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Description found in Archives

Peter Service fonds [textual record, graphic material] 

Date(s)

1896-1959

Place of creation

Canada

16.3 cm of textual records.
3 photographs : b&w.

Scope and content

The Peter Service fonds contains documents concerning his brother Robert W. Service from the period 1896-1959. There are three series within this fonds: Letters from Robert and Germaine Service, Memorabilia, and Writing: Memoir and Journal. These records include letters from Robert and Germaine Service to Peter Service and memorabilia such as a photograph of Robert W. Service's cabin in Dawson, a copy of the Robert W. Service Calendar, and newspaper clippings. The fonds includes a carbon copy of Robert W. Service's memoir The Ploughman and the Moon and a handwritten journal from 1896.

Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
1 A
from 3 A to 3 B
18: Restricted
Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
2
1 B
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
1 A
18: Restricted
Graphic (photo)
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
1 B
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.
Other accession no.
2005-02 LMS

Textual record; graphic material (photo) Finding aids described material from accession 2005-02 LMS-0264 90 (Electronic)
http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000002541.pdf

Biography / Administrative history

Peter Service was born on March 12, 1881 in Glasgow, Scotland, * of ten children. Shortly after his brother Robert left home, Peter visited an uncle who owned a winery in Australia. He returned to the family in Kent and then Peter left for Alberta, Canada in 1905, followed several years later by the rest of his family. He married May Nicholson Walker and had three children: Sheila, Phyllis, and Kelvin. In 1935 the family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Peter founded Sourdough Books on Pender Street in Vancouver, a collectors and rare book shop. When Robert W. Service moved to Europe, Peter helped his brother correspond with his North American publishers. In 1951 Peter suffered a heart attack. He was forced to close the bookshop shortly thereafter. He died in 1961 in California. Robert W. Service was born January 16, 1874 in Preston, Lancashire, England, first of the ten children. He grew up in Ayrshire and Glasgow, Scotland. Between 1889 and 1896 he worked for the Commercial Bank of Scotland. In 1896 Service left for Canada. He worked on a farm on Vancouver Island and in 1897-1898 he travelled throughout the United States and Mexico. After his North American adventure he worked as a store clerk in Cowichan Bay where he published his first verse in The Colonist and on a Vancouver Island farm again until 1903 when he started work at the Bank of Commerce in Victoria. He was transferred to many bank branches on the West coast of Canada and in 1908 he was sent to Dawson City, Yukon. This is where he wrote his famous poem ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee'. Service departed for Europe in 1912 as a correspondent. In 1913 he married Germaine Bourgoin and settled in Paris. During WWI Service worked as a war correspondent. In the 1920'3 he wroter thrillers. During World War II, Service lived in California and aided the effort to boost troop morale along with other celebrities. He returned to France after the war and lived in Britanny and Monte Carlo with his wife and daughter for the remainder of his life. He died September 11, 1958. Service published sixteen collections of poetry, six novels and two autobiographies, including: Songs of a Sourdough (1907), The Spell of the Yukon (1907), Ballads of a Cheechako (1909), Ballads of a Bohemian (1921), Twenty Bath-Tub Ballads (1939) and many others. Service departed for Europe in 1912 as a correspondent. In 1913 he married Germaine Bourgoin and settled in Paris. During WWI Service worked as a war correspondent. In the 1920's he wrote thrillers. During World War II, Service lived in California and aided the effort to boost troop morale along with other celebrities. He returned to France after the war and lived in Britanny and Monte Carlo with his wife and daughter for the remainder of his life. He died September 11, 1958. Service published sixteen collections of poetry, six novels and two autobiographies, including: Songs of a Sourdough (1907), The Spell of the Yukon (1907), Ballads of a Cheechako (1909), Ballads of a Bohemian (1921), Twenty Bath-Tub Ballads (1939) and many others.

Additional information

Custodial history
The material was donated by Peter Service's daughter-in-law, Marguerite Service (widow of Kelvin Service), in 2005.

Private

3722406