February 28, 2023

Image: An article about Hugh’s wound at the Somme in the May 22, 1917 Grande Prairie Herald.

Regimental Number: 101244
Rank: Private
Branch: 8th Battalion

Hugh was born in Listowel, Ontario on December 5, 1885. He came to the Peace country in 1911 and filed on NE 3-73-8-W6. Hugh walked to Edmonton and enlisted in the Canadian army in 1915.

Hugh received gunshot wounds to his left thigh and ankle on September 8, 1916 at the Somme, near Albert, and was on the “seriously ill” list for about a month afterward. This was only about two months after arriving in France. Medical records read that “He states – he was wounded by shrapnel Sept. 8 , 1916 at the Somme. One piece passed through muscles of the flexor surface of left femur in the middle third, causing a very deep flesh wound about 8 inch long. Another piece of shrapnel struck the (?) of left foot about 1 inch below the ankle joint on the inner side. This was removed in Boulogne Hospital, France, and he was told the foot was fractured. Opening was made on the outer side and bones scraped.” Hugh was operated on at Albert within sixteen hours, then again at Boulogne, then sent to a hospital in England. He sailed to Canada in March of 1917 and was sent to convalescent home in Edmonton. Hugh’s ankle did not heal well and his foot was “held in position of obtuse angle 105 degrees with axis of leg; movement in ankle joint is so slight as to be almost negligible” and he walked with “a decidedly awkward gait,” using a cane.

In 1918, Hugh married Marvel Rowland of Lacombe. The couple returned to Hugh’s homestead and raised four children. Hugh died on May 25, 1947

Sources: Buffalo Trails, p. 261. LaGlace Yesterday and Today, p. 158; Pioneers of the Peace p. 145-146

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.

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