 41 Mic Mac Boulevard, Dartmouth, NS B3A 4Y8. (902) 466-1640
Tuesday, October 1, 7:30pm – presentation, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic; 1675 Lower Water Street, Halifax, NS B3J 1S3. (902) 424-7490
Wednesday October 2, 12-1:30pm – Coles Truro Mall, book signings; 245 Robie St., Truro, NS B2N 5N6. (902) 895-4929
Wednesday October 2, 3:30-5pm – Coles Highland Square Mall, New Glasgow, book signings; 689 Westville Rd., New Glasgow, NS B2H 2J6
February 28, 2013
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.”
February 10, 2013
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)gmail.com.