Thornton, Hugh James

Regiment:  Sherbrooke Fusiliers

Hugh James Thornton was born on February 18, 1921 in Edmonton, Alberta.  In July 1930, he arrived in Chinook Valley with his mother, his sister Betty, and his brother Joe, where they made their home for many years.

Hugh enlisted in the Canadian Army in June 1942 and did his basic training in Camrose, Alberta.  Following, he went to Camp Borden, ON, for advanced training in the Armoured Corps.  It was in Barrie, ON, that Hugh married Margaret Emily “Lucille” Burton on December 24, 1942 before he was shipped overseas.

In December 1943, he sailed to England on the Mauritania and served in England and in Continental Europe with the tank corps.  In July 1944, Lucille received word that Hugh was missing in action and presumed dead.  In late August he was discovered to be alive, the mistake due to a simple clerical error.

After Hugh’s return to civilian life, he operated a post office in Woking from 1964 to 1952 initially in the front part of his home. He also operated a pool room, farmed, hauled gravel, and worked in the construction field, building the new post office in 1949.  He and his family lived in Grande Prairie from 1956 to 1964 and then moved back to Woking where Hugh farmed and drove a school bus.  In August 1972, they returned to Grande Prairie.

During this time, Lucille taught school and raised their family.  Daughter Sharon Maureen was born April 2, 1947, son James Allen was born on May 19, 1952, and daughter Margery Jean was born on November 30, 1959.

Hugh died on September 7, 1998 and Lucille passed away in Grande Prairie on December 4, 2007 at the age of 89.

Source:  Community Book Index – Burnt Embers, Obituaries – Surname file