Coney, James Norman “Jim”

Regimental Number: M11240
Regiment: Calgary Highlanders

James Norman Coonie, born on August 17, 1900 in Langshaw, Roxburghshire, Scotland was the first child of James and MaryAnn Coonie.

On May 6, 1928 James, his parents, and his five siblings arrived in Quebec, Canada on the SS Montcalm ship. The Coonies left Scotland on their journey to their new homeland on April 28, 1928. No one is sure why James Coonie Sr changed the spelling of their name to Coney while they were crossing over to Canada, there is speculation but no concrete facts. After arriving in Quebec, Canada the family took a boat to the Great Lakes then a train to go across Canada – they arrived in Grande Prairie May 11, 1928 then the next day headed to the ½ section that the Soldier’s Settlement Board had got ready for the family in Bezanson. With only 14 acres under cultivation the first year was spent clearing and breaking more land on their ½ section 1-73-3. The pictures on the brochures they received in Scotland looked a lot more impressive than what was there. The Coney’s now lived in a wooden home, instead of brick. Also, there was mosquitos, these were new to them, they never had these in Scotland.

James settled with the Coney family in Bezanson until World War II started – when he enlisted in the army and was stationed overseas. He enlisted with the Calgary Highlanders. He was with the “A” Company, Officers WOS – The Calgary Highlanders C.A.S.F. Calgary, Alta and the “9” Platoon “A” Company – The Calgary Highlanders C.A.S.F. Calgary, Alta in 1940.

When the war ended James brought back his English War Bride, Jean, and they settled in Edmonton, Alberta. James and Jean had four children, James born 1947, Malcolm born 1953, Margaret born 1955 and Carol born 1958.

James Norman Coonie/Coney passed away August 3, 1967 in Edmonton, Alberta, just days before his 67th birthday. He is laid to rest in the Beechmont Municipal Cemetery, Edmonton Alberta.

Written by Christine (Coney) Thorpe