Soldier Spotlight: Alfred Cecil Carder

Image: Farmstead at Beaverlodge Experimental Station showing house, gardens, barn and windmill, 1928 (SPRA 107.60)

Rank: Private
Force: Canadian Army

Born in Calgary on April 20, 1910, Al Carder was the fourth of 5 children of John and Harriet Carder. He grew up in the farm area of Cloverdale, BC, and as a young boy was fascinated with plants. In 1935 he had earned his BA and BSc from the University of British Columbia, and found employment at the Experimental Station in Beaverlodge, AB. When the war broke out, he joined the Canadian Army in 1941, and became a private with the Light Anti-Aircraft Division. Mostly he was shooting down enemy planes. Discharged in 1946, Al returned to work in field husbandry at Beaverlodge, later working in forage crop and weed control. Taking a leave from the Experimental Station, he earned his MSc from McGill University in 1948. In 1950 he met his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Wedd Tidman. They were married in 1954 in her hometown of Petersfield, England, and returned to Beaverlodge. The Carders had 3 children who were born there: Judith, Mary-Clare, and Andrew. Also in 1954, Al earned his PhD from University of Wisconsin, and concentrated his studies in the new science of agro-climatology, and his research was on plant responses to climate effects. He received the Canada’s Centennial Medal from the Canadian Department of Agriculture. Al and Mary moved to Cordova Bay (near Victoria BC) in 1970. In his retirement, Al was active in hiking, building a cottage, and doing more research. He wrote and published books about giant trees, and was bestowed the Ancient Forest Alliance’s Forest Sustainability Award. Mary passed away in 2008, and Al died on December 21, 2014, in Victoria at the age of 104.

Source: Family and Personal Life Reference files – GP Archives
Beaverlodge to the Rockies pp. 91-92

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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