Soldier Spotlight: Private Charles Harper

Image: A view down the main street of Lake Saskatoon showing businesses including the Revillon Freres Trading Company Ltd. and the Royal Hotel, ca. 1916 (SPRA

Regimental Number: 101552
Rank: Private
Branch: 49th Battalion

Charles was born in London, England on September 27, 1881. He was quite young when he arrived in Canada, as RNWMP records indicate that he joined the force in 1900. In 1913 he was transferred to Lake Saskatoon. At some point, Charles filed on a homestead at 22-74-7-W6. Two years later, in November of 1915, he went to Edmonton and enlisted in the Canadian army. Only six weeks after arriving in France (October 1916), Charles was suffering from varicose veins, for which he had already had surgery in 1907. He could not march, but it was recommended by the doctor that he be put to work with the horses “as he states that he has a certain amount of veterinary knowledge.” Charles claimed he was not bothered by his condition and wanted to return to France, but neither he nor the doctor got their wish. He was stationed in England until his discharge; his leg operated on again in July of 1917; and he was finally discharged on September 27, 1917. According to his medical record, Charles stated that he had been shot in collarbone (right side) by an escaped prisoner in 1897. After returning to Canada, he rejoined the RNWMP. Charles died while stationed in Whitehorse on December 11, 1922. Visit Find a Grave for more details about Charles’s life.

Sources: Grande Prairie Capitol of the Peace p. 54-57; Pioneers of the Peace p. 408-409; Lake Saskatoon Reflections p. 31, 35;

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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