Regimental Number: 35477
Joseph was born on July 18, 1920 in Strathclair, Manitoba. He had three brothers, Stanley, Percy, Melford; and six sisters, Grace, Irene, Vera, Eleanor, Eileen and Edna. Joseph’s parents, Paul and Annie, moved to Edmonton in 1910; however, they decided to move back to Manitoba in 1913. In 1940, Paul moved his family to the Peace District where his brother, Joe, had a homestead in an area known as Goodwin. They lived with Joe for several years. When Joe returned to work on the railroad, Paul and his family continued to live on Joe’s farm until 1945 at which time, they moved to Grande Prairie.
Joseph enlisted with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps on May 25, 1941. He trained in Edmonton, Camrose and Red Deer before being sent to England in November 1941. While in England, he met Gillian (Jill) Trimmer whom he later married at St. Michael’s Church in Flixton, England on October 20, 1945. Jill always called her husband “Lloyd”. Joseph served in Canada, United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the Mediterranean area. He received the 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star and the Defence Medal as well as the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Joseph was discharged on demobilization on January 18, 1946.
Jill sailed for Canada with several other war brides and arrived in Grande Prairie in July 1946. The young couple stayed with Joseph’s parents until they were able to find a place to rent that was located four miles east of Grande Prairie on Highway 670. While living there, Joseph worked as a farm hand for Arnold Christie. For a period of time, Joseph worked for Pete Moon and they lived in a little house on Pete’s property south of Bezanson. Following which, they moved to Joe’s (uncle) land south of Goodwin followed by a short move one mile west and ½ mile north of Goodwin. They eventually moved to SW 11-72-1-W6 (current location of Klassen Bros. Northern’s yard on Highway 43) where they raised their family of two children, Raymond and Lesley. Although Joseph did some farming, he mainly worked off the farm. He was employed by N & K Paving for many years before being hired by the Department of Highways to operate a grader to maintain all the roads in the Goodwin area. Jill worked many years in the Ladies’ Department at the Co-op Store in Grande Prairie.
In 1996-1997, Joseph and Jill sold the farm at Goodwin and retired. They moved to Prairie Sunrise Towers in Grande Prairie and enjoyed spending time at Sturgeon Lake in their holiday trailer on a lot owned by their son, Raymond. In 2003 a decision was made to move to Wild Rose Manor in Valleyview; however, Joseph became ill and had to be hospitalized. Although Joseph had seen their new place, he passed away in October 2003 before he was able to move in. At his request, he was cremated with his ashes being kept by his son, Raymond.
Contributed by Wanda Zenner
Interview with Raymond Newman (son)
Across the Smoky