Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harold Arthur Whitfield (1876-1951)

Educator.

Born at Moseley, Worcestershire, England on 7 July 1876, son of Hubert Whitfield (1840-1883) and Mary Ann Green (1841-?), he attended university at Pembroke (1895). In 1905, he married Dorothy Dowd (1879-1972) at London and they had two sons: Richard Arthur Whitfield (1906-1971) and Hubert Whitfield (1909-1969). They immigrated to Canada in 1912, came to Manitoba, and had two more sons: Edward Whitfield (1913-1995) and Bernard Anthony “Ben” Whitfield (1914-1998). In September 1913, he applied for a land grant of SE14-25-7W, near Ashern, and began farming.

After two years working the land, and with the onset of the First World War, he signed up for military service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He enlisted at Ashern in November 1915 and was taken on strength as a Private with the 16th Battalion and served 18 months in the 108th Overseas Battalion, departing Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Olympia in September 1916. While in Europe, he received multiple shrapnel wounds to his back and left hand and was eventually sent back to Canada for demobilization. He was discharged at Winnipeg in March 1919 and briefly worked as a solicitor before re-applying for military service at the No. 10 Engineer Depot in April. With the rank of Sapper, he was officially demobilized two months later, in June 1919.

Returning to civilian life, he was granted a homestead patent in 1920, though he appears to have abandoned farming in pursuit of education. Within a year, he moved the family to St. James while he taught at schools in rural Manitoba, including Rattray School (1921) and Morning Star School (1922), and was Principal of Lindal School (1923), Ebor School (1923-1924), and Wentworth School (1924-1925), after which he taught at Teulon High School (1925-1926). During this time, they moved between several locations in St. James, including 252 King Edward Street (1921), 266 Roseberry Street (1926), and 278 Hampton Street (1930). Around late 1925, he took up employment as a salesman, working for Mason & Risch Piano Company as well as the Winnipeg Piano Company during the latter 1920s into early 1930s, before joining the National Radio Shop in the early 1930s.

He died in Manitoba on 4 May 1951 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.

Sources:

Birth registrations [Bernard Whitfield & Edward Whitefield], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1916, 1921, & 1926 Canada census, Library and Archives Canada.

Manitoba / Saskatchewan / Alberta, Canada Homestead Grant Register, Ancestry.

Western Land Grants, Library and Archives Canada.

Brookside Cemetery burial transcriptions, City of Winnipeg.

Obituary [Hubert Whitfield], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 September 1969, page 38.

Obituary [Richard Arthur Whitfield], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 1971, page 39.

Winnipeg estate files (ATG 0025A), #1536/72 - Dorothy Whitfield, Archives of Manitoba.

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

Bright family tree, Ancestry.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 30 January 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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