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Memorable Manitobans: Grace Emma James Palmer (1874-1939)


Born Grace Emma James in England on 15 July 1874, she took teacher training, married Reginald Palmer (1880-1916), and had two children: Marjorie Palmer (1906-1977, wife of Frank Woodrow Buchanan) and Roy Palmer (1907-?). Reginald immigrated to Canada in 1907, and she and their children followed in 1908. She taught at Tyndall School (1908-1909) before the couple moved to Winnipeg and settled at 36 Knappen Avenue. She joined the Winnipeg School Division and was Principal of Cambridge School (1909-1911) and the Detention Home School (1911-1914), after which she taught at Mulvey School (1914-1916). Following the death of her husband (formerly a physical education teacher at Victoria School and Carlton School) in the First World War, she spent time in England before returning to her career at Mulvey School (1917-1926, 1932-1933), later transferring to Gordon Bell Junior High School (1926-1932) and retiring in 1933. She was a member of the Kentish Association and Secretary of the organization in 1915. She died at the St. Vital home of her daughter on 21 June 1939 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Attestation papers [Reginald Palmer], Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

“Local notes [Kentish association],” Manitoba Free Press, 6 January 1915, page 3.

“Kentish society has fine concert,” Manitoba Free Press, 18 December 1915, page 3.

“Two Winnipeg officers killed,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 June 1916, page 7.

Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Reginald Palmer, Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 June 1939, page 12.

“In Memoriam [Reginald Palmer, Grace E. Palmer],” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 1940, page 28.

Obituary [Marjorie Buchanan], Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1977, page 55.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 October 2018

Memorable Manitobans

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