Soldier Spotlight: The Brewer Family

Image: Notes from Charles’s military service file (Library & Archives Canada)

Charles was born in Moore, New Zealand on May 5, 1876. He went to England and there met and married Rose Mitchum in 1895. They came to Canada and lived for a time in Ontario, before moving on to Vancouver.

When the war broke out, Charles and his two eldest sons, Ernest (b. 1896) and Walter (b. 1897), joined up and went overseas. While they were in the trenches, Rose joined the Red Cross and worked as a nurse’s aid. Ernest received a minor gunshot wound in the back in June of 1916.

The family moved to the Peace country after the war and Charles homesteaded on N ½ 12-73-3-W6 near the Smoky River. Ernest and Walter did not stay in the South Peace long. Ernest, his wife Betty, and their young son moved to New Jersey in 1922, and Walter moved to Vancouver. On the way he spent some time in Edmonton, where he met and married Megan.

When the youngest son Wesley and his family moved to Whonnock, BC in 1945, Charles sold his land and moved to be near them. He died on August 1, 1952. Walter died in Vancouver on December 9, 1979. It is unknown when Rose and Ernest died.

Private Charles Thomas Brewer
Regimental Number: 181162
Branch: 88th Battalion; 3rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion; 29th Battalion

Private Ernest Charles Brewer
Regimental Number: 429774
Branch: 47th Battalion; 30th Reserve Battalion; 16th Battalion

Sapper Walter Linder Brewer
Regimental Number: 911828
Branch: 196th Battalion; 2nd Canadian Labour Battalion (12th Canadian Railway Troops)

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie p. 158

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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