Soldier Spotlight: Private Benjamin Gray

Image: Log house of B. T. and J. S. Gray. Crooked Creek, Alberta, August 16, 1933. Photographed by W. D. Albright. (SPRA 362.02.13.45)

Regimental Number: 160810
Rank: Private
Branch: 82nd Battalion

Benjamin was born in Wingham, Ontario on November 7, 1888. He was a furniture dealer when he enlisted in the Canadian army in 1915. At that time he was residing in Bassano, Alberta with his wife Matilda. He joined the Nova Scotia Machine Gun section and went overseas with the 82nd Battalion from Calgary and later was transferred to the 25th Nova Scotians. Benjamin was injured on April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge. He was shot on his right side shattering a part of his arm and breaking two ribs. He was transported to a hospital where he was treated; the wounds healed but the bones in his arm did not and he eventually was sent back to Canada. There they continued to work on his arm. He had an operation but the bones would not mend and in 1918 they amputated his arm. Benjamin settled in the Clarkson Valley and DeBolt district a few miles east of Crooked Creek and was known for the wonderfully constructed buildings on his farm. His homestead was located at S1/2 19-75-9-W6. Benjamin farmed and for a short time had a store on the farm. He opened the store on June 15, 1934. Benjamin died at the age of 58 on September 4, 1938.

Sources: Tales, Trails & Gumbo p. 449

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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