Image: Street view of Spirit River, showing several businesses, including H. H. McLeod Hardware, A. W. Davies Meat Market, W. Wade Real Estate, Insurance and Notary Public, and Spirit Hardware. The photograph appears to have been contributed by Percy H. Jones of McLennan, Alberta. 1917 (SPRA 032.08.08.1002)
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.
Matt was born November 1, 1897 in Sarni, Ukraine. At the age of 18, he joined the Austrian army as the Ukraine was under Austrian rule at that time. He served in Italy, then in the area between Russia and Rumania, and finally on the front lines during the 1918 revolution. Matt was captured by the Polish army and was a prisoner of war at Scholkova. In June of 1926, Matt arrived in Halifax. From there he came west and eventually settled in the Peace River area in 1930. Matt married Anne Solomiany in 1932. They had two daughters. In 1976 they sold their homestead and moved into Spirit River. Matt died on May 24, 1992 and was buried in Spirit River.
Sources: The Big Bend, p. 151; Chepi Sepe p. 497