Soldier Spotlight: Leonhart Beck

Image: A bird’s-eye view of several buildings, including “H” huts on the Grande Prairie Army Training Centre grounds, ca. 1941 (SPRA 2011.44.40, Fonds 478)

Regiment: Canadian Armoured Corps
Postings: England, France, Germany, Holland
Rank: Sergeant

Born in Saskatchewan on October 26, 1920, Leonhart Beck was the son of Emil and Barbara Beck, and he had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. The family moved to Sexsmith AB a few years later, and in 1929 they settled in Bay Tree AB where Leonhart took his education by correspondence. In the 1930s he worked odd jobs, and in the early 1940s he enlisted with the Canadian Armoured Corps in WWII. First he trained in Grande Prairie, then he took a course on tank warfare in Ontario. Posted in London, England, he was in the Second Canadian Division, where he worked in armoured reconnaissance. He was wounded in action in September 1944 while in France, and returned to the front lines a month later. Then in Germany he was wounded again in February 1945, and returned to fight before the war was over. For six more months Leonhart was in Holland in postwar service. Back in Canada he returned to Bay Tree and purchased a quarter of land and built a house in 1947. In 1950 Leonhart married Caroline Sutherland, and they had 3 children: Bryan, Barbara, and Yvonne. They bought a half section of land in 1960. Leonhart was active in community affairs in Bay Tree, and with the school district of Many Creeks. Leonhart and Caroline moved to Sidney BC (Vancouver Island) to retire in 1975.
Source: Homesteader’s Heritage pp. 32-33
Photos pp. 32 and 33

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.