Wilkes, Fred

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Wilkes, Fred

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1919-1999

History

Frederick (Fred) Alfred Wilkes was born on a farm in Ridgedale, Saskatchewan in 1919. He studied agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan and theology at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon. He was ordained by the Saskatchewan Conference in 1953 and was a United Church minister in Saskatchewan and later in Ontario and Quebec. Wilkes published a history of the Canadian pioneers in the prairies, with a specific emphasis on southern Saskatchewan. The book, entitled They Rose from the Dust, was developed from the Golden Jubilee project of the Tugaske, Eyebrow, Brownlee, Bridgeford and Eskbank communities. He also wrote a serial called Tuxford of the Plains based on the letters of George Tuxford from 1888-1918. The series was published in the Western Producer in 1967-1968. Wilkes retired from ministering in 1984 and died in 1999 in Ontario.

George Stuart Tuxford was born on February 7, 1870 in Penmorfa, Caernarvonshire, North Wales. He immigrated to a farm in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan with his wife in the 1890s. During the height of the Klondike gold rush in 1898, Tuxford led a herd of cattle from Moose Jaw to Dawson City. His cattle drive is the longest in Canadian history. Tuxford also had a decorated military career, joining the militia in 1906. He was a member of the 16th Mounted Rifles, and when the squadron expanded and renamed the 27th Light Horse, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In August 1914, he became the 5th Battalion’s first commanding officer. In 1915 he led his battalion in the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Festubert. Tuxford was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1916 and lead troops in many important battles throughout WWII. In 1934 he received the Efficiency decoration and in 1937 the King George VI medal. He died in Victoria, B.C in 1943.

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SCAA-MJPL-0013

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