Soldier Spotlight: Sapper Arthur Thew

Image: Men posing on the back of a truck loaded with tires that have been collected for the war effort. The truck has “Drink Coca Cola ice cold” painted on the back and side, and is parked alongside a train. “1942” is written on the back of the photograph. (SPRA 636.10)

Regimental Number: 154360
Rank: Sapper
Branch: 1st Canadian Pioneer Battalion; 9th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops

Arthur was born in North Bay, Ontario on July 30, 1885. He and his wife Hannah and their children were living in British Columbia at the time of his enlistment in August of 1915. In June of 1916, Arthur was buried by a shell at Ypres. This happened a second time a week later; he was buried for two hours. In July of 1917 he was buried by a shell for the third time. Not surprisingly, Arthur suffered from nervousness and shell shock. Arthur was sent to England in March of 1918 and was invalided to Canada in September. It is uncertain when his wife died, but according to the homestead record, Arthur was unmarried when he filed on SE 23-71-2-W6 and NW 24-71-2-W6 in 1930. He eventually cancelled these homesteads. At some point in the 1930s, Arthur married Evelyn and they moved to Grande Prairie with their children. During World War II, he was chairman of the Grande Prairie Salvage Committee which collected rags and rubber for the war effort. Arthur died on November 12, 1965.

Sources: news clippings

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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