Charles Lewis Weaver, born on December 7, 1893, emigrated from Bristol, England in April 1912 when he was nineteen years old. He joined his brother and sister-in-law, Arthur and Florence, who had settled on a farm in the Penhold area in 1910. Charles worked on his brother’s farm until January 1915 when he enlisted at Red Deer with the 12th Canadian Mounted Rifles, an Infantry Unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was 5’6 ½” with blue eyes and brown hair.
Charles’ unit sailed for England on October 9, 1915. He trained in England until January 1, 1916 at which time he was sent to the Western Front in France. Charles probably fought in the Battle of Somme and subsequent battles along the Western Front. He was awarded the prestigious “Military Medal” on August 21, 1917 for devotion to care of the wounded while under fire.
On May 18, 1918 he was awarded the “Good Conduct Stripe” (rt). He remained in France until May 18, 1918 when he suffered a pott’s fracture to his right ankle during a wrestling match. Charles was admitted to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bear Wood, Berkshire, England.
The hospital was the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Walter who offered their large brick house to be used by the Canadians as a hospital. Charles was discharged from the hospital on September 17, 1918 following which he sailed for Canada. He was discharged on demobilization on February 20, 1919 in Calgary.
Charles returned to the Penhold area with the intent to purchase land of his own. However, as property was at a premium, he decided to move north to the Peace River District after he had heard about the opportunities for land ownership by means of homestead applications. Therefore, Charles filed on SE 19-71-3-W6 in June 1919 and on NE 18-71-3-W6 in July 1919 by means of a soldier’s grant. Both parcels of land were located in the Glen Leslie area. He then returned to Penhold and loaded all his possessions, which included three horses, chickens, feed, household items and machinery, on the train bound for Grande Prairie.
On March 24, 1924, Charles married Catherine Hives from the Penhold area and they settled into their 18’ x 22’ log home on the homestead. Charles purchased George Sinclair’s land (NW 17-71-3- W6) by means of a loan from the Soldier Settlement Board in 1930. They raised pigs, sheep and cattle. Catherine grew a large garden and picked and abundance of wild fruit. Also, they shipped cream, some of which Catherine would churn into butter and sell for 12 cents a pound. Although times were difficult during the 1930’s, there was always plenty to eat. Entertainment consisted of house parties with the Bredeson family playing their violins. By 1937, Charles wasn’t well and couldn’t = keep up with the strenuous farm work. Therefore, he rented the land to Vern Goff and held an auction to sell the entire farm inventory. The land was later sold to Hansen and McPhee.
The Weaver’s moved to BC; however, when WWII was declared, Charles again enlisted. Once discharged on demobilization, Charles and Catherine moved to Otter Point, BC where Charles built a large greenhouse out of driftwood. They enjoyed their retirement years by growing vegetables and many varieties of flowers. Their home was orientated in such a manner as to take
full advantage of the spectacular view of Strait of Juan de Fuca. Charles passed away suddenly on August 17, 1974. Catherine moved into a seniors’ residence, Caroline Macheim Home, where she resided until she passed away on December 2, 1984. Both are buried in the Royal Oak Burial Park Cemetery, Victoria, BC.
Note In February 2016, the Military Medal issued for Bravery, British War Medal and Victory Medal (WWI medals) and Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with overseas clasp and War Medal (WWII medals) were offered for sale on eBay. Unknown who would have sold or purchased the set.
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Written by Wanda Zenner – March 2019