Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Frederick Thornton Peters
In memory of
Frederick Thornton Peters
November 13, 1942
- Royal Navy
- H.M.S. Excellent
- Victoria Cross - The citation in the London Gazette of 14th May, 1943, reads:
Captain Peters was in the suicide charge" by two little cutters at Oran. The "Walney" and "Hartland" were two ex-American coastguard cutters which were lost in a gallant attempt to force the boom defences in the harbour of Oran during the landings on the North African coast. Captain Peters led his force through the boom in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, destroyer and a cruiser - a feat which was described as one of the great episodes of naval history. The "Walney" reached the jetty disabled and ablaze, and went down with her colours flying. Blinded in one eye, Captain Peters was the only survivor of the seventeen men on the bridge of the "Walney". He was taken prisoner but was later released when Oran was captured. On being liberated from the gaol, he was carried through the streets where the citizens hailed him with flowers. He earned the D.S.O. and D.S.C. in the last war. Distinguished Service Order (George V), London Gazette 30 March 1915, Distinguished Service Cross (George V), London Gazette 8 March 1918 and Bar -London Gazette 11 July 1940. British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with Bar (North Africa 1942-43) 1939-45 Medal, Distinguished Service Cross (USA).
- September 17, 1889 Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Son of Frederick and Bertha Hamilton Peters, of Nelson, British Columbia. His brother, Gerald Hamilton Peters, had served during the First World War and died on June 3, 1916. Brother of John Franckly Peters who died in action in April of 1915. He was son of the Attorney General and the first Liberal Premier of that province. He was educated at St. Peter's Private School, later went to school in Victoria, British Columbia, and from there to Naval School in England. He graduated as a midshipman and three years later he received his commission as a sub-lieutenant. During the First World War he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order, the first ever given to a Canadian, and the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in action. Following the action which earned him the Victoria Cross, he was proceeding to England when the plane he was in crashed and he was killed. He has no known grave but his name appears on the Naval Memorial at Portsmouth, England.
- PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL ; Hampshire, United Kingdom
- Grave Reference:
- Panel 61, Column 3.
- The Memorial is situated on Southsea Common overlooking the promenade, and is accessible at all times.
Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
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