Soldier Spotlight: Elmer Bayley

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this new blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

Regiment: The Loyal Edmonton Royal Canadian Infantry Corps (R.C.I.C)
Regimental Number: M/ 17157
Rank: Private
Grave Reference: VI. A. 3
Cemetery: Ravenna War Cemetery, Italy, No. 4

Elmer Bayley was the son of George Stedman and Ena Jean Bayley, and he was born in July of 1918. He grew up in Saskatchewan and his mother died early in his life. After his father remarried to Ruth, they moved to the Grande Prairie area in 1929, while Elmer and two other siblings stayed with relatives. Elmer joined them in 1930 and attended the Twilight school. The family settled on a homestead in Crooked Creek where eventually there were 14 siblings. Elmer (and his brother Orval) joined the army, and Elmer was posted in Italy where he was killed in action on January 27, 1945. The quote on his gravestone reads: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Source: Smoky River to Grande Prairie p. 528
Across the Smoky p. 347 Roll of Honour
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Canadian Virtual War Memorial