McLaughlin, Nelson “Mac”

Regimental Number: 712635
Rank: Private
Branch: 26th Battalion; Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Nelson “Mac”, born on June 26, 1895, at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He had four brothers and five sisters. In 1900, John moved his family to a farm at Clyde River, PEI.

Prior to Mac’s enlistment, he was attached to the 82nd Regiment of the Active Militia. On March 1, 1916, he enlisted with the 105th Prince Edward Highlanders at Charlottetown and sailed for England aboard the Empress of Britain on July 15, 1916. As the 105th was disbanded, Mac was drafted by the 26th New Brunswick Regiment in France and later joined the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion in which he served until the end of the war. Although he had been appointed to Acting Corporal, his rank eventually reverted back to Private. Private Nelson McLaughlin was discharged on demobilization on May 25, 1919. He served in Canada, England and France and received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

In August 1920, Mac decided to move west to Grenfell, Saskatchewan where his brothers, Ira and Louis had settled. In May 1922, he arrived in Grande Prairie and filed on NW 13-72-3-W6 through the Soldiers’ Settlement Board. On June 15, 1927, Mac married Blanche Moody and they had four children; Gerald, Lorena, Donald and Jack. The children all attended the Lindsay school.

During World War II, Mac enlisted with the Army and served at the Army Training Centre in Grande Prairie with the Veterans’ Guard of Canada. Mac was discharged on demobilization and returned to the farm at Bezanson.

Over the years, Mac was involved in the development of the Bezanson Community; however once retired, he became interested in politics. Mac passed away in 1982 and was buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery. In 1990, Blanche passed away and was laid to rest alongside her husband at the Glen Leslie Cemetery.

Contributed by Wanda Zenner

Sources: Smoky River to Grande Prairie pg. 359-360