Fonds 194 Edward Heller fonds


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1914-1976. — 70 pp. — 3 photographs. — 1 artistic drawings.

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Biographical Sketch

Edward Joseph Heller was born in Iowa in 1889. Ed came to Saskatchewan in 1913 , where he drove a 60 HP gas tractor pulling a breaking plow. He soon teamed up with Fred Colette and Kenneth Murray walking over the Edson Trail. He worked for Oliver Johnson for the winter, then filed on the Sammy Johnson place on April 2, 1914 and enlisted in the 66th Infantry for World War I. He was discharged in 1919 and took up Free Grant land that had been abandoned. Ed married Laura Davis in 1920. In 1926, because of a war injury Ed had sustained, they rented out their farm and moved to White Rock. They returned in the fall of 1930 to resume farming and built a two-story house on the Beaverlodge River. They had four children: Robert, a farm manager at Vermilion Agricultural College married Muriel Fulton; Marion, a teacher married to Vernon Hill in Beaverlodge; Edna, a secretary, married Stanley Sparkes, R.A.F. settling in Beaverlodge after World War II; Beth married Bruce MacDonell and lives in Drumheller.

Ed was always athletic He competed as a wrestler and a runner while in military service and in local sports days during two years with the Veteran’s Guard during World War II. He served on the Appleton School Board, the Divisional School Board, and was active in the U.F.A. and the Legion.

Custodial History

The collection was preserved by Edna Sparkes, daughter of Edward Heller and donated to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2005. An accrual to the fonds was donated by daughter Marion Hill in 2011.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of a copy of a handwritten memoir of his World War I experiences, a scanned postcard photograph of Edward Heller, a framed print of Vimy Ridge, and two framed copies of photographs of World War I trenches. An accrual consists of a soldier training certificate (1916), a copy of his attestation papers and his application in 1919 for a Soldier Settlement Grant.

View a digitized copy of Edward’s memoirs here, and a transcription here.



Edward Heller, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 4
Edward Heller photographed in his WW1 uniform.
Location: 0194.01
WW1 Troops Sitting in a Trench, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
The photograph shows soldiers, some injured, sitting in mud behind a trench wall. One is holding a stretcher, two men each have one arm in a sling.
Location: 0194.02
WW1 Troops Trudging Across a Muddy Field, 1916
1 photograph; b & w; 8 x 10
The photograph shows soldiers in the distance walking along a wired barricade through a very muddy field.
Location: 0194.03
Vimy Ridge War Memorial, 1990 c.
1 framed print; colour; 10 x 18
This is a painting of Vimy Ridge where Edward was with the 49th Battalion, Canadian Army. Vimy Ridge was taken from the Germans on Easter Monday, 1917.
Location: 0194.04
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