Great Great Grandfather
14 Dec 1843
The following information about Trevor Owen Cale was kindly provided
by his granddaughter Judy Harper.
Owen and his brother Albert Edgar came to Canada in about 1909 or
early 1910, to be labourers on wheat farms. They worked near Weyburn,
Saskatchewan. When WW I broke out, they joined the Canadian army,
which was called the Canadian Expeditionary Force or CEF for that
war. Albert Edgar enlisted at Regina in 1915, and returned to Wales
at war's end.
Trevor was proud all of his life of the fact that he boarded a
special train sent across Canada in late Aug or early Sep 1914 to
gather up volunteers and to take them to Valcartier Quebec, where
the first contingent of the CEF was sworn in, given uniforms and
assigned numbers, then put into troop ships and taken to England.
They spent the winter training but went to France the next year,
and were replacements for British troops when the fighting in France
was at its worst.
I don't know exactly when or where, but during the war, Trevor
was affected by mustard gas and was returned to England for recuperation.
He was operated on, and a lung was removed. That made him susceptible
to colds and pneumonia all his life. Evidently, he was allowed to
leave the military environment periodically because he spent some
time in Llansoy during the war. At war's end, he was given his choice
of where to leave the army, and he chose England, making his way
back to Llansoy. He married Gertrude Jenkins (the girl on the next
farm), went to work on one of the several farms his father then
owned and together they had four children.
In 1929, he decided to take up an offer made to all soldiers in
the CEF by the Canadian Government, and that was the opportunity
to homestead, that is, to farm land assigned to him by the government,
land which had never been farmed before. If he was successful in
establishing a home and some fields under cultivation, the land
would have been given to him. He and Gertrude and the four children
sailed across the ocean to Quebec City, then took the train. The
land he attempted to homestead was south of Weyburn, land that became
part of the badlands when the drought of the 1930s hit along with
the Great Depression.
He lost the land. He and the family moved into Weyburn, where
he was lucky enough to obtain employment and so survived the Depression.
In 1936, with the death of his father, he chose to return to Wales
with his wife and four children. He was considering the possibility
of staying in Wales permanently, but after six months he decided
to return to Canada, back to Weyburn. A fifth child, a son, was
born in 1938 in Canada.
Their eldest daughter married and moved to Lethbridge where her
husband's family were in farming. They too had a farm, growing sugar
beets. Trevor and Gertrude, with the youngest son, also moved to
Lethbridge. The eldest daughter, Gertrude Olive and her husband,
have both died, as have Trevor and Gertrude.
My mother, Doris Catherine, is still living. She joined the Women's
Royal Canadian Naval Service in 1942, and served in Halifax, St
John's Newfoundland, and Sydney, Nova Scotia. She met my father,
who was also in the navy, and in 1946, they married. My father stayed
in the navy, but ended his career in Ottawa, where I live. I am
the eldest, and have two brothers and one sister.
One of Trevor's sons, Lloyd, went to Edmonton to work in the aircraft
industry, and to this day still lives in a small town outside of
Edmonton. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
Another of Trevor's sons, Arthur, joined the navy in the Second
World War, but did not get past Toronto in his naval service. He
remained in Toronto after leaving the navy, married, and had three
children. Both the son and his wife are now dead. The last child,
a son, stayed in Lethbridge, working in a local industry. He married
and had five sons and a daughter. He and his wife are still living.
2005 Gerald Majumdar