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.

 

Soldier Spotlight: Werner Quassowsky

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.

Soldier Spotlight: Agnes Anders

Agnes Anders was born in 1920 on the homestead near La Glace/Sexsmith. At age 23 she enlisted in the Navy as a WRN . She was posted in Sydney, NS where she worked most of the 3 years, but was also posted to Ottawa, and Victoria to get discharged in 1946. In 1950 Agnes married Eric Carlson. They had 2 children: Valerie and Renny, and they moved to Fort St. John BC. Agnes taught school in BC. She moved to Sundre, AB for retirement in 2006.

Force: Navy – Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
Source: La Glace – Yesterday and Today p. 101
Sundre Round – up Interview by Patricia Riley Nov. 5, 2013

Agnes Anders, SPRA

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: Martha Jensen

Martha Jensen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division in WWII. Without her parents permission, she “borrowed” her father’s naturalization papers to prove they were Canadian citizens. When her father needed his papers she had to confess what she had done. Martha was sent overseas as a wireless operator to Linton Air Base near York, England where two Canadian squadrons (Goose and Thunderbird) were stationed. When she arrived, there was so much work to be done that they worked 8 hours on, 8 hours off, seven days a week. Breaks in the airman’s pub were much appreciated. During her time there, a very special event was the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with their daughter, the young Princess Elizabeth. After the war, Martha stayed an additional four months, based at Allerton Place, to help with demobilization and bring all the POWs home. After the war she married Alfred Head, who had served in the Air Force at Linton, and lived in the south Peace River Country of Alberta.

There was so much work to be done when the Women’s Division first arrived at Linton Air Base that they worked 8 hours on, 8 hours off seven days a week. Breaks in the airman’s pub were much appreciated.

 

Martha Jensen

 

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: Arthur Dixon

Image: Dominion Experimental Station For Grande Prairie At Beaverlodge, 1928 (SPRA 107.60)

Force: Royal Canadian Air Force

Born around 1915 in Beaverlodge AB, Arthur Dixon was one of 4 children of Frederick and Louisa Maude (“Daisy”) Dixon. Both parents were teachers at Grande Prairie where Arthur started school in 1921. At age 20, Arthur was the foreman at the Beaverlodge Experimental Station. He married Annie Sylvia Walker of Halcourt on December 20, 1937 in Beaverlodge. Working as a grain buyer in 1940, Arthur moved to Hythe and later to Peace River. He enlisted with the R.C.A.F. in 1943 and travelled throughout Canada as an equipment assistant. After WW II Arthur worked for the Midland Pacific Elevator in Beaverlodge, and then became postmaster in Beaverlodge in the 1950’s. Besides farming, Arthur was involved in many organizations. For two years he was president of the Home and School Association in the 1950s. As president and welfare officer of the Beaverlodge Legion, he received a meritorious award in 1960. Holding a position with the Board of Trade, he was also a member of the Elks and Masons. Before his death in 1964, Arthur worked for the Farm Credit Corporation. Arthur and Annie had 2 children: Elaine and Donald. Annie, who died in 1988, completed a master’s degree, and taught in Africa and Germany.

Source:
Beaverlodge to the Rockies pp. 47-48 (family photo of Arthur as child)
SPRA Family and Personal Life reference files
Northern Tribune Dec. 23, 1937 p.5 c. 1 (marries)
Herald Tribune Oct. 2, 1956 p.6 c.1; Oct. 12, 1956 p.2 c.1 (biography)

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: Flight Lieutenant Donald Caldwell

Image: The Herald-Tribune, November 15, 1945

Regiment: 168 (Heavy Transport) Squadron
Regimental Number: J/11098
Rank: Flight Lieutenant (Pilot)
Force: Royal Canadian Air Force

Born in 1913, Donald Caldwell was one of 9 children of parents Bert and Bessie May Caldwell from Valleyview. A teacher by profession, he taught in Rio Grande area, Itipaw, and Millerston AB. Donald was married to Margaret Isobel from Ottawa. During the Second World War he enlisted with the RCAF in 1941 in Edmonton, became a pilot, and served for 4 years. After the war Donald and 4 other pilots volunteered to fly penicillin from Canada to war-torn Warsaw, Poland. Tragically all five crew members of the RCAF Flying Fortress were killed when their plane crashed near Muenster, Germany, on November 4, 1945. Poland awarded these five service men the Golden Cross of Merit for “their outstanding heroism while on a mercy flight.” Donald was 32 years old, and he was buried in the Muenster Heath War Cemetery in Germany. The Grave Reference is 4.F.18

Source: Where the Red Willow Grew p. 303 (Name in Roll of Honour), pp. 63-64 (photo p. 64) – Note: this source states that there were 5 crew members killed.
Herald Tribune Nov. 15, 1945 p. 1 c. 7 – Note: this source states that there were 4 crew members killed.
Commonwealth War Graves Commision

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.