Regimental Number: 41730
Regiment: Scottish Rifles
Alexander Spiden was born July 29, 1898 in Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland to George and Jane Spiden. Alexander Spiden and his older brother James Spiden enlisted in the British Army in the First World War. Alexander enlisted on May 26, 1917. He listed his trade or calling as the Railway.
Alexander and Mary Coonie were married on December 31, 1926 in Coldstream, Berwickshire, Scotland. They and their two-year-old daughter May sailed from Grantshouse, Scotland in 1929 on the SS Montroyal, the last emigration ship coming to Canada. They arrived in Quebec July 5, 1929. They purchased SE ¼ 12-73-3-W6 just North of Mary’s father’s (James Coney) homestead.
Alexander and Mary had six more children: George born 1931, Sheila born 1933, Heather born 1935, Gail born 1937, Alexander Jr born 1940 and Judy born 1946. The kids remember the Christmas concerts at Fitzsimmons School where Santa had a Scottish accent – Alex played Santa for many years.
In 1939 the Second World War broke out and in April of 1942 Alex joined the Canadian Army. He stayed in Canada, serving in the Medical Corp as an orderly at the Royal Canadian Army at the Grande Prairie Barracks. Alex was a stretcher carrier, but it was decided the stretchers were too heavy for men his age so they transferred him to the Kananaskis War Camp with the Veteran Guards. Alex returned from Army Service in 1946 and at that time they moved their farm home to Grande Prairie.
Alex worked for McGavin’s Bakery in Grande Prairie for many years. John Coney’s kids thought it was a real treat when Uncle Alex brought out loaves of bread and donuts that were not homemade.
Alex died on March 27, 1973 and was laid to rest in the Grande Prairie Cemetery.
Written by Christine (Coney) Thorpe