Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Clemo Morden (1909-1955)


Born at Bracebridge, Ontario on 18 December 1909, son of Reverend Charles Draper Morden (1870-1914) and Nellie Clemo (1877-1941), he came to Winnipeg with his mother around 1920 and attended the Central Normal School. During the Second World War he enlisted with the Army and served as Corporal (1941), Sargent (1943), and later Lieutenant (1944) with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. He took officer training (1943) at Gordon Head, British Columbia and was posted to Weyburn, Saskatchewan (1944). Following his military discharge, he resided at 969 Banning Street and attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a BSc (1949).

On 18 July 1940, he married Marion Cove (1920-2015), daughter of E. H. Cove, at her Winnipeg home. The couple had three daughters. In 1950, they moved to Fort Churchill, where he was the Principal of Fort Churchill School (1950-1954) and Fort Churchill High School (1954-1955).

On 4 June 1955, he and two military officers at the base, Lieutenant Colonel C. W. Carr of Alabama and First Lieutenant H. A. Snellings of Hillsboro, Texas (both from the US Army’s 1099th Army Service Unit, First Arctic Test Detachment) set off on a fishing trip. The trio was reported missing two days later and an extensive air, sea and land-based search ensued. Debris was found along the Churchill River and along the shore of Hudson Bay. Morden’s body was found two weeks later on the north bank of the Churchill River. The bodies of the two Americans were presumed lost at sea. Morden’s wife, who later remarried to Gordon Richard Fines, was pregnant with their third child at the time of his death.


Ontario birth and death registrations, Ancestry.

“Morden - Cove,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 July 1940, page 6.

Obituary [Mrs. Nellie Clemo Morden], Winnipeg Tribune, 2 September 1941, page 17.

“Five Manitoba soldiers take on depot strength,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 March 1943, page 2.

“Cadet officers at four centres,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 March 1943, page 3.

“Winnipeggers quality for commissions,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1943, page 18.

“University awards,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1949, page 8.

“Fuel can only trace of anglers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 1955, page 2.

“3rd lifebelt is found,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 June 1955, page 3.

“Army to call off hunt if no word by Tuesday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 June 1955, page 9.

“Given up for lost,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 June 1955, page 40.

“Report says city man’s body found,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 July 1955, page 2.

Birth notice [Morden], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 1945, page 15.

“Morden - Wadelius,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 November 1966, page 22.

Obituary [Marion Cove Morden Fines], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 September 2015.

We thank Charlene Wadelius for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 6 April 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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