Soldier Spotlight: Jim Porterfield

Image: A photograph from the Army Training Center, Grande Prairie showing troops standing in formation in front of the row of “H” huts. ca. 1941 (SPRA 2011.44.43)

Jim Porterfield moved to the Spirit River area from Dauphin, Manitoba, with his family in 1928. Where they took up farming in the Broncho Creek district. Jim attended school at White Mountain and then at Broncho Creek.

In 1941, Jim enlisted and received his initial training in Grande Prairie and then at Shilo, Manitoba. In November, 1941, he was sent to England for more training. In July, 1943, Jim was part of the invasion of Sicily with the First Division Artillery. In December, Jim was wounded at Ortona and returned to England and then by the hospital ship, Lady Nelson, to Canada. He was in hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton.

In 1946, Jim returned to Spirit River and took over his parents’ farm. He married Elsie Collins from Blueberry Mountain on June 28, 1947 and they had a daughter and a son. In 1956, Jim took over the Massey Ferguson dealership in Spirit River and moved to town, keeping and farming the home quarter. He sold the dealership in 1964 and worked at various places until returning to the farm in 1975.

Sources: Chepi Sepe (p. 755)
Obituary, Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune

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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