Soldier Spotlight: Private Joseph Davignon

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

Regimental Number: 624480
Rank: Private
Branch: 22nd Battalion (French Canadian)

Joseph was born in Granby, Quebec on March 19, 1896. It is unknown when he first came to the South Peace. Joseph enlisted in the Canadian Army in Wainwright in January of 1916. On July 16, 1918 at 2:40pm, Joseph was accidentally shot in the back by a man from his battalion. Pages 17, 21, 23, and 27 of Joseph’s service file contain notes from the resulting court case, including testimonies of the witnesses and the man who shot him. His medical records also note that in November of 1918, Joseph had a tumor on his lower lip. As a veteran of World War I, Joseph served with the Eaglesham & District Veterans Volunteer Reserve during World War II.

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: Captain George Craig

Image: Notes on the trial following George’s airplane accident from his military service file. (Library & Archives Canada)

Rank: Captain
Branch: 39th Battalion; Royal Air Force

George was born in County Donegal, Ireland on May 2, 1891. It is unknown when he first came to Canada, but he enlisted in the Canadian Army in Belleville, Ontario 1915 (his brother Arthur served in the South African Army). In December of 1916, George was attached to the RFC (RAF) as Observer. On July 2, 1918, he was in an airplane accident at Grantham. At the time of this accident, he’d had six hours and 25 minutes of dual flying experience, and seven hours solo. He was a pupil at the time. Pages 27 to 36 of George’s service file contain notes from the resulting court case, including witness testimonies. In 1919, he came to the South Peace and filed on SW 7-73-11-W6 and SE 12-73-12-W6. He was part owner of a 700 acre ranch from 1919 to 1922 at which point he “gave up the struggle.” George operated a trading outfit on the Mackenzie River from 1925 to 1927. After this experience, he spent a year in Ireland. At some point after his return, George married Anne Robinson. They had one son. George wanted to serve in the Canadian Army during World War II, but was rejected because of his age. George and Anne lived in Edmonton for some years, where George was a supervisor for the Northern Transportation Company. He later became the manager of the Calgary Municipal Airport. George died on February 29, 1968.

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: Corporal Roland Young

Image: The Aspen Ridge school house (district #4348) was built in 1928 at northwest corner of SW 24-70-9 W6, ca. 1950 (SPRA 063.02.007.1)

Regimental Number: 18259
Rank: Corporal
Branch: 3rd Battalion; 9th Battalion

Roland was born in Nottingham, England on June 20, 1895. It is unknown when he came to Canada, but he enlisted in the Canadian Army at Valcartier in September of 1914. Roland received gunshot wounds to his thigh in April of 1915, and slight wounds to his arm in July of 1916. In August of 1916, Roland was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. In 1918, he received gunshot wounds to his right shoulder. According to his service file, Roland married Sarah Inwood ca. November 1918. After the war, they came to the South Peace and filed on the southern half of 22-70-9-W6. Roland and Sarah welcomed a daughter on June 2, 1920. It is unknown whether Roland and Sarah divorced, or Sarah died, but on July 5, 1933, Roland married Winona Howell, a school teacher at Aspen Ridge. He once again served in the Canadian Army during World War II. This left Roland with significant health problems, forcing them to sell the farm and move to Grande Prairie. While visiting family in London, Roland suffered from a heart attack and died on October 29, 1961.

Sources: Beaverlodge to the Rockies p. 479; Along the Wapiti p. 35, 411; a number of clippings

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 Frank Tole

Image: A page from Frank’s military service file noting that he had gone missing in action and was presumed dead. (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 101238
Rank: Private
Branch: 31st Battalion

Frank was born in Manchester, England on February 25, 1889. In 1914, he filed on a homestead at SE 14-71-10-W6. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in September of 1915. A year later, on September 27, 1916, Frank was found missing and presumed to have died. His body was found after the war and buried in the Serre Road Cemetery, Somme, France.

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: Lieutenant Percival Trendell

Image: A page from Lieutenant Trendell’s military service file with notes about receiving his commission as an officer in 1918 (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 669801
Rank: Lieutenant
Branch: 38th Battalion

Percival was born in London, England on March 19, 1897. He came to Canada in May of 1914 to join his mother and elder brother in Ontario. In February of 1916, Percival enlisted in the Canadian Army. The Canadian Army Journal (see link below) gives a detailed account of Percival’s involvement in the 38th Battalion’s trench raid on February 22, 1917. He was sent to England to obtain his commission as an officer in January of 1918. In 1921, Percival filed on a homestead at NW 20-75-2-W6. A year or two later, he returned to Ontario. He came back to the Peace Country to visit his old homestead and the widow of his friend Victor Hurlock in 1972. Percival died in 1973.

Sources: Wagon Trails Grown Over p. 44, 74

Soldier Spotlight: Private Ronald Dunkerley

Image: A page from Ronald’s military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 108198
Rank: Private
Branch: 1st Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles; Imperial Army

Ronald was born in the Penang Straits Settlement in Malaysia on May 8, 1895. His father, William Herbert Dunkerley, was a priest in Malaysia at the time of Ronald’s birth. Ronald enlisted in Vermilion, Alberta in January of 1915. He was discharged in February of 1917, to be transferred to the Imperial Army. In 1919, Ronald filed on homesteads at SE 25-76-6-W6 and SW 30-76-5-W6; by this time, he was married to Elsie Dinah Eales. Ronald died in 1954.

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: Olive Fell Watherston

Image: A view of the settlement at Halcourt, ca. 1928 (SPRA 032.08.08.0952)

Rank: Sister
Branch: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

Olive was born in Hinckley, England. As a young woman, she received training as a nurse and midwife. Early in World War I, she joined the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Olive served as a nursing sister at a Casualty Clearing Station in France; she was mentioned in dispatches several times in 1918. In 1921, she came to Canada and joined the Alberta Department of Health. She was appointed a district nurse at Halcourt. In 1924, the Department of Health formed the traveling Clinic; Olive accompanied the traveling clinic for eleven years. When World War II began, Olive was on holiday in England and offered her services as a nurse and midwife in London. She resumed her work as a district nurse when she returned to Alberta. In 1950, she retired and moved to Victoria. Olive died on November 29, 1969.

Sources: Where the Red Willow Grew p. 278; Beaverlodge to the Rockies p. 370; mentioned in “Prepared to Care: Nurses and Nursing in Alberta, 1859 to 1996,” available in the SPRA reference library

Note: Click Glenbow Archives link below and enter “Watherston” in “People” field to view photographs of Olive during her military and medical careers

Medal Card
Glenbow Archives (Search Olive Watherston)
Fonds 586, Series 1

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: Sapper Victor Hurlock

Image: Details about Victor’s active service from his military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Regimental Number: 670126
Rank: Sapper
Branch: 166th Battalion; 10th Battalion, Canadian Engineers

Victor was born in London, England on April 26, 1897. He came to Canada in 1914 and was living near London, Ontario when he enlisted in May of 1916. After being discharged, Victor returned to Canada. He overheard a soldier in front of him stating Edmonton as his destination, and so Victor too answered Edmonton when his turn came. He settled in the Bad Heart area in summer of 1919 (3-75-2-W6 and 4-75-2-W6). His friend Percy Trendall came to the Peace country with him and homesteaded nearby; the had gone to school together in England, and had enlisted and been discharged on the same day. In 1939, Victor married Jennie Smichura. They had three children. Victor died on May 7, 1970.

Sources: Wagon Trails Grown Over, p. 44, 1147

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: 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.

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.