Regimental Number: M54427
Rank: Lance Corporal; Sergeant
George was born on March 11, 1906 in Bergen, Norway. He completed Grade 8 in 1920 followed by a 6 month commercial course. From 1920-1927, George worked as a carpenter building ships in Norway. In 1927, he decided to immigrate to Canada and farmed with his aunt and uncle, Didrik & Hjertine Jensen, in Fox Valley, Saskatchewan. The Jensen’s decided to pursue the agricultural potential in Northern Alberta in 1929 and George made the move with them. George continued to farm with his uncle until he enlisted.
On July 25, 1940, George enlisted with the Canadian Army (Active Force) at Grande Prairie. He was transferred to the 10th Field Coy R.C.E. at Calgary where he was assigned the rank of Sapper. From there he was transferred to Petawawa Military Camp in Ontario. George arrived at the United Kingdom on December 4, 1941. He successfully completed courses to become a Qualified Carpenter “C” followed by studies on a “NCO Bridging Course”. He was granted permission to marry Elizabeth Bennett Taylor in March 23, 1942. George was transferred to the Mediterranean Area in November 1943. On December 10th & 11th, 1944, the 10th Canadian Field Squadron was engaged in building an 80-foot folding bridge over the Lamone River (Italy) under heavy mortar fire. When the Troop Sergeant was wounded, George was the senior NCO in the troop. For 16 hours, he remained in an exposed position at the bridge site where he could supervise the job. His fine example of coolness and good judgment under heavy fire encouraged his men to return to the site after the many times they had been mortared off. George’s constant supervision was largely responsible for the successful completion of the bridge on a very difficult site and the passage of the supporting arms and vehicles essential to the consolidation of the divisional bridgehead over the Lamone River, the effort for which he received the prestigious Military Medal for bravery. George was transferred to France in February 1945 and remained there for the remainder of the war. George arrived back at Calgary on September 4, 1945 and was discharged on October 19, 1945. Corporal Lance Sergeant George Leopold Hansen (Regimental # M54427) served in Canada, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the Central Mediterranean Area and received the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp and the Military Medal.
George returned to Glen Leslie and purchased land, S ½ 15-72-4-W6, from Charlie Weaver by means of a loan through the Veterans’ Loan Act and entered into a farming partnership with his uncle, Robert McPhee. His wife, Elizabeth, finally received permission from the Canadian Wives Bureau to join him. She sailed on the RMS Aquitania and was processed through immigration at Halifax. From there, she travelled by train across Canada to Grande Prairie and arrived in March 1946. Elizabeth was from Glasgow, Scotland and had worked in a bakery in London where she met George.
The young couple settled into their home and continued to farm. They were both very involved with the West Smoky Legion No. 244 at Bezanson where George was a member for 34 years and was granted Lifetime Membership in 1975. He also served as President in 1956 and 1957. Elizabeth was a member of the West Smoky Ladies Auxiliary No. 244 and elected as Zone Commander, a position she kept until she passed away in 1956. George and Elizabeth did not have any children and George never remarried. He remained on his farm in Glen Leslie until he passed away on September 19, 1984. They were both buried at the Glen Leslie Cemetery.
Written by Wanda Zenner
Interview with Arlene McPhee (cousin)