Soldier Spotlight: Leading Seaman Alexander Swanson

Image: HMCS Bayfield was a minesweeper which patrolled the east coast from Boston to Halifax, dragging the ocean waters for mines planted by German U-boats. 1942 (SPRA 264.02)

Regimental Number: B 2869
Rank: Leading Seaman
Branch: Royal Navy

Alexander was born in Sangomore, Scotland on February 13, 1877. He began working as a fisherman at the age of 14, and joined the Royal Navy reserve in 1893 at the age of 16. On January 15, 1909, Alexander married Mrs. Swanson in Burghead, Scotland. During World War I, Alexander served on a minesweeper. He was on patrol duty in the Atlantic for some time; though he saw only very little of Canada during this time, it was enough to “file away for future reference.” After a few more years in the difficult life of a a fisherman, Alexander, his wife, and their children decided to move to Canada. They arrived in the South Peace in 1926, and filed on LT 2-77-5-W6 in 1930. He later abandoned this homestead, but purchased two other quarters that he farmed until 1950 – his 73rd birthday. His son took over the farm then, though Alexander and his wife continued to help on the farm until into their 80s. Alexander died in 1966.

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.