Soldier Spotlight: Sergeant Charles Dorscheid

Image: Crystal Creek School, ca. 1950 (SPRA 0063.02.025.1)

Regiment: 7th/11th Hussars
Regimental No: M/45559
Rank: Sergeant
Force: RCAC (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps ?)
Grave Reference: VIII. C. 14

Charles Dorscheid, born in 1916, was the son of Mr and Mrs Anton Dorscheid. He moved with his parents and brothers (John, Arthur, and Earl) to the Glen Leslie district in Alberta from Windom, Minnesota in 1921. (Charles’ older sister had already moved to the area and was married to Herman Kimble.) Charles and his two older brothers attended school in Crystal Creek district. On December 2, 1939 Charles married Luella Myrtle Parrish, daughter of Charlie and Myrtle Parrish of Bezanson. He enlisted in the Southern Alberta Regiment in June 1940, and he and Luella moved to Camrose. In 1942 he joined the 7th/11th Hussars and was in the invasion forces to France. While posted in France, Charles was tragically killed in action on August 19, 1944, at age 28. By that time, Charles and Luella had a daughter. He was buried in the Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery in France. A memorial service for Charles was held in Glen Leslie on September 10, 1944. Luella remarried to Howard Johnson and had 4 more children. Charles’ brothers John and Earl also served in WW II.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Smoky River to Grande Prairie p. 53 (Parrish family stories)
p. 426 (Dorscheid family stories)
Herald Tribune – Dec. 7, 1939 (marries)
Aug. 31, 1944 (killed in action)
Sept. 7, 1944 (memorial service)

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.

Soldier Spotlight: George & Cecile MacKenzie

Image: excerpt from Cecile’s military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

George Fraser MacKenzie

Regimental Number: 2109822
Rank: Private
Branch: 8th Canadian Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps

Cecile Leonore McKibben MacKenzie

Rank: Nursing Sister
Branch: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Sister Reserve; Canadian Army Medical Corps


George was born in Hamilton, Ontario on November 9, 1891. He came to the Peace region over the Edson Trail in 1914 and filed on homesteads at 24-77-6-W6 and 19-77-5-W6. George enlisted in the Canadian army in February of 1917 and served for many months as an ambulance bearer in the trenches.

Cecile was born in Glanford, Ontario on August 2, 1883. She enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps in March of 1918, having resigned from the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Sister Reserve. Cecile served in the following hospitals:

-No. 13 and 14 General Hospitals (France, March 1917 until March 1918, prior to enlisting in the Canadian army)
-No. 15 Canadian General Hospital (Clivedon, England)
-No. 10 Canadian General Hospital (Brighton, England)

Cecile’s British records state that she was “a good surgical nurse, but slow. Very reliable and conscientious. And most kind to the patients.”

On November 11, 1919, Cecile married George MacKenzie. They had met at a military hospital in England while George was convalescing. The couple had two children. George enlisted in the Air Force in 1941; Cecile joined him in Ontario where he was stationed. Son Hugh and daughter Virginia both joined the Air Force as well; Hugh was killed in action in 1944. George and Cecile returned to the South Peace after the war, where she filed on SW 24-77-6-W6. Cecile died in 1954 and was buried in the White Mountain Cemetery. George continued to farm until 1959, then moved to Vancouver to live with his daughter and her family. George died in 1977.

Sources: Memories & Moments p. 111

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.

Soldier Spotlight: Gordon Donaldson

Image: D. Coy 49th Grande Prairie Loyal Edmonton Regiment, 1944 (SPRA 2014.039.12)

Regiment: Service Corps, Loyal Edmonton
Regimental No: L108077

Gordon Donaldson was born on March 11, 1922 in Saskatchewan. At age 21 he joined the army. He was a soldier in training in Red Deer for 2 months. On Thanksgiving 1944 he left by train to go overseas for one year. Sailing on the H.M.S. Mauritania, he arrived in England where he was the Service Corps, and then in Infantry training. After leaving England, he transferred to the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, and served on the static front in Italy (on the front line, Germans on one side and Canadians on the other). Next he was moved to Holland where he was a radio operator. For a while Gordon was carrying Red Cross equipment (after the stretcher bearer was killed). He continued in Communications before he was drafted into Reserve Occupation army as Leave Personnel driver. In October 1945 he was discharged, sailing back to Canada on the H.M.S. Elle La France. While Gordon was in England, he proposed to a young lady he met in Red Deer, and they corresponded by mail. Anne Nielson and Gordon were married on June 14, 1946 in Red Deer. The couple’s first home was in Qu’Appelle Valley where Gordon’s family lived. A few years later (around 1949) they moved to Red Deer, lived in various homes, and Gordon held various jobs – farming, garage work, working at Red Deer Creamery, and Alberta Nurseries. The latter job involved travelling to the Peace River Country, and in 1952 Gordon filed on a half section with the Lassiter Project north of Eaglesham. The Donaldsons homesteaded for 7 years before they moved into the hamlet of Eaglesham in 1952. In 1963 Gordon took auto mechanic training at NAIT in Edmonton, and he also earned a certificate in welding. He bought an old mechanics garage in 1965, and was able to build a new garage (Donaldson’s Garage) in 1970. Being an avid antique collector, Gordon had a small museum at his business, and he rebuilt a 1927 model T Ford truck. Gordon was a member of the Peace Region Archaeological Society. Anne and Gordon had 4 children: David, Donna, Gregory, and Irma.

Source: Smoky Peace Triangle pp. 192-194 (photos)
SPRA Family and Personal Life Reference Files: “Tales from Mama’s Kitchen” by Anna Donaldson (photos in mid-section)

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.

Soldier Spotlight: Private Arthur Buck

Image: Arthur Buck writes, “One of the steamers I came up here on. It is at Athabaska Landing, Alberta, 1911.” (SPRA 298.17)

Regimental Number: 101075
Rank: Private
Branch: 66th Battalion; 49th Battalion

Arthur Buck was born December 11, 1889. He filed on N.W. 33-72-8 on Dec 12, 1911. He enlisted in the Canadian army on 22 July, 1915 and served in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. Arthur received a gunshot wound to his left forearm at the Somme on October 11, 1916. He died at the No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station on November 1, 1917 from shrapnel wounds in the chest and shoulders and is buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium. Arthur’s grave marker is inscribed with “It is not death but sleep.”

Arthur Buck in hospital, 1916 (SPRA 298.38)

Arthur Buck makes a bear cub stand on its hind legs, ca. 1912 (SPRA 298.16)

 

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.

The Sawdust Fusiliers

Image: A group of six men traveling by horse and wagon from Grande Prairie to Athabasca to enlist with the R.N.W.M.P. at the beginning of WWI.  Harlie Conrad, who later served with the CFC, is at the far left.  1914 (SPRA 356.03.08)

With Remembrance Day just around the corner, we’re revisiting a past Telling Our Stories article about the Canadian Forestry Corps in World War I. This article was contributed by Archives volunteer Kaylee Dyck and appeared in the March 2020 issue. Kaylee researched First World War veterans of the South Peace in order to complete the Archives’ online World War I Soldier’s Memorial.

Forests play a crucial role in Canada’s history and economy. In times of war, this has been particularly true; after all, 40% of Canada is wooded land. During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain imported tremendous amounts of timber from Canada to build up the Royal Navy. When the Great War began, Britain wanted not only the timber, but Canada’s lumbermen as well.

At the start of the war, timber was shipped across the Atlantic. However, limited space aboard existing ships and the threat of U-boat attacks prompted change. In February of 1916, the British government requested that 1,500 skilled lumbermen be sent from Canada to harvest forests in England and Scotland (and, later, in France). The 224th Battalion produced its first sawn lumber in England within three months. It soon became apparent that more than one battalion would be needed to keep up with the demands of war. On November 14, 1916, the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) was officially established. By the end of the war, the CFC was a force of over 30,000 men, including some foreign labourers and German POWs.

When the CFC was first formed, the army preferred experienced men like Jack Cummins, who homesteaded between Sexsmith and La Glace after the war.  Jack had been logging in British Columbia when he decided to join the CFC, and he was assigned to a company in France. In August 1918, he was one of 1,300 forestry men who volunteered for active service in aid of the final push that led to the end of the war.

As the war dragged on, the CFC needed more and more men. Men previously deemed unfit for active service at the front lines were now welcomed to the CFC. Many lied about their age, desperate to “do their bit.” William Paige of East Pouce Coupe gave his age as 17 when he enlisted, and though the recruitment officer believed him to be even younger, William was able to join the CFC. At the opposite end of the spectrum were those who were overage but unwilling to let the young fellows do all the work. Omer Dupont of Goodfare was 54 years of age when he was enlisted (he claimed to be ten years younger). Omer served with the CFC until April of 1918, despite suffering from rheumatism. Herman Klukas was transferred to the Corps after sustaining injuries at Passchendaele and Ypres. Flat feet and the lingering effects of a gas attack landed Walter Bowen, a Beaverlodge farmer, in the Forestry Corps. This motley crew of the too-young, too-old, and injured would disprove the critics and become the backbone of the Allied effort.

The CFC produced an estimated 70% of all Allied lumber during the war. This lumber was used to construct trenches, duck boards, telegraph poles, troop shelters, ammunition boxes, aircraft, guns, rail lines, bridges, roads, and countless other necessities of war. The CFC operated 151 logging camps in Britain and France, and was made up almost entirely of Canadian men, machinery, and methods. In most cases, locals greatly admired these hardworking lumbermen. The press described them as having “the bronzed, healthy look and the easy confident swing which we have learned to look for in Canadians.” The royals too were great supporters of the Forestry Corps; Princess Anne acted as an informal patron, and King George V donated Windsor Great Forest to the war effort.

Over time, the CFC became more sophisticated. In 1917, the CFC began to farm its own plots of land in order to become more self-sufficient, rather than taking valuable rations away from those at the front. Also that year, a training camp was opened for the men who had no previous experience in the logging industry. No amount of training or experience, however, could prevent accidents. Two South Peace men, Herbert Stewart and Thomas Rice, sustained injuries while serving with the CFC. Herbert joined the Forestry Corps in England after receiving shrapnel wounds and showing signs of shell shock. In March of 1918, a log fell from a wagon onto his leg, causing a serious fracture and resulting in a permanent limp. Thomas’s injury was less serious; he slipped on ice and his foot became “jammed between the log and the carriage and the skidway.”

By the end of the war, at least 75 men from the South Peace region had served with the Forestry Corps. For some, serving in the CFC marked the beginning of a new path in life. George Nowry, once a barber, used the skills he had learned during the war to take over a sawmill in Grande Prairie in 1921. Researchers can visit the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial to learn about Nowry and others who served in the Canadian Forestry Corps. A list of local CFC veterans can be viewed on the Archives’ blog.

Without the work of the Canadian Forestry Corps, the Allies would have suffered from a serious lack of supplies. The outcome of the war might have been very different without their efforts. While most of those who served far behind the front lines were spared from the atrocities that the soldiers in the trenches witnessed, the labour and dedication of these Sawdust Fusiliers was no less significant.

In 1915, Herman Klukas enlisted in the 66th Battalion of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment for World War I. This photograph was taken while he was serving in France, in 1917. (SPRA 635.01.01)

Soldier Spotlight: Tony Doll

Image: Fairview Outlaw, Wheatbelt Champions. Front Row: L-R Dale Fleming, Dale Yurka, Cliff Wagner, Don Fox, Toni Doll. Back row: L-R Al Peterson, Ken Fox, Buster Kuntz, Mel Watchorn, Jim Fox, Pat Friedel, Jim Landry, Coach Father Loren. 1963 (SPRA 2009.041.01)

Regiment: First Ammunition Corps, 85th Bridge Corps

Tony Doll, son of Frank and Katie Doll, was born in 1918 and raised in Waterhole, AB (near Fairview. In 1940 he was in military training in Grande Prairie for 2 months, and again in 1941 he took 2 months of training. Enlisting shortly afterwards, he was recruited for active service overseas, but first he went to Red Deer for advanced training. On March 5, 1942 he boarded the train to Halifax, and went to Scotland by ship. From there another train took him to England. By June, Tony hauled ammunition to various outfits with the First Ammunition Corps. He was on-stand for 72 hours during the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942, meaning that he was ready to go if called, but the call never came. Changing course, he took 2 months of driver mechanics training, and joined the 85th Bridge Corps. His platoon continued training until the second front opened on June 5, 1943, and the men were under shell fire. For months they pushed on to new locations in France. When the war ended, Tony returned to Canada, arriving at home on October 14, 1945. A month later he was discharged in Calgary. Next, Tony was eager to acquire a quarter of land through the Veteran’s Land Act. Before he started farming, he took a course on farming methods in Red Deer. On October 28, 1947 he married his neighbour’s daughter from Waterhole, Frances Heck. Since he needed lumber to build a house on his new land, Tony worked at a sawmill for one winter. They moved into their house in 1948. In the following years, Tony and Frances had 9 children: James, Charles, Mary and Marilyn (twins), Bernice, Bill, Ben, Elaine, and David. In 1959, the Dolls bought another farm in Twilight (S. 3-72-5-W6) and moved there. Another move happened in 1966 near Grande Prairie where they built a bigger house. Tony worked for Wapiti Sand and Gravel, Cockshutt Equipment, and a plywood company. He passed away in September 1998 at age 79 in Grande Prairie. Frances died in October 2015.

Source: Smoky River to Grande Prairie pp. 538 – 541
SPRA Family and Personal Life Reference Files – Obituary of Frances Doll
AGS Website – Obituary Index

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.

Soldier Spotlight: Sergeant George Hollingworth

Image: The Teepee Creek Stampede showing chuck wagon races, ca. 1948 (SPRA 2009.023.08)

Regimental Number: 14727
Rank: Sergeant
Branch: Fort Garry Horse; Corps of Military Police

George “Rusty” was born in Eckington, Derbyshire, England on August 17, 1890. In 1905 he came to Canada alone to join his brother in Winnipeg. He enlisted in the Canadian army in Valcartier in September of 1914. In September of 1915, Rusty felt foreign matter in right eye, he was unsure if it was dirt or piece of shell (the incident took place at Armentieres). He was sent to England in November and the doctor found that he had an ulcer caused by the presence of the foreign matter. Rusty spent a few months in hospital as a result and afterward served with military police in England. In 1919 Rusty filed on a homestead in the Teepee Creek area (7-74-3-W6 and 17-74-3-W6). A year later, in 1920, Rusty and his wife Gladys came by train to Sexsmith and settled on their homestead. Rusty was president of the Teepee Creek Stampede for a number of years, and in the 1940s trained 16 local girls who became known as the Teepee Creek Riding Girls. Rusty died on July 19, 1981.

Sources: Wagon Trails Grown Over, p. 1147, 906, Buffalo Trails p. 261; see articles in surname files

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.

Soldier Spotlight: James Harper Dodge

Image: Spirit River School, 1930 (SPRA 107.10)

Regiment: 426 Squadron
Regimental No: J/21046
Force: RCAF

Jim Dodge, born in 1923, was the only child of Freeman James and Edith Catherine (McKinnon) Dodge who owned the Dodge-Harper Hardware store in Spirit River AB. They lived on a farm near the town, and Jim attended school in Spirit River. According to an article in the GP Herald, Jim was a “fine upstanding son.” After graduating in 1941, Jim joined the air force and served in active duty in England. On January 28, 1944 he was “missing in action”, and in March 1944 he was “presumed dead”. Sadly, his body was never found. In his last letter to his parents Jim wrote, “Berlin’s no picnic.” Jim’s name is commemorated among 20,450 other Canadian air force veterans who have no known grave, on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, UK.

Source: Chepi Sepe pp. 365 – 366 (Family story and photo); p. 184 (photo)
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
SPRA – Family and Personal Life Reference Files – Obituaries of Freeman and Edith, GP Herald Old Timer’s Historical Edition 1934

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.

Fire on the Farm

Image: Wanham’s Main Street in 1931 (SPRA 018.03.50)

The following excerpt was taken from the diary of Maria Wozniak.  Maria’s diary was originally written in Polish, and has been translated and transcribed by her son Mathew.  Here she writes about the Wanham-Codesa fire of October 22, 1942.

My husband is in much pain.  The next night he can’t sleep because of the pain in his leg.  October 22, 1942, the owner of the sawmill was driving to the mill in the bush and stopped in to visit us.  It was as if the Lord sent him.  Seeing him, I asked Mr. James Emerson if he could take Antoni to a doctor.  He looked at the leg and said that in Tangent, there was a government nurse and he would take Antoni to her.  In a while, we both took Antoni by the arms and led him to the half ton automobile.

Before harvest, my husband built a small pigpen from round trees about 16 x 16 feet and the threshing machine blew straw over it.  In the pen was a door about 4 x 4 feet.  Inside the pen was spread straw and so prepared a place for our sows and other animals for the winter.  1942 was dry and the fall was without rain.

Mr. Emerson took my husband to the east to Tangent about 20 miles and in the west there began to appear clouds of smoke.  I stood the sick cow “Masia” on her feet.  I dropped her a bundle of hay for her to eat.

Fear overtook me about the fire from which so many times I defended our property.  The first thing was to harness the horses to the plow and make a fire guard in the field to the west of our buildings so the fire does not come here.  Quickly we achieved this task and were ready to plow.  Our Eddy did not go to school that day so I took him to the neighbors to the east, Hrishuks, asking them to watch over our son.  Fortunately, at the time I was plowing the fire guard, Bill Sanoski came over and took over the plowing.  The wind came up about noon and then came approaching danger.  While Bill plowed I went with fast steps to where there was a low place where water gathered in the spring, by that place we had dug a well and got some water.  Then I went to the barn and chased the cow and calf out.  From the west the fire is coming closer.  Already we can see the leaping flames.  I ran around like a lunatic, I have very little chance of saving anything.

I take out of the house anything I can carry to the garden.  Then came frightening wind like it was a storm.  Mr. Sanoski is doing everything he can and keeps plowing.  The fire jumped over in a few places and the whole field is burning.  All the pigs are running to their pen where there is much straw.  I poured full their troughs with feed that was farther away from the pens.  The hogs went to eat because they were hungry.  Soon they were ready to return to their pens.  I had armed myself with a good stick and stood in the doorway, our two dogs helped me.  I know for sure that the straw pile is on fire from the flying sparks.  Everywhere there was fire and smoke and it’s hard to breathe.

Smoke is hurting my lungs and I am tired.  I go to the garden and kneel looking at the burning buildings and granaries with grain in them.  The view is frightening and the wind goes like crazy.  Seeing the fire, people from the district gathered and began to save our neighbour.  They stood in a row, both men and women with wet sacks began to extinguish the fire against the wind and in that way saved our neighbours’ buildings.  With digging and plowing they were able to save them all.  This was the neighbour where our son was staying at.

My husband and Mr. Emerson returned and did not recognize the place.  The fire had taken our harvested crop.  Somehow our new unfinished house was saved.  On that memorable night we sat at our neighbours, Mr. Paupst’s place.  Here, too, the neighbours helped save the buildings.  People that were built to the west of our place, like Tom Bergeron Bouchard, Soquet, Fred Lewis, Wojenski, and Scott and many others, not only lost their buildings but lost livestock.

At 5:00 in the evening, the police came to see if anyone had lost their lives and how bad were the losses.  We lost practically no animals.  There were 110 hogs and the cattle were in the pasture where there was not enough grass for the fire to go.  In the evening rain began to fall and the ground was covered with snow in the morning of the 23 of October.

A note from Maria’s son, Mathew Wozniak:

The fire started some place in Wanham and a matter of a few hours went about 10 miles.  Daughter Cecelia was with Bill plowing the fire guard.  She said that they were in an open field and flames singed the horses’ manes.  In those days, bundles were hauled in to be threshed so there was very little to burn, just the stubble.  The granaries that were full of grain burned and the grain spilled into a cone and kept smoldering.  It was important to keep the livestock from getting to these grain piles.  A gallon of grain eaten by an animal that had been on grass would most likely kill it.  All land clearing at that time was done with axe, saw, and grub hoe, piled and burned so fires getting away were a common problem.

This article was originally featured in the March 2019 issue of Telling Our Stories.

Soldier Spotlight: Major John Anderson

Image: note about John’s Military Cross from his military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 1958
Rank: Major
Branch: 19th Alberta Dragoons; 5th Battalion

John was born on January 19, 1885 in Glasgow, Scotland. He filed on a homestead at 22-74-8-W6 in 1914, but joined up later that year. John was awarded the Military Cross on October 8, 1915 “For conspicuous gallantry near Messines on 8th October, 1915, when he went out with Private Wythe to a German sap. Lieutenant Anderson entered the sap, and Private Wythe crept along the edge. They met and shot two Germans, exchanged shots with three others, and brought back the rifles of the men they had killed. Next day they returned to the sap, and attacked another party of Germans, who retired, leaving a clock, some bombs, a periscope, etc., behind. These they brought in. Much valuable information was gained.” On April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge, John received shrapnel wounds to his left jaw, which chipped the bone, and also to his neck. He was killed in action at Passchendaele on November 10, 1917, the final day of a 102-day battle.

Sources: Buffalo Trails p. 220

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.