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I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist


Monday, March 5, 2012

Alexander Gunn's Bundled Up & Ready for Winter, Alberta, 1922


This little guy is ready for the bone-chilling Alberta winter.  His name is "Alexander Gordon Gunn" and the image was taken April 5, 1922, according to the inscription on this postcard photograph.  There is also pencil  notation added that reads, "Irma, Alberta."  Irma is a small community in rural Alberta, southeast of Edmonton.  There isn't a photographer's imprint on this postcard.

The Canada Census won't help us much on this one.  The latest available Canadian census is 1916, a whole six years before this picture was taken.  I decided to check the Second World War Service Files: Canadian Armed Forces War Dead - Library and Archives Canada (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca) because Alexander would have been of the age to have served in WW2.  I found an Alex Gordon Gunn, born 10 February 1920, who was a Private in the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, Army Division.  His parents were William Gordon Gunn and Mary Elizabeth Gunn (nee Moore) of Edmonton, Alberta.  Alex Gordon Gunn died overseas, in a London Hospital, on the 23rd of April 1943, at age 23.

This time period in Canada is very hard to research online, due to the lack of available census records.  I went to the newspaper, "The Irma Times," and found the following news article from the February 27, 1920 edition about the birth of a child to Mr. & Mrs. W.G. Gunn in Red Deer, Alberta on February 10, 1920:


This matches the birth date of the Alex Gordon Gunn who died during World War Two.  My next search was of the 1943 issues to see if I could find a mention of Alex's death.  This article is  from the March 19, 1943 issue of the paper:


While I wasn't able to locate a death announcement, I believe we have found the correct Alexander Gordon Gunn, from Irma, Alberta.  It is extremely sad to think this boy had such a short life.  He died so very far away from his home and loved ones, as so many other young people did during the Second World War.

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