Soldier Spotlight: Ralph Anderson

Image: Building of the Grande Prairie Creamery, with the ice house in the background. The creamery started operations in the fall of 1920. (SPRA 024.01.09.58)

Regiment: Army Princess Louise Dragoon Guards

Ralph Anderson (brother of Henry Anderson) was born in Starkweather, North Dakota. He moved to Alberta with his parents and siblings in May 1918. After going to school in Beaverlodge, Ralph went to the School of Agriculture in Vermillion. Then he worked at the Grande Prairie creamery. In 1939 he joined the army and was posted overseas. He was wounded in Italy. While in England he married Audrey Prescott, and he was discharged in 1945. After the war Ralph farmed and also worked at the Canadian Forces Base in Beaverlodge. The family moved to Grande Prairie, and then to Prince Rupert BC. They had 3 girls and 1 boy.
Source: Pioneer Round-Up pp. 1-2

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: Margaret Schadeck

Image: Margaret’s discharge certificate, cropped (Fonds 131)

Margaret Alma Stevens (Regtl. No. W3225) was born July 8, 1907, in Easton’s Corners, Ontario. She attended school there until Grade 9, later taking a course in Business College in Ottawa. Her parents, Mr. & Mrs. William Stevens, lived at Kemptville, ON when she enlisted at Kingston, ON. in 1942. Margaret joined the Canadian Women Army Corps (CWAC), No. 7 Company, and trained at Barriefield, ON in 1943, where she met Eddie Schadeck. She served as a clerk at Fort Frontenac, Kingston until her discharge in 1946. Her interests included riding horses and writing poetry and songs. Margaret started army correspondence courses while at Barriefield and continued them in Brockville, ON after she was discharged, and in Wembley after she married Eddie in 1946. Their farm was located south of Huallen in the Wembley area. In the 1950s, they moved to Salmon Arm, where they lived until Margaret passed away in 1999.

Margaret Stevens, Canadian Women’s Army Corps, 1942 c. (SPRA 131.02.01)

 

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: Irene May “Renie” Bohn

Image: A view of the north side of La Glace’s main street in winter, ca. 1935 (0483.01.22-01)

Force: Canadian Women’s Army Corps

Renie Bohn’s parents were Fred Bohn and Agnes Gibson of La Glace, AB area. She was born in 1923, and she had 2 brothers, Jack and Jim. (Jim also served in WW II). During the war she participated with the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, and afterwards she married Orvin Samuelson, who also served overseas and was in the Air Force. They had 4 children. For a while Renie and Orvin operated a store in La Glace, which they later sold. They farmed in the Buffalo Lake district until 1959, and then moved to Bear Canyon. They retired in Fairview AB. Renie passed away in July 2004 at age 81, in Fairview.

Source: Wagon Trails Grown Over p. 1149 – Roll of Honour WW II
La Glace – Yesterday and Today p. 64
GP AGS – Obituary Index (Samuelson)

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: 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: Agnes Dahl

Image: Buffalo Lake School on the move headed for Pipestone Creek, ca. 1950 (SPRA 483.01.19-02)

Force: Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)

Born in 1922 in Buffalo Lake AB, Agnes Dahl was the daughter of Anders Jacobson and Kari (Tiegen) Dahl who were originally from Norway. Agnes and her brother and sisters attended Buffalo Lake School. Serving with the WRNS during WWII for two and a half years, she was posted in Eastern Canada. After the war she taught school in Progress BC where she met her husband, Eric Carlson. They were married in 1950, and moved to a farm in Fort St. John BC. The Carlsons had two children: Valerie and Renny. Agnes passed away at age 95 in May 2017.

Source: Buffalo Trails pp. 15-16, Photo p. 16
La Glace Yesterday and Today p. 101, Photo p. 315
AGS website – Obituary Index (Under “Carlson”)

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: 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.

 

Soldier Spotlight: Josephine Mary Ann “Bubs” Fulks

Date of Birth: 25 Oct 1919
Date of Death: 18 April 2015
“Bubs was born on Oct. 25, 1919 in Fort. Saskatchewan to Walter and Josephine Wood. She was the fourth child of five. She was quickly nicknamed Bubbles and became known as Bubs for most of her life. Growing up in Radway, Alberta by the railway tracks, the train would always remind her of the comfort of home. Bubs joined the WRCNS in 1943 at Edmonton, and was sent overseas to Britain. These were days of immense pride for Bubs. She always spoke of the comradery, companionship and honour that serving her country had given her, and was faithful in her Remembrance Day attendance.”

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.

Featured image is a still from the video of her funeral, from the Bear Creek Funeral Home YouTube channel

Soldier Spotlight: Violet Remnant Dryer

Violet Remnant was a 16 year old shop assistant in Wrecclesham, Surrey, not far from the Canadian Army Base in Aldershot, when she first met Arnold Dryer at a dance in the Village Hall. Arnold’s squadron was billeted nearby in the village of Rowledge. The relationship blossomed, and from wherever Arnold’s squadron moved to, his letters found their way back to Violet. At 18, Vi joined the Air Force, working as a clerk in RAF records in Gloucestershire. When the war ended, they were afraid that Arnold would be drafted home, so with four days’ notice, they planned a wedding. “We still needed clothing coupons to buy new clothing,” Vi remembered. “I bought a royal blue dress, and my mother used seven of her own coupons to buy Arnold some Oxford shoes. There was no way she was going to let him go up the aisle in army boots!”. They were married on April 23, 1945 in Rowledge, England. After the wedding, Arnold was indeed sent back to Canada, and Vi waited for permission from the Canadian Wives Bureau to join him. She was discharged from the Air Force and put in time helping at the local post office. In June she sailed on the Aquatania with another bride bound for Grande Prairie, Betty Eskdale. The war brides were processed through immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. Vi arrived on July 4, 1946 (along with her sister-in-law, Pat Dryer who was married to Arnold’s brother, Robert). The editor of the newspaper, J.B. Yule, was one person Vi met on her first day in Grande Prairie. The news of their arrival was proclaimed on the front page in the next issue of the paper: “Three War Brides Arrive Grande Prairie”. Although the young Mrs. Dryer was “homesick off and on” over the next year, she enjoyed being on the farm and the many good neighbours. Violet and Arnold had three children: Dale, Mark, and Ann. Grande Prairie is still Vi’s home 60+ years later.  

Violet in her uniform, SPRA 259.02.05 | Violet and her husband, Arnold Dryer, on their wedding day, SPRA 0259.02.01 | Violet Remnant Dryer, SPRA 0553.06 

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.

Featured Photo: Violet’s Travel Certificate, SPRA

Soldier Spotlight: Patricia Burroughs

Regiment: Royal Canadian Air Force – Women’s Division

Patricia was the daughter of Lee and Margaret Burroughs, and she was born on May 2, 1925 in Meadow Lake SK. In 1937 she moved with her family to Codesa in the Peace Country, and went to school there. At age 18, in May 1943, Pat enlisted in the RCAF Women’s Division in Edmonton AB. She was posted in Ottawa and Toronto ON, Winnipeg MB, and Calgary AB. She married Duane Hillier in 1949, but after a few years was divorced. In the late 50’s Pat moved to Chico, California.

Source: Smoky Peace Triangle pp. 156-157

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: Edith Mary Brownlee

Image: The third Spirit City School was built in 1929 (SPRA 394.05)

Force: Royal Canadian Air Force

Edith Brownlee, the daughter of George Brownlee and Mary Renton Aitchison, was born on September 23, 1920 in Grande Prairie, AB. Edith and her older sister, Edna, started school in Spirit River, then moved to Beaverlodge in Grade 3. The family moved to a homestead in Bridgeview in 1929. Edith joined the RCAF in 1942. Sadly she was killed by a hit and run driver in Brantford, ON in October 1943. She is buried in the Spirit River Cemetery.

Source:
Memories and Moments p. 176 – photo of Edith in uniform
pp. 233-235
Chepi Sepe (Spirit River) p. 301 – photo of Edith and Edna as children
Herald Tribune Oct. 14, 1943 p.7 c.4
Herald Tribune Oct. 21, 1943 p.6 c. 3

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.