Soldier Spotlight: John Purves

Image: Small group of soldiers in summer uniforms lounging on the ground in front of their pup tents. Italy, 1945 (SPRA 2013.043.15)

Regimental Number: M17199
Branch: Army
Regiment: Loyal Edmonton Regiment, R.C.I.C.
Rank: Lance Corporal

John (Jock) Purves was born in Hagsbrae in Gorebridge, Scotland on November 8, 1920. In 1926, the family moved to Canada, arriving in Montreal on May 1, 1926. From there, they came by train to the Peace country and settled in East Kleskun.

Jock lied about his age and joined the army in April, 1940. He was a member of the 49th Loyal Edmonton Regiment, R.C.I.C. (Regiment number M/17199). Jock served in Italy and was killed in action, December 16, 1943 at Ortona, Italy. Jock was buried in the Moro River Cemetery. (See link below to see pictures of the cemetery and grave stone.)

Jock’s brother Bill and Jimmy also served with the army in WWII.

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie (p. 144)

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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