Soldier Spotlight: Lieutenant William Brown

Image: notes from William’s service file detailing his football injury

Regimental Number: 629448
Rank: Lieutenant
Branch: 47th Battalion; 16th Reserve Battalion; 1st Reserve Battalion

William was born on July 12, 1892 in Hamiota, Manitoba. He joined the army in 1915. At that time he had been surveying on the west coast of BC. William received the Military Medal for bravery (Wagon Trails says at Ypres in 1915, though his service files indicate that the medal was received in 1917 in France). During officer’s training in Bexhill, England, he played soccer for the Canadian Army and broke his leg there on December 12, 1917. William had an opportunity to stay in England to play professional soccer, but returned to Canada in 1919. In 1918, William met Melanie Grandsard, a Belgian refugee, who was working as an interpreter for the Rolls Royce Company in Derby. They were married on June 20, 1918 in London. William arrived in Sexsmith in May of 1919 and settled on SW Section 9 in the Mount Star area, and Melanie followed him in August. The couple had one son, Cecil Robert, and one daughter, Delphine. William once again joined the army in 1940 and was discharged in 1947 with the rank of major. He died on February 7, 1977.

Sources: Pioneers of the Peace p. 303; Wagon Trails Grown Over p. 408, 1147

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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