Elfros and Leslie, Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial

 

The Royal Canadian Legion Leslie Branch 172, Royal Canadian Legion Elfros Branch 237, Elfros Ladies Auxiliary R.C.L. No. 237 Saskatchewan Command and Leslie Ladies Auxiliary organized in tribute to those veterans who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. These organizations honour those comrades who have fallen in the past and to honour those who continue to serve in the future. Veterans and their dependants can rest assured of the support of these fraternal organizations formed to work for the welfare of their Comrades, their families and the community.

Elfros Branch 237 formed April 30, 1945. They, along with the other organisations, hope to continue assisting Veterans, Comrades, and the community for many years to come

The history book committee in charge of the two volume set; From Prairie Trails to the Yellowhead provided history about the Rural Municipality of Elfros #307, the villages of Elfros and Leslie, along with the hamlet of Mozart. They provided as many military pictures as they could obtain, as well as a listing of those who served with the Canadian Forces. Along with the memories of the veterans, they provided the discharge certificate for Edward James Attfield who served with the First Depot Battalion Sask Regiment, a photo of the cover to a ration book, and a City of Elfros sample certificate welcoming home their comrades A group picture of the 223 Battalion (Scandinavian), Troops leaving Elfros W.W.I, and the No. 16 Platoon of 214 Overseas Battalion, and the names of those in the group image. Another photograph depicts Carl Sveinson, and bomber crew on bond selling mission, and the Girl Guides who form a Guard of Honour. There is another group image of five armed forces personnel, C. McPhail, Cever Johnson, Peter Bennett and David Hunter. Eleven other group pictures feature two or three people in the images, these are along with the many individual military personnel photos included in the book.

 

Elfros village is located at 51° 44′ 36″ N, 103° 51′ 39″ W section 13-township 32-range 14-West of the 2nd meridian. It is northeast of Regina and southeast of the Quill Lakes at the junction of Provincial Highways 16 and 35.

 

Leslie is located just off of Highway 16 between Foam Lake and Elfros. The post office began as Leslie Station between 1906 and 1909. Leslie Village located at South east section 36 township 31 range 13 west of the second meridian. In Geographic Names of Saskatchewan, it was noted that Fairland was the first post office in the area which closed down when the rail was laid.

Mozart located at North east section 25 township 32 range 15 west of the second meridian or 51° 46′ 33″ N, 103° 59′ 39″ W. Once again, Bill Barry affirms that Laxdal was the original post office in the area – Section 4 township 33 range 14 west of the second meridian- between 1907 and 1909 until the Mozart hamlet formed at the Canadian Pacific Siding and established a post office there in 1909.

 

Royal Canadian Legion Elfros Branch 237 erected a cenotaph honouring those who lost their lives in service (as follows).

 

BENNETT, Russell BENNETT, Peter BLACK, Francis COOK, Herbert
GISLASON, John GOVIER, George SMITH, Donald SMITH, Gilbert

 

From records at the National War Memorial and Library And Archives Canada, Canadian Expeditionary Force records that could be found, some moire information follows:

To the family of Edward BENNETT and Hanna CRUISE from Northern Ireland were born nine children. Peter served in the First World War for the 214th Brigade. William Peter BENNETT born Lachute Quebec, was born Jan 16, 1898 and signed up February 12, 1916. Russell Alexander Bennett, was born Lachute Argenteul, Quebec April of 1894. Russell, a homesteader near Kelvington when he enlisted was taken June 1916, Peter fell October 1917. Dave Hunter and Charlie McPhail enlisted along with Russel. Russel and Peter had siblings of Katie, Lorne, George, Cora, Elsie, Jessie and Stanley Lorne served in World War II. Private Russel BENNETTis laid to rest in Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial in Belgium June 5, 1916. Russel served with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles (Saskatchewan Regiment) Private William Peter Bennett was laid to rest at the same cemetery November 6, 1917 and he served with the Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment 28th Battallion).

 

Jon Gislason was born November 19, 1917, and was killed in action in Normandy on June 4, 1944. Before this he was hired on as a farm hand. Jon was born to Johannes Gislason and Sigurveig Arnason. Jon had five brothers and three sisters, Arnie, Gudjon, Daniel, Kari, Vilhelmina, Anna Sigrun, Ann Holosko, Helga S and Einar Gislason. Gudjon, Daniel and Einar also served in World War II in the army. Jon A was born in Iceland, and provided an address near Oakview, Manitoba on enlistment

George GOVIER enlisted June 1915 in Wadena. Govier, born April 11, 1892 served with the 31st Battalion in the Canadian Infrantry (Alberta Regiment), and was buried at Hastings Cemetery, Sussex, United Kingdom after he gave the supreme sacrifice, February 27, 1919.

 

Sergeant LAC Donald Henry Smith was taken April 12, 1943 after serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He is interred at Warwick Cemetery, Warwickshire, United Kingdom.

 

Gilbert James Smith fell January 28, 1945, and is buried in the Elfros Cemetery in Saskatchewan. Gilbert, the son of James and Marion SMITH served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. had enlisted September 24, 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec. Born Kendal, Westmorland, England, Gilbert gave the address of Woodlande Kendal, England of James Smith, his next of kin, when he enlisted. The Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force attestation paper lists his date of birth as July 7, 1888.

Norman Hugh Smith, born in Elfros, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1942. While serving with Squadron 153, he received notice that his brother Gilbert fell in action at the age of 22. Gilbert also served with the RCAF.

 
Sources are embedded within the post – Julia Adamson author

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