Coney, Hugh William

Regimental Number: M16587
Regiment: Loyal Edmonton Regiment

Hugh William Coonie, born on August 14, 1908 in Langshaw, Roxburghshire, Scotland was the fourth child of James and MaryAnn Coonie.

On May 6, 1928 Hugh and his Parents, James, and MaryAnn and his five siblings, James, Edward, Margaret, Elizabeth and John arrived in Quebec, Canada on the SS Montcalm ship. The next year the oldest sister Mary arrived in Canada with her husband, Alexander and daughter, Mary.

Hugh settled with his Parents in Bezanson until World War 2. Hugh was employed with Buffalo Lakes Lumber camp when he decided to enlist in the army – Hugh and a few friends arrived in Grande Prairie around January 11, 1940 to enlist and were told that they had arrived too soon. Hugh Coney joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment – Regiment number M16587, – when he enlisted in the Army and was stationed overseas.

Hugh was on leave in 1943 when him and Jenny decided to get married but his leave was over before the wedding, so he sent John, his younger brother, in his place on the ship to North Africa. He believed there was no worry as John would be in Phillipsville at the dispersal area and Hugh would be there before John would get any type of placement for combat. But it did not work out as Hugh thought it would because John volunteered to be a gunner on the HMCS Louisburg ship. On February 6, 1943, an Italian torpedo plane released a fish (torpedo) which struck the HMCS Louisburg ship, sinking the ship leaving John in the water for approximately four hours, fearing a shark attack. Thankfully, John was picked up by the HMCS Regina ship.

When the switch was discovered, Hugh spent two months in the Brig (this is lock up, extra work duty and reduced rations) and John spent six weeks in Phillipsville peeling potatoes for their punishments.

When the news arrived in Canada to Hugh and John’s Dad – Hugh was in trouble again because he sent young Jock into battle.

After Hugh was reprimanded by the army, he was sent to take part in the invasion of Sicily which started July 10 and ended August 17, this operation was called Husky.

Hugh had joined the army along side his three brothers, James, Ed and John and brother-in-law, Alexander. Hugh married Janet White Cooney, known as Jenny, on March 20, 1943 in Scotland. When the war was over Hugh stayed in Scotland with his wife. Hugh and Jenny had two children Margaret Ann and Hugh Jr.

Hugh William Coney passed away June 25, 1996, at 87 years old, in the Borders Hospital in Melrose, Scotland and is buried next to his wife, in the Cockburnspath Cemetery, Cockburnspath, a village in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. It lies near the North Sea coast.

Written by Christine (Coney)Thorpe

Source: Smoky River to Grande Prairie pp. 159-160