Jobson, Lester C.

Lester (Les) Jobson was born on April 26 1910 at Girvan, Saskatchewan. He was the second child of Fred and Deba Jobson, who had six sons (one deceased as a child) and two daughters (one deceased as a child). Fred farmed on CPR land north of Trossachs, Saskatchewan. The family struggled to make a living farming the saline soil in that area. Lester was forced to leave school after the ninth grade to go out and earn money as a day laborer to help out with the farm finances. Ultimately, dry crop years, a house fire and a foreclosure by CPR forced the Jobson family to move to rented land near Bladworth, Saskatchewan in the late 1920s. By 1931 the Depression and continued crop failures had forced many prairie families to pull up stakes and move north where there were slightly better economic conditions.

The Jobson family arrived in Grande Prairie, Alberta in the fall of 1932. Lester, his father and two brothers went to work cutting and skidding timber for a sawmill south of the village of Peace River. Fred suffered an accident in the bush and spent the next two years recovering, leaving Lester and his brothers to earn whatever monies they could to support the family. Lester worked on farms and in threshing crews in and around Bezanson and Grande Prairie. In the winter months he hunted and trapped south of Grande Prairie and worked in mills and tie camps near Trail, British Columbia. In 1938-1940 Lester worked mainly for the IV Macklin dairy and farm operation east of Grande Prairie.

On June 23, 1940 Lester enlisted in the Canadian Army enrolling in the Royal Canadian Artillery. His basic training took place in Calgary and his artillery training at Camp Bordon, Manitoba before shipping out from Halifax to England in 1941. While stationed in England he suffered facial and arm burns in an artillery incident and was briefly hospitalized. Upon discharge Lester transferred to the Canadian Provost Corp and served in that capacity in England, Italy and northwest Europe until the end of the war. In that period of time he received shrapnel wounds on at least two occasions, fragments of which remained in him for the rest of his life. Between 1939 and 1945 Lester was awarded the Star, the Italy Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence medal, the 1945 Services medal and the Canadian Volunteer Services medal and clasp (overseas). He served for 68.5 months, 60.5 months which were in England, Italy and northwest Europe. He was discharged back to Canada in 1946.

Lester married Hazel McEwan in 1946 and took up farming through the Veterans Land Act on a half section of land (S ½ 14-72-4 W6) on the Glen Leslie corner west of Bezanson. Their son Allen was born in 1947. Faced with the prospect of having to go more deeply in debt for more land and bigger equipment Lester sold the farm (now mostly cleared) in 1965 and moved to Grande Prairie, where he worked for the County of Grande Prairie. Later, in 1967, Lester and Hazel bought a small farm in the Fly Hills outside of Salmon Arm, British Columbia. Lester happily carried on co-operative farming with three neighboring landowners who shared haying equipment and raised feeder steers and heifers. He also worked full time as a hog slaughterer in an abattoir. He died in 1975.

Written by Allen Jobson – son