Soldier Spotlight: Fred Darnton

Image: Fred Darnton sits with a small boy on a front step, possibly of a store, 1935 (SPRA 116.09.01.02.022). Cropped.

Regiment: Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

Englishman Fred Darnton once camped out on the property of David and Margaret Dana near the junction of the Simonette and Smoky Rivers. It was the fall of 1930, and he was only passing through the area. He had nothing but the clothes he was wearing, and stayed overnight by his campfire. After investigation by the family and neighbors, Fred, “the crazy young guy”, soon came to be a close friend of the Danas and was like a son and brother to them. Fred filed on a homestead for $10 (SW2-72-2-W6) on December 23, 1930 and lived in the Goodwin area for the next twenty years. During the Second World War, he enlisted with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and was posted overseas. Fred was severely wounded during the D-Day landings in June 1944 and returned to Canada after the war. Eventually he found a job with the Department of Highways where he worked for 25 years.

Source: Across the Smoky p. 347 – name in Roll of Honour; p. 24; p. 140-141

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this 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.