Soldier Spotlight: Tony Doll

Image: Fairview Outlaw, Wheatbelt Champions. Front Row: L-R Dale Fleming, Dale Yurka, Cliff Wagner, Don Fox, Toni Doll. Back row: L-R Al Peterson, Ken Fox, Buster Kuntz, Mel Watchorn, Jim Fox, Pat Friedel, Jim Landry, Coach Father Loren. 1963 (SPRA 2009.041.01)

Regiment: First Ammunition Corps, 85th Bridge Corps

Tony Doll, son of Frank and Katie Doll, was born in 1918 and raised in Waterhole, AB (near Fairview. In 1940 he was in military training in Grande Prairie for 2 months, and again in 1941 he took 2 months of training. Enlisting shortly afterwards, he was recruited for active service overseas, but first he went to Red Deer for advanced training. On March 5, 1942 he boarded the train to Halifax, and went to Scotland by ship. From there another train took him to England. By June, Tony hauled ammunition to various outfits with the First Ammunition Corps. He was on-stand for 72 hours during the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942, meaning that he was ready to go if called, but the call never came. Changing course, he took 2 months of driver mechanics training, and joined the 85th Bridge Corps. His platoon continued training until the second front opened on June 5, 1943, and the men were under shell fire. For months they pushed on to new locations in France. When the war ended, Tony returned to Canada, arriving at home on October 14, 1945. A month later he was discharged in Calgary. Next, Tony was eager to acquire a quarter of land through the Veteran’s Land Act. Before he started farming, he took a course on farming methods in Red Deer. On October 28, 1947 he married his neighbour’s daughter from Waterhole, Frances Heck. Since he needed lumber to build a house on his new land, Tony worked at a sawmill for one winter. They moved into their house in 1948. In the following years, Tony and Frances had 9 children: James, Charles, Mary and Marilyn (twins), Bernice, Bill, Ben, Elaine, and David. In 1959, the Dolls bought another farm in Twilight (S. 3-72-5-W6) and moved there. Another move happened in 1966 near Grande Prairie where they built a bigger house. Tony worked for Wapiti Sand and Gravel, Cockshutt Equipment, and a plywood company. He passed away in September 1998 at age 79 in Grande Prairie. Frances died in October 2015.

Source: Smoky River to Grande Prairie pp. 538 – 541
SPRA Family and Personal Life Reference Files – Obituary of Frances Doll
AGS Website – Obituary Index

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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