Regimental Number: R178751
Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Archie was born on November 19, 1920 at Glen Leslie to John and Melinda Hackwell. He had three sisters; Emily, Grace, Helene. In the spring of 1916, John and Melinda (nee Graham) who were from Quebec, travelled over the Edson Trail to reach John’s homestead quarter of land (SE-7-72-3-W6) that was located in an area of Bezanson known as Glen Leslie. Through hard work and perseverance, the Hackwell’s expanded their farm by three more quarters of land and engaged in a mixed farming operation.
Archie completed Grade 8 at the Somme School at Glen Leslie followed by Grade 9 and 10 at the Lindsay High School that was located close to Bezanson. From 1936 to 1942, Archie worked on the family farm. In his spare time, Archie enjoyed baseball, hockey and football.
On July 29, 1942 Archie enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force at Edmonton for ground duties to train as an Aero Engine Mechanic. Archie received training at various locations across Canada; Edmonton, Halifax, Sydney and Dartmouth. LAC Archibald Leslie Hackwell served in Canada and received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. He was discharged at his request on January 11, 1945.
Archie returned home to the family farm at Glen Leslie and continued to farm with his father. In 1949, Archie married Shirley Love who was from Sexsmith. They had one son, John, and two daughters; Sue, and Reba.
In 1956, John and Melinda moved to Grande Prairie to retire and Archie decided to enter into a new line of work – construction. It wasn’t long before Hackwell Construction became one of the largest construction companies in the Grande Prairie area that provided service to the oil and gas industry. Archie was a long-time sponsor and supporter of local chuckwagon racing. Kelly Sutherland, who won the World Championship 12 times, drove the Hackwell rig for many years. Archie was also a member of the Shriners Club, Masonic Lodge, Elks Club and the Canadian Legion – all in Grande Prairie.
Archie passed away in Edmonton on June 24, 1979 in Edmonton. He was buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery.
Contributed by Wanda Zenner