Johnston, William Earl

Regimental Number: 904761
Rank: Private
Branch: Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Earl was born in Goderich, Ontario on July 8, 1894 (1895?). He came across the Edson Trail in 1912 with his father, David Alexander Johnston, and five brothers. Earl enlisted in the Canadian army in March of 1916. Three of his brothers – Hugh Norman, Willis David, and Charles Bell – also served overseas. Earl was discharged in May of 1919 and returned to Grande Prairie; his homestead was located at NW 26-71-3-W6. In 1920, he moved to Edmonton and worked with the Edmonton Fire Department. Earl married Beulah Irene Clarkson; together they adopted a little girl named Ernestine. In 1925, the family moved to California, where Earl died on June 9, 1942.

Sources: Centennial Celebration Edson Trail p. 114; Smoky River to Grande Prairie p. 18; photograph courtesy of Wanda Zenner