Image: Coal miner digging at a vein of coal with a pick 350 feet into the earth at a Wapiti Coal Mine, 1937 (SPRA 032.08.07.043)
Werner Quassowsky was born in East Germany (now part of Russia). In 1935, he enlisted in the German army and spent two and half years in training, then returned to his parents’ farm. In 1940, he was called up. Werner fought for 10 days in France and later in Russia until 1945.
Werner was hurt in an explosion and sent by boat to Denmark. When he was sufficiently recovered, he was released and walked back to Germany, first to the English zone and then to the American zone where his parents had been relocated after being expelled from their land by the Russians.
Werner worked first as a farmer and then as a coal miner. In 1953, he immigrated to Canada, landing in Quebec and then taking the train to Rycroft. He found work building highway 49 and had various other jobs. He filed an a piece of land in the Bay Tree area which he homesteaded, using compensation money from the West German government to help clear the land.
In 1977, Werner has a hip replacement. In 1979, he broke the hip and had to give up farming. He passed away in Hythe on December 30, 1990.
Sources: Homesteaders’ Heritage (p. 93)
Hythe Headliner, January 22, 1991
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.