By Dan Walton
A valley transplant who hails from Saskatchewan brought with him a noble bloodline of heroes from the Second World War.
Jim Allan, now living in Invermere, grew up on a farm in Creelman, Saskatchewan, a property that was purchased with his fathers repatriation pay. Jims father, Colin Allan, along with one of Jims three uncles, Colins brother Donald Allan, was a part of the South Saskatchewan regiment from 1939 to 1945. Between his posts inItaly, France, Germany and Libya, Colin achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant as a tank mechanicwith the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps.
He was trained as a mechanic in the army, but he was a farm boy before he went there, Jim told The Pioneer.
His mom, Edith Laderoute-Allan, who was also raised in the village of Creelman, served as a clerk and accountant in the war between 1941 and 1945. Edith was stationed at the Royal Canadian Air Force in London, England and held the rank of Corporal.
She was a school teacher and decided that she wanted to do her part, so she enlisted, Jim said. I was pretty proud of them for volunteering to enlist.
Furthermore, Ediths father, Robert E. Sim, also served overseas from 1939 to 1945 as a Corporal in the Canadian Armys Transport Division. He, too, was born in Saskatchewan and returned to the Prairies to farm upon discharge.
His parents decision to serve was instrumental in Jim and his brother, Peter, joining the Canadian Armed Forces.
I served from 1969 to 1974 and was an Aircraft Structures Technician stationed at CFB Cold Lake and CFB Calgary, Alberta, he explained. Peter served from 1968 to 1972 and was an air traffic controller stationed at CFB Uplands (Ottawa) Ontario.
While they have their own military experiences to recall, the Allan siblings didnt learn many specifics about World War II from their parents and grandfather.
They didnt say a whole lot about it, said Jim. Only what we could get out of them by asking.
Colin passed away in 1987, and Edith in 1995.
Jim enjoyed his time in the military, but made a career change to the oil industry, where he spent 40 years working and living in Alberta. He moved to the valley ten years ago as a part-time resident, and more recently committed to becoming a full-time resident.
See next weeks Pioneer for a second account of the Allan familys wartime service from the perspective of Invermere resident Helen (Allan) Kohorst, Jims cousin.