Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Charles Robert Newcombe (1914-1986)

Cleric, educator.

Born at Winnipeg on 29 September 1914, son of Charles K. Newcombe and Barbara Livingstone Purdon, grandson of Robert Purdon, he was educated at Kelvin High School, Wesley College, and United College, receiving in 1939 a degree in Theology from the latter institution. In 1939, he became an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and served charges at Whitemouth, Benito, Treherne, and Morse Place United (1941-1942). He then returned to clerical studies, graduating in 1947 with a Master of Sacred Theology from Oberlin College and receiving a doctoral degree from Vanderbilt University in the 1960s. From 1948 to retirement in 1979, he was Professor of Old Testament Studies and Semitic Languages and Literature at United College (subsequently the University of Winnipeg). On 1 August 1942, he married Gwen McWhirter of Redvers, Saskatchewan. They had two children: Charles Kenning Newcombe and Catherine Newcombe. He died at Winnipeg on 11 November 1986. A collection of his papers are held at the University of Winnipeg Archives and the university offers a scholarship in his name.


“Rev. C. R. Newcombe married to Miss Gwen McWhirter,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 August 1942, page 8.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 November 1986, page 28.

Charles R. Newcombe papers, University of Winnipeg Archives.

We thank James Arnett and Nathan Kramer for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 May 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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