Image: One the x-rays in Elmer’s military service file showing the shrapnel in his neck (Library & Archives Canada)
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.
Regimental Number: 2492
Branch: Lord Strathcona’s Horse
Elmer was born in Hoisington, Kansas on April 7, 1888. He was living in the South Peace at the time of his enlistment in September of 1914. Elmer’s homestead was at SE6-71-7-W6. In April of 1916, Elmer received shrapnel wounds to the base of his neck and right shoulder at Rollencourt, France. Pieces of metal were left deep in his neck (view x-rays on pages 83, 95, and 97 of his service file) because they caused no symptoms at first; later he complained of dull pains in neck and shoulder. He also had impaired vision in right eye after this. A shell explosion wounded Elmer’s left leg in December of 1917 at Cambrai. He was discharged on August 12, 1918, having been deemed medically unfit, due to his leg wound. Elmer was very hard of hearing in his left ear, which had started before the war, but was aggravated during service. He brought his war bride, Winnifred, back to his homestead, where they lived until 1923. At this time, the family moved to Everett, Washington. Elmer and Winnifred had six children. Elmer died in Washington on July 31, 1970.
Sources: Along the Wapiti, p. 88, 411