Gregory Smith releases his debut novel, Seeking Courage. A young Canadian man’s life changes forever as fear turns to love and courage during the Great War. Seeking Courage is a fictional account of the true-to-life experience of 23-year-old Canadian Lieutenant Bob Pitman who exchanged law school in Saskatchewan for arms in honor-bound support of World War One. Shipping off to 1915 war-ravaged Europe he learned to conquer such overwhelming fears as shell shock, disease and the risk of dizzying aerial warfare, directed by an inner reliance on ingrained core values woven with love for a beautiful and resolute young English woman.
In 1915, twenty-three-year-old Lieutenant Robert Courtenay Pitman leaves Saskatoon and a promising law education to meet the King’s call to arms in the Great War raging across Europe. Awarded an officers commission without ever before experiencing battle, he is pitched into an environment of death and destruction.
Arriving at the front, Pitman leads his platoon into the Battle of the Somme and is buried alive under intense bombardment. While convalescing from shell shock in London, he meets Cissy Ann Taylor, a munitionette who balances dangerous work with the independence that her new wartime income provides. Bob is struck by more than her beauty, also by her devotion to women’s suffrage and her war efforts. After a brief and passionate few weeks, he reports back to his regiment but is shocked and humiliated to discover he has contracted a sexually transmitted disease, preventing him from returning to the front. Yet the delay was fateful, since after hospital release Bob joins the Royal Flying Corps in France, placing him at life threatening risk: night-bombing enemy targets in an open air biplane. All the while Cissy in England faces daily peril assembling munitions. In spite of the war circumstances which keep them apart, their love deepens with passionate letter writing and loving encounters made possible through periodic leave.