Alfred E. Garvin

The following images and content were submitted by Terry Garvin, son of veteran
Alfred E. Garvin. Terry was ten years old when his father joined the SSR in 1940.

A Short Biography

Alfred Garvin, L. 12594, address: Craik, Saskatchewan.

Alf joined the South Saskatchewan Regiment, on April 6, 1940. He went overseas, landing in Scotland on December 24, 1940. He was a motorcycle dispatch rider and a military policeman. He was, he once said, "an unofficial snooper" for the Regiment. He suffered a fracture of 1st and 3rd. L.0. (back) in a motorcycle accident in England and was hospitalized. His injuries handicapped his ability to perform military duties and he was re-boarded (shipped home), arriving in Canada on the 14th. of November 1941. He was medically discharged on the 23rd, December 1941, and so was his income. In years to follow he had two bouts of back surgery related to his overseas injury.

This is a newpaper clipping saved by Alf Garvin's sister Catherine.
Alf Garvin is in the marching group in the lower left image.
He is second from the right i.e. second in line this marching formation.

Alf and four other men were among the first from Craik to enlist in WW 11. The four men who enlisted with Alf were at Dieppe. They all returned home when the war ended.

When Alf enlisted he had eight children, more than the allowable family size for enlistment. He mislead the recruiting office by saying he only had three children. He named the youngest three of the eight children.

Alfred Garvin's family prior to his going overseas.

I, his oldest child Terry, was at the train station at Craik when he left for Halifax, Nova Scotia and then by ship to Europe. There was the chance this would be the last time I would see him, but I did not think of him as going away to die. Adults at the train station, especially Mom, visualized the possibility of him not coming back. I was at the bus depot at Craik when he returned. Many of the towns people, some with musical instruments (a small band), were there to greet him and Mom, who had gone to meet him in Regina. It was the day of their 13th. wedding anniversary. It was probably not very long, but it seemed like an enternity before I got my turn to hug him.

An extract from Alfred's Paybook.

Next of Kin , as he chose to list them!

The war came on the heels of the Great Depression. While Dad was in the army our family had more money than was usually the case during the depression. The army service pay for him was one-dollar-and-fifty cents per day, and twenty dollars per month were assigned to his family. Upon discharge he had a deferred pay credit balance of $44.33 in his service account. He was awarded a disability pension of twenty percent (thirty cents a day) of his salary. At age ninety-one, when he lived at Red Deer, Alberta, he received a pension of seventeen-hundred dollars per month, and he said, "I am now too bloody old to to know how to spend it." The Red Deer branch of the Canadian Legion advocated on Dad’s behalf for the increased pension.

Documents held by Alf's son, me, Terry Garvin of Calgary, Alberta:
His medical review while overseas is reported in a document dated September 11, 1942 under the heading Summary of Evidence Veteran’s Bureau.
A letter, dated September, 19, 1942, signed by R. Hale, Chief Pensions Officer.
His Discharge Certificate.
His Service book and Pay book.
Photo images taken in Canada

Saskatchewan Veteran's Civil Services Corps

This is the certificate and badge that Alf Garvin received personally from T.C.Douglas and Mr. Schumiatcher, a Regina Lawyer, on a visit they made to Craik in 1945. The badge that accompanies this certificate is brass and is designed to imitate the badge shown in the right upper corner of the certificate.

Background on Mr. Schumiatcher

"Morris Cyril "Shumy" Shumiatcher, OC, SOM, QC (September 20, 1917 – September 23, 2004) was a Canadian lawyer best known for his contribution to the field of human rights and civil liberties.

Born in Calgary, Alberta, a son to Luba Lubinsky and Abraham Shumiatcher (1890–1974), he received a BA in 1940 and a LL.B in 1941 from the University of Alberta. He received his LL.M in 1942 from the University of Toronto. From 1943 to 1945, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force as an air gunner. After the war, he received his PhD (as distinguished from the undergraduate degree J.D. or Doctor of Jurisprudence currently offered by the University of Toronto) from the University of Toronto.

In 1946, he moved to Saskatchewan at the invitation of Tommy Douglas to become law officer of the Attorney General. He soon became the personal assistant to Douglas. In 1948, he was appointed the youngest King's Counsel in the Commonwealth of Nations, in order to argue a case before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, UK.

He was the author of the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, the model for the Canadian Bill of Rights. It was the first Bill of rights in Canada and was one year before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1949, he left government to practice private law and appeared in his practice many times before the Supreme Court of Canada.

For 14 years he was an honorary consul general for Japan and dean of the consular corps for Saskatchewan.

He authored Welfare: Hidden Backlash in 1971 and Man of Law: A Model in 1979.

In 1981, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1996, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit."

-an extract from Wikipedia:

Background on Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas with members of the
South Saskatchewan Regiment, 1945.

"Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas, PC, CC, SOM (20 October 1904 – 24 February 1986) was a Scottish-born Baptist minister who became a prominent Canadian social democratic politician. As leader of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from 1942 and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, he led the first socialist government in North America and introduced universal public healthcare to Canada. When the CCF united with the Canadian Labour Congress to form the New Democratic Party, he was elected as its first federal leader and served in that post from 1961 to 1971. He is warmly remembered for his folksy wit and oratory with which he expressed his determined idealism, exemplified by his fable of Mouseland.

In 1930 Douglas married Irma Dempsey, a music student at Brandon College. They had one daughter, actress Shirley Douglas, and they later adopted a second daughter Joan, who became a nurse. His grandson is the actor Kiefer Sutherland.[1]

He was voted "The Greatest Canadian" of all time in a nationally televised contest organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2004."

-an extract from Wikipedia:

Alf Garvin's wife (my mother) medal inscribed 'Past President Ladies Auxillary' on the front and inscribed Mrs. Agnes Lavine Garvin Craik (Sask-10) 1942-9

Alf Garvin and his son at the farm Alf received from the DVA in 1945. It is (was) two miles East of Craik. This photo is 1951. Alf Garvin's son was a recruit, home on leave, from the RCM Police training Depot in Regina.

Alf Garvin and his mother 1940, at Craik, Sask.

Alf Garvin and his wife Agnes. Agnes held various duties at the Craik Legion, including President. This photo December 1978. Agnes died in 1996 at age 86. Alf died in 2002 at age 93. They were married for 68 years.

TG/gcs 21Mar2010