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Beginning on April 9, the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and continuing until April 12, the last day of the battle, I will be looking at people from across Canada who fought, lived, were injured and died at the iconic battle.
Each post will feature several individuals, all of whom had an impact on the battle. We will look at their lives before, during and after the battle.
Born on Nov. 23, 1888 in Paisley, Ontario, David Mooney moved out to Dryden, Ontario with his family in 1900. Seven years later, he moved further west to the Imperial district in Saskatchewan. Two years later in 1909, he was homesteading his own land.
A lover of football and hockey, he could be found playing either sport whenever he had a free moment while farming.
In April of 1916, he enlisted and was sent over to the front lines. He would find himself at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and was wounded in the arm on April 9.
While gone, his brothers farmed his land for him and put the money into the bank.
After returning back to Canada following his injury, he married Norma Austin and they would have five children together.
David continued to farm for many years and remained on his farm until 1944 when he passed away. Norma moved into Imperial in 1950 and passed away in 1954.
Born in England on June 3, 1881, William Lake completed his schooling until the eighth grade. At that point, he began working as a coal miner and in 1899 he enlisted with the army and fought in the Boer War from 1899 to 1902.
In 1904, he came over to Canada with his brothers and settled in the Asquith, Saskatchewan area. In 1914, he enlisted with the Fifth Canadian Mounted Rifles and was sent overseas. Serving with distinction, he would become a lieutenant. In 1917, he fought in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Wounded during the battle, he would be removed from his services in the forces because of his injuries on Nov. 16, 1918.
During the time he was in the army, he would meet Ada Peacock and they would marry on Aug. 20, 1918. They both came to Canada on Oct. 16, 1918 and he began farming on the land owned by his family.
From 1932 to 1963, he served as a councillor for the RM of Eagle Creek and from 1939 to 1945, he was a recruiting officer for the armed forces during the Second World War.
In the early-1950s, he retired but was tragically killed by an accident on Oct. 10, 1965.
Born in England on May 28, 1890, he emigrated with this family in 1903 to Canada and settled in the Boissevain, Manitoba area. He would eventually move to the Handsworth district in Saskatchewan to begin farming.
When the First World War broke out in 1914, Hubert wanted to enlist but he was unable to be accepted because he was farming on his own. One year later though, he was accepted and joined the Strathcona Horse Regiment. Stationed in Manitoba, he would eventually be transferred over to England and then French.
In France, one of his jobs was to dig underground tunnels through chalk deposits. When the Battle of Vimy Ridge erupted, he and his brother Archie went over the top. Hubert was badly wounded when he was gassed during the battle and had to stay in a hospital for some time in France. Spending a week with his eyes covered, he did not know if he would ever see again. Thankfully, his eyesight returned and by May of 1917 he was on his way back to Canada. The ship he sailed back home on was torpedoed on its way back to England, sinking with all hands lost.
Hubert would go back to farming when he returned from the war. He would eventually move to Regina and start working for a draying company. In 1919, he met and married Jane Anne and they moved back to his farm. The couple would have two daughters.
In 1934, Hubert and Jeanne moved to Nipawin to start farming there.
In the 1940s, Hubert and Jeanne moved to Ontario where Hubert worked in a munitions factory. They then moved to Victoria where Hubert worked in construction. The couple continued to farm each spring on their farm near Regina.
Jeannie passed away on Sept. 28, 1967.
Hubert passed away in the 1970s.
Working as editor of the Colgate newspaper, called the Colgate Enterprise, he published his last issue of the paper on May 11, 1916.
In his final issue, he stated that he was deciding to answer the call to arms and was enlisting to fight in the First World War.
Shipping over after enlisting in May of 1916, he would find himself at Vimy Ridge. Sadly, he would be killed in the battle on April 9, 1917.
On April 17, 1919 at an Oddfellows Banquet, of which Orion had been a member, his sacrifice was honoured and tribute was given to him. Several members of the community, including Private Garner who had recently enlisted, toasted him and his choice to fight for King and Country.
Born on Oct. 14, 1880 in Belgium, Houbregs spent the better part of his younger years working at a coal mine before moving to Canada in 1911 and settling in Blairemore where he began to look for work. Working in the mines near the community, his wife and four children would join him in 1912.
When the First World War erupted, Louis joined up and enlisted with the Canadian 192nd Battalion. Assigned to the First Canadian Tunnelling Company on March 1, 1917, he most likely got the assignment because he had experience in mines.
His company not only participated in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, but also several other offensives, including the taking of Messines Ridge on June 17, 1917.
His company was disbanded on July 11, 1918 and he was assigned to the Seventh Battalion Canadian Engineers. He would build bridges and roads with the Battalion before he was demobilized on Feb. 20, 1919.
He then returned to Blairmore.
Louis would continue working in mines for many years and over time would have 20 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren. His wife would die on Nov. 11, 1936, while Louis passed away 40 years later on Dec. 2, 1976.