|Date of Birth||April 30, 1899|
|Place of Birth||Virden, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Samuel Morley, Riding Mountain, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Riding Mountain, Manitoba|
|Age at Enlistment||16|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 24, 1971|
|Age at Death||72|
|Buried At||Dawson Creek Cemetery, Dawson Creek, British Columbia|
Leslie Stephen Morley was born on 30 April 1899 in Virden, Manitoba. His parents Samuel Edward Morley and Mary Jane Williams, both of their families farming in nearby Watt, had married in Bracebridge, Ontario on 16 August 1881. The couple were to farm in Watt where children Robert Edward (1882), Catherine Ann (1884), Hannah Jane (1887), Oliver (1888) and Floyd Percival (1891) were born. The next child, Henry Edward was born in Parry Sound, Ontario (1893) and by 1897 and the birth of son Calvin Richard the family was living in Virden. Children born in Virden were Leslie and Nora Myrtle (1901). By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to the RM of Rosedale, farming near Riding Mountain.
Leslie signed his attestation papers with the 79th Battalion on 18 August 1915 in Riding Mountain. His occupation was given as labourer, his date of birth as 7 April 1895, and his mother in Riding Mountain as next of kin. However, unable to obtain parental consent, Leslie was struck off strength on 29 September 1915 in Winnipeg.
Leslie’s brother Floyd signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg in October of 1917 and arrived in Scotland on 31 December 1917 with the 10th Winnipeg Forestry and Railway Construction Draft. Serving with the Canadian Forestry Corps in Great Britain, Floyd returned to Canada in July of 1919. With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Leslie’s brother Calvin had his medical examination in November of 1917 in Neepawa and was called up for service on 30 January 1918. He served with the 10th Battalion Canadian Garrison Regiment and was discharged from service on 21 January 1919 in Winnipeg.
Leslie was found living with his parents and a couple of siblings in Rosedale/Riding Mountain at the time of the 1921 census. On 12 July 1922, in Neepawa, Leslie married Evelyn Lucille Higham. Born in 1905 in Neepawa, Evelyn was the daughter of William and Annie (née Webb) Higham. First living in Riding Mountain, by 1925 the couple was living in Keewatin, Ontario where they gave birth to daughter Bernice Lucille. Back in Riding Mountain in 1926, son Clare was born. Along with some other family members, Leslie, Evelyn, and the children moved to the Peace River area in northern Alberta to homestead. In 1937 they relocated to another farming area at Vegreville, east of Edmonton. Along the way two more children were born to the family, Gloria and Robert. With the outbreak of the war the family moved back to Manitoba where Leslie joined the army in 1940 and was stationed in Quebec. After being medically discharged, Leslie worked at the Transcona Cordite Plant. According to a family history, son Clare joined the army as a dispatch rider and served overseas.
After the war Leslie, Evelyn, and Robert moved to Edmonton where Leslie found work as a carpenter. In 1957 they moved to Dawson Creek, British Columbia where Leslie was offered employment with the Canadian Air Force. Leslie died on 24 October 1971 in St Joseph Hospital in Dawson Creek and is interred in the Dawson Creek Cemetery. At the time of his death his occupation was given as retired carpenter. After Leslie’s death his wife Evelyn moved to Edmonton where their children Gloria, Clare and Robert and families were living. According to a family tree, Evelyn died on 13 December 1988 in Edmonton.
By Judy Stockham
Dawson Creek Cemetery photo: John Boyd, findagrave.com