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Contributing to the War Effort: Remembering a Veteran from East Gwillimbury

Today is a day where we pause and reflect about those who fought and served in the wars in which Canada has participated. This year in particular represents an extremely important milestone: it is the 100th anniversary of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance. We remember this particular day as the First World War ended on the 11th month of the 11th day of 1918.


Many families in the area sent off sons, brothers, fathers and uncles to fight overseas. One of these people we will profile here is Stanley Samuel Marles, from Holt. He was born on September 11th, 1896; his enlistment papers show that he was a farmer and a Free Methodist, presumably attending the church in Holt. He enlisted in May 16th 1918 at Toronto, and trained at Butler’s Barracks near Camp Niagara in May-June of 1918. He arrived in England in August of 1918 on the S.S. Corsican and was stationed at a training camp in Witley for a brief time. He was paid $20 per month during this time, and the money was sent to his mother Mrs. Cassie Marles. While overseas, he saw action in France, serving with the 19th Battalion. He returned to Toronto a year after he had left, receiving an honorable discharge for his service.



Figure 1: Photo of young men from the Holt area going off to war. Back row left to right, Stuart Pegg, Isaac Pegg, Everton Pegg, and Bristol Secord. Front row, Joseph Coates, Stanley Shanks, & Stanley Marles.


At some point after his stint in the army he got married to Annie Christine Brohm and they lived in the brick house on the Marles family farm. He and Annie would go on to have nine children: Shiela, Ada, Russell, Walter, Catherine, David, Denna, Anne and Louis. His brother Ernest had a farm in close proximity to him near the Doane Road. He did mixed farming and kept cows, chickens, geese, pigs and goats. In 1953, the family bought its first Ferguson tractor to help out around the farm, and Stan lived on the farm for the rest of his life.


He died on June 24, 1965, at Sunnybrook Hospital of natural causes.


Even though he is no longer with us, we would like to thank Stanley, and many thousands of others like him, for his service in the many wars in which Canada has participated.

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