Harold R. Peat

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Harold Reginald Peat (July 12, 1893 – 1960) was a Canadian soldier and author.

Born in Jamaica, and emigrated to Toronto with his mother, Peat was educated privately and at boarding school in Kingston, Jamaica. In August 1916 he married Louisa Watson Small. Louisa Watson Small was born in Keady, Armagh, Ireland and educated at Queens College, Belfast and the University of London.[1] Private Peat (1917) was a memoir of his World War I experiences serving as a private in the 3rd Battalion of the First Canadian Contingent. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list in 1918 and 1919. A movie, directed by Edward jose' was made of the book, with Peat starring as himself, Miriam Fouche and William Sorelle acted in the movie with Peat. The screenplay was written by Charles E. Whittaker. The producer was Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0009518/)

With their three daughters, Peat and his first wife, Louisa Watson Peat, toured the United States, both lecturing on the Redpath Chautauqua Circuit. Peat was also a contributor to various magazines and traveled to Australia and New Zealand during this period.[2] One of several grandchildren, L. Peat O'Neil, is a travel writer and new media writer.

Peat ran a Speakers Bureau in New York before and after WWII. Peat's speakers included Winston Churchill, Robert E. Peary, Lady Baden-Powell, Thomas Mann, Lillian Hellman, Ilka Chase, H.G. Wells, Alice Longworth and Jesse Stuart among others. His second wife, Grace Sims Peat, was a graduate of the University of Alabama and a pilot. Papers from the Peat Lecture Bureau are found at the University of Alabama, along with papers of Grace Sims Peat.[3]

Peat retired to Jamaica after WWII and ran a beach hotel for a few years. Peat renamed Dry Harbor to Discovery Bay, St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica.[4]


Publications about Harold R. Peat
  • Harold Ross, The Talk of the Town, “From Captain to Private.,” The New Yorker, October 17, 1942, p. 13 Brush, Philippa Mary, 1999. "This feminine invasion": Women and the workplace in Canadian magazines, 1900-1930. Edmonton: PhD Diss., University of Alberta


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