Fonds 556 F. M. Sanger-Davies fonds

F. M. Sanger Davies fonds. — 1939-1955. — 3 photographs. — 5 artistic drawings.

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Biographical Sketch

Florian Morgan Sanger-Davies was born in Florence, Italy in 1896, the son of Reverend and Mrs. Joseph Sanger-Davies. He was schooled in England and served as a lieutenant during World War I. He was seriously wounded and decorated for bravery. In May 1921, Morgan emigrated to Canada, studied agriculture at the Vermilian School of Agriculture, and purchased a farm north of Grande Prairie. On March 17, 1927, he married Mabel Edith Bridel of Lewes, England, the daughter of H. F. Bridel, at Hove, England. Morgan returned to the farm near Grande Prairie accompanied by his bride. In 1929, the marriage was annulled. Mabel appears in later records as living in England and died in September 1983.

Joyce Marian Astley Cave-Browne was born July 2, 1907 in Southwold, Suffolk, England, the daughter of William Charles Cave-Browne and Maude Alice Jones. Joyce was raised partially in India and partially in England. In 1922, Joyce immigrated to the Wembley area with her mother and sister, Selina (later Sela Watts). In 1928, Joyce returned to England, becoming an actress. On her return to Grande Prairie in 1933, she operated a circulating library in the Wembley community. She also attended the Grande Prairie Business College.

On December 4, 1934, Joyce and Morgan were married. They continued to live and work on Morgan’s farm. Their other pursuits included horticulture, acting, sketching, painting, skiing, and swimming. They also attended Christ Church Anglican in Grande Prairie, where Morgan served as a lay reader.

During World War II, Morgan again joined the army and was stationed at several POW camps across the country. Joyce and a hired man continued to run the farm in his absence, but eventually she rented the land out and joined her husband in Ontario, Lethbridge, and Banff, returning home after the War ended.

Continuing in the lay ministry after the war, Morgan decided to join the formal ministry. He was ordained deacon at St. James’ Cathedral (Peace River) in 1951, was incumbent at Emmanuel Church (Sexsmith), and was ordained in 1952, serving St. Andrew’s Anglican Church (Spirit River). In 1958, he was made a Canon and in 1959 was stationed at the Berwyn and Grimshaw churches.

Morgan Sanger-Davies died on January 4, 1963. Joyce became matron at St. Mary’s Hostel for young girls in Athabasca shortly thereafter. She was actively involved with her local congregation, as an organist, Sunday School teacher, and choir member. She was also active in the community, later teaching preschool and piano lessons, and helping at the senior citizen’s home. She developed Alzheimer’s and moved to a nursing home in Grande Prairie in December 1984. A year later, in November 1985, she died.

Sources: “Chepi Sepe”, Grande Prairie Herald, Northern Tribune, and Herald Tribune,

Custodial History

The records in this fonds were originally donated by Joan Yates, a niece of Mrs. Sanger-Davies, likely to Isabel Campbell. From there the records became part of Isabel Campbell’s collection and were part of a bequest to the Grande Prairie Public Library. The 5 ink sketches were transferred in accession 2013.48 to South Peace Regional Archives in August 2013 with a large collection of maps. The 3 photographs were transferred to the Archives in accession 2013.84 in October 2013 with the rest of Isabel’s photograph collection.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of three photographs and five pen sketches of the Grande Prairie area from ca. 1930 to 1955 including harvesting with a binder, 101st Street  and Christ Church Anglican in Grande Prairie, Bear Lake, the Smoky River Bridge, the Anglican Church float at the opening of the bridge, and the Dunvegan Ferry.


Title based on contents of the fonds.
Accession No.: 2013.48; 2013.84.

101 Street, Grande Prairie, [ca. 1940]
Creator: artwork
A pen sketch by Rev. F. M. Sanger-Davies of 101 Street, Grande Prairie, looking north from the railway tracks. The AGT building, water tower, and City Hall/Fire Hall, are visible in the foreground, and the spire of the Catholic church is visible in the background.
Location: 2013.048.31
Bear Lake, July 29, 1939
Creator: artwork
A pen sketch by Rev. F. M. Sanger-Davies of Bear Lake. Two boats and a dock are visible in the foreground.
Location: 2013.048.32
Christ Church, Grande Prairie, 1950
Creator: artwork
A pen sketch by Rev. F. M. Sanger-Davies of the interior of Christ Church Anglican, Grande Prairie. The drawing shows stained glass windows, the altar, pulpit, lectern, pews, and flags.
Location: 2013.048.33
Smoky Bridge, September 1950
Creator: artwork
A pen sketch by Rev. F. M. Sanger-Davies of the bridge over the Smoky River at Goodwin’s Crossing. The bridge was opened in 1949 and the old ferry tower and cable are still visible.
Location: 2013.048.34
Smoky River Bridge, September 28, 1949
Creator: artwork
A pen sketch by Rev. F. M. Sanger-Davies of the bridge over the Smoky River at Goodwin’s Crossing. The bridge was opened in August 1949.
Location: 2013.048.35
Harvesting with a Binder, [ca. 1930]
1 photograph; b & w; 5 x 7 in.
Harvesting with a binder and horses about three miles northwest of Grande Prairie.
Location: 0556.01
Anglican Church Float, 1949
1 photograph; b & w; 2 x 3.25 in.
The Anglican church float in the 1949 Smoky Bridge opening parade. The float is a model log church pulled by the Sunday School Mission van.
Location: 0556.02
Dunvegan Ferry, 1955
1 photograph; b & w; 3 x 3 in.
The Dunvegan Ferry over the Peace River. The Mission buildings on the north side of the river are visible in the background.
Location: 0556.03
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