From the Vault Friday: Soldier Land Grant

Image: SPRA fonds 589

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features an Attestation for Soldier Grant Entry form from the Donald Gordon Morrison fonds (Fonds 589).

Donald “Gordon” Morrison was born in Pipestone, Manitoba on April 14, 1896 to John D. Morrison and Katherine McKenzie. Gordon and his siblings John, Jean, Alex, Catherine, Melvina and Jessie all grew up in the rural community of Pipestone. He was working there as a clerk when he enlisted in the 200th Canadian Battalion at Camp Hughes, Manitoba on July 12, 1916 as Pte. D.G. Morrison #922617. He served in the 11th Reserve Bn based at Seaforth Camp, Sussex England, then in the 43rd Can. Bn. (Cameron Highlanders) in France. On his discharge certificate, dated March 24, 1919, he is listed as 22 years of age, 5′ 6″ tall, with blue eyes and fair hair.

After the war Gordon made his way back to Pipestone and spent some time with his family. His brother Alex had settled in the Morinville area and Gordon farmed with him. Although he enquired regarding land via the Soldiers Settlement Board soon after the war, it was not until November 30, 1929 that he filed on Section 26, Township 87, Range 9, West of the 6th Meridian in the Worsely area. By then he had moved from Morinville to Grande Prairie.

Gordon also worked as a truck driver, and one of his hobbies was horse racing. He never married and passed away October 17, 1976 in Dawson Creek, B.C.

Read more about the Donald Gordon Morrison fonds (Fonds 589) 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.

From the Vault Friday: Postcard

Images: SPRA fonds 164

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a postcard from the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164).

Gabriel (Gaby) Rene Basly was born on March 28, 1885 in Gennevilliers (Seine-St. Denis), France, a district on the Northern edge of Paris. In 1907 he immigrated to Canada with his sister Blanch Pivert and her family. Gaby and the Pivert family took out homesteads in Big Valley, Alberta, about 67 km east of Innisfail. In August 1914, Gaby was informed by the French Consulate that he should report for mobilization with his army corps, so with several other young men from Big Valley who were also French, he made his way back to France to “save the motherland.” It was in the Battle of Verdun that Gaby earned his “Croix de Guerre,” an award for bravery. In April 1917, he was granted permission to travel back to Canada on a three-week leave.

Gaby never went back to the war. His relatives and friends from Big Valley, who had also returned to France at the outbreak of the war had all decided that they would be fools to return. They had given three years of their lives and lost many good friends and former neighbours from Big Valley.

Gaby settled back into farming, and in 1926 headed for Grande Prairie with the Pivert family to start a new life. There he acquired many horses, working the land with them in the summer and hauling coal in the winter. He also worked as a “Bull Cook” for a lumber camp at Big Mountain.

Read more about the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164) here.

View a selection of photos from the Gabriel Basly fonds (fonds 164) on Alberta On Record.

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.

From the Vault Friday: Military Exemption

Image: SPRA 006.01.01.6p05 

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a Notice of Disposition of Claim for Exemption (Dated March 24, 1916), from the Pierre Lozeron family fonds (Fonds 006), in which Pierre was applying to be exempt from military service. The form lists his reason for requesting exemption as being his occupation as a farmer. Under the Military Service Act of 1917, all able bodied men between 20 and 45 years of age, who were bachelors or widowers without children, had to sign up for service. Many applied for exemption, and as a farmer, Pierre was granted his request. However, in 1918, the government cancelled all exemptions, and Pierre had to reapply. August 12, 1918 he was again declared exempt from service until November 1, 1918, when he would have to declare how many acres of arable land, how many acres of grain, hay, and pasture land, as well as the number of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs. It is unclear if he was exempted again, but it’s unlikely that he served as the armistice was signed November 11, 1918, eleven days after the exemption expired.

Read more about the Pierre Lozeron family fonds (Fonds 006) here.

Visit the Soldiers Memorial here.

Image: SPRA 006.01.01.6p06

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.