Soldier Spotlight: The Bostock Brothers

Image: An item from Neville’s military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Edward Lyon Bostock

Regimental Number: Second Lieutenant
Rank: 13778
Branch: The Duke of Edinburgh’s (Wiltshire Regiment); Princess Charlotte’s of Wales (Royal Berkshire Regiment), 4th Battalion; Royal Sussex Regiment

Edward was born in Horsham, Sussex, England on November 9, 1886. He and his brother Neville came to the South Peace in 1913; Edward filed on SW 22-80-14-W6. When the First World War broke out, Edward returned to England to serve in the British Army. He was wounded twice, the first time just ten days after landing in France in March/April of 1915. Two years later, in April of 1917, Edward was leading his men in an attack on three villages at the Somme. He was wounded in action and taken to the hospital at Bray. Edward died on April 5, 1917. Five of his brothers also served in the war, and two more were killed, including Neville.

Neville Stanley Bostock
Regimental Number: 117155; 6254

Rank: Private; Second Lieutenant
Branch: 12th Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles; Royal Field Artillery

Neville was born in Horsham, Sussex, England on April 6, 1888. In 1913, he and his brother Edward came to the South Peace; Neville filed on SE 21-80-14-W6. He joined the RNWMP on September 15, 1914 and served for one year. In September of 1915, he enlisted in the Canadian Army. Neville was discharged in January of 1916 on appointment to Commission in Royal Field Artillery. On April 22, 1917 near Arras, Neville was killed instantly by the explosion of an enemy shell. His major wrote to his mother saying, “He is a great loss as an officer and is dreadfully missed. His knowledge of horseflesh and horsemanship made him invaluable.” The Captain of his Battery wrote to his parents, “Your son was always cheery and capable and I miss him more than I can say.” Five of his brothers served in the war, two more of whom were killed, including Edward.

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.

Movie Monday: Farming

Image: A film still showing a combine in the field, circa 1954 (SPRA 449.01.08, Fonds 449: Foster Family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie

Welcome back to Movie Monday! Today’s film offers a spectacular look at life on a farm in the mid-1950s. Not only do we see a wide variety of farm machinery at work, such as tractors, combines, grain trucks, and a very early model of a self-propelled swather, but we also see much of the labour that goes on behind-the-scenes, away from the fields, to establish and maintain a working farm.

Raymond and Iva Foster specialized in raising purebred Herefords and seed crops. As their efforts were met with success, they were able to add to their operation new machinery and a new barn (the construction of the barn can be seen in this film). Horticulture was also part of their rural lifestyle, as evidenced by the tilling of a garden and a close-up of Iva’s flowering bush. Maintenance of the gardens, yard, buildings, and machines would have been an ongoing project.

Without a doubt, weather would also have played a significant role in the Fosters’ lives. The temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind would all have been a factor in the success – or failure – of the crops. In the winter, snow and cold were always an obstacle, and seem to have been especially so during the winter of 1955-1956! This film shows the Fosters clearing both rural roads and sidewalks in town; after the road has been opened, the snow banks rise well above the top of the car!

Farmers in the ‘50s and ‘60s faced many challenges, but they also lived in an era that saw significant breakthroughs take place in the world of agricultural research and innovation.

From the Vault Friday: Floral Sketches


Image: SPRA 547.05

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features pencil sketches from the Olaf Vekved fonds (Fonds 547).

Olaf Vekved (Wekved) was born in Norway, and came to Canada in 1910. He arrived with his brother George and settled at Tofield, Alberta, where another brother, Ingebrigt, had settled in 1909. In 1913, George moved north to the Peace Country. Olaf followed in 1915, but chose land further north, on NW 5-75-8-W6 in the Northfield area, where a number of other Norwegian families were settling. They were joined that same year by brother Ingebrigt, who had skied up over the Edson Trail, and filed north east of La Glace. In 1924-1925, Olaf’s father, and then the rest of the family, also arrived from Norway and settled in the La Glace district. It appears that Olaf never married. From the records, we see that he was a gifted artist. He farmed in the Northfield district until ca. 1960. He died in 1969, at the age of 82, and is buried in Norden Cemetery, 1 mile east of La Glace.

The records were deposited in South Peace Regional Archives in 2013 by Judy Hopkins who found them in an old farmhouse they purchased two miles north and 2 miles east of La Glace. It appears this home once belonged to the Vekved family, and it is presumed the records were given to the family after Olaf’s death in 1969.

Read more about the Olaf Vekved fonds (fonds 547) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Soldier Spotlight: Margaret Stanton Weaver

Margaret Stanton was born in St. Alban’s, England and joined the Field Army Nursing Yeomanry in 1938. She drove an ambulance and ration truck during the War and later was employed taking away gun emplacements and transporting prisoners of war. She met Art at a USO show put on by the American army and they were married in Aldershot on January 23, 1946. Their son, Ken, was born that same year and after Art left for Canada, she and Ken boarded the Queen Mary with thousands of other brides and children for their trip to Canada. They lived near Cadogan, Alberta and later moved to Grande Prairie. She never went back to England.

Margaret Weaver, SPRA 259.03.01

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.

 

Movie Monday: Wedding and Boating

Image: A film still showing a bride and groom’s car (SPRA 0253.01.01, Fonds 253: Jerry Stojan family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

It’s time for Movie Monday! Today we are sharing a film from the Jerry Stojan family fonds, featuring scenes of a wedding, as well as an outdoor expedition. This is one of many 8mm films from the Stojan family fonds that is dated circa 1961.

As we share our film collection with you, we are taking the utmost care to protect the integrity of the films. This means we do minimal (if any) editing, letting the original content speak for itself. Today’s video is an excellent example of the procedure undergone by most of our films.

Upon acquisition, the condition of each reel of film is evaluated by the archivist. Categories on the examination form include smell, general condition, film base, and footage (length). In this case, the film had a musty smell but was deemed in good general condition. The 3” reel of 8mm acetate film contained 50 feet of film, which amounted to approximately three minutes and forty-five seconds of video. This film had no sound track.

The film reels are then sent to an audio-visual media technician and film conservator where they receive a more comprehensive examination and are cleaned and repaired if necessary. The only foreign matter found on this film was a bit of dust and dirt. Film conservators also have the technology needed to digitize archival film. While all possible measures are taken to preserve the original reels, digitization allows the films to be preserved for a much longer period of time and makes them much more accessible for viewing – and that is what Movie Monday is all about!

Finally, as the videos were being prepared for our YouTube channel, the only edits performed were the removal of long portions of blank film reel and the addition of title and credit slides at the beginning and end of each video. In a few cases, sound was muted on YouTube for copyright reasons, but no visual content was removed. What you see in the films on our channel is exactly what the creator intended for you to see!

From the Vault Friday: Easter Card

Image: SPRA 1993.01.01.262

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an Easter card from the Billy Salmond fonds (Fonds 043). William McCasuland “Billy” Salmond was born in 1889, in Ontario. He received his education there, attending the Kingston Business College in 1910. Following college, he worked his way west, arriving in the town of Grande Prairie in 1911.

Upon his arrival in Grande Prairie, Billy was hired to manage the primitive Bredin Hotel because of his genial manner and his cooking skills, but he saw the need for better hotel accommodations, and in 1912 built his own hotel. Mr. Salmond also farmed and kept herds of cattle in the Grande Prairie area.

Read more about the Billy Salmond fonds (fonds 043) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.

Close Contact at the Archives

We are pleased to announce the launch of our newest virtual exhibition: Close Contact at the Archives. This multimedia experience highlights the ongoing work at the Archives during the pandemic closure to preserve our local heritage. Close Contact features archival film, textual records, photographs, and oral history from the collections of the Archives. Enjoy from the comfort of your own home! Click the image below to enter the exhibit.
Enter the exhibit button

Happy Easter!

SPRA 676.02.02.03.023a

SPRA 676.02.02.03.011a

 

The Archives will be closed April 2-5 for Easter. In the meantime, enjoy this cheery selection of Easter cards from the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676).

Ora Curtis Grimm was born on January 26, 1899 in Lynch, Nebraska. His early education took place at Grimton School, which was named after the family. In 1911, the family moved to Trossacks, Saskatchewan where he finished his education. He went on to complete the Automobile and Gas Tractor Engineer program at Hemphills Trade School Ltd. in Regina in 1920. The family moved to the Spirit Valley District (NE of Spirit River) then to Rycroft. Ora farmed with his father, eventually buying land from Doc Calkin, P.J. Nigel, and Revillion, as well as his father’s land when Lorenzo passed away in 1950.

The Vader and Grimm families came together with the marriage of Ora Grimm to Edith Vader on July 6, 1943. Ora was 44 and Edith 29 when they married. They lived and farmed 2 miles west of Rycroft, Alberta. Ora and Edith had three children: Norma Jean born in 1944, Elnor May born in 1945, and Ray Curtis Bryan born in 1950. Ora died on October 18, 1965 and Edith on January 1, 2011. Ray took over the farm several years after his father, Ora, passed away. Elnor passed away in 2017.

SPRA 676.02.02.03.011b

 

Read more about the Vader-Grimm Family fonds (fonds 676) here.

View a selection of photos from the Vader-Grimm family on Alberta On Record here.

 

Soldier Spotlight: Sapper Robert Kater

Regimental Number: 505882
Rank: Sapper
Branch: 1st Tunnelling Company, Canadian Engineers

Robert was born in May of 1884 in France. He was working as a stonemason in Grande Prairie at the time of his enlistment in August of 1916. Robert was buried under 16 feet of earth when a tunnel he was working in was bombarded by German shells. During his recovery in Brocklan, Robert met Anna Edith Card, whom he married in London in 1918. In January of 1919, they returned to Grande Prairie. A lung condition caused by gassing during the war necessitated a move to a warmer climate, and the Kater family moved to Victoria. Robert died in Victoria on March 14, 1943.

Sources: Along the Wapiti p. 158

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.

Movie Monday: Boat Construction and River Trips

Image: A film still showing an outing on the Wapiti Queen (SPRA 1974.74.22M, Fonds 138: Griff James fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s film tells the story of a riverboat, the Wapiti Queen, presumably built by Griff James circa 1963. The film begins by showing the boat in its very beginning stages of construction and by the end of the film we have seen the boat embark on a number of voyages.

Griff James was an avid outdoorsman and obviously enjoyed carpentry as well. The Wapiti Queen was built by hand from beginning to end. A few minutes into the film, the launching of the Wapiti Queen is shown – an auspicious occasion celebrated with friends. Though conditions appear favourable as the boat launches, shortly thereafter we see scenes of ice in the river, indicating that the building of the boat was a winter project and Griff was eager to test the boat as soon as possible!

The Wapiti Queen’s maiden voyage was a success and the remainder of the film documents the many journeys the James family embarked upon. The trips appear to be of a leisurely nature, though at one point rapids are traversed, and picnics in the sun and fishing along the shore are all part of the experience.

A number of the videos featured on Movie Monday contain scenes of riverboating trips, but this is the only film to show the construction of a boat, making it quite a unique addition to our collection!