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Museum Blog

Remembering Three Central Albertans

Eneas Makokis

Eneas Makokis was born in Saddle Lake, Alberta on August 9th, 1897. From documents, we know his father's name was John, and he had a sister named Mary. Eneas was a student at the Indian Industrial School in Red Deer up until 1915. He enlisted in Red Deer on January 29, 1917 at the age of 19 and became a member of the 50th Battalion Canadian Infantry. Eneas saw overseas service in England and France. Eneas was killed in action on September 2, 1918 and is buried in Pas-de-Calais, France. 

(image) Eneas Makokis; Courtesy of Red Deer & District Archives.

Leonard Miller 

Leonard Alfred Miller was born on his family farm in the Cottonwood District west of Innisfail on June 27, 1918 to Jesse and Francis Miller. He enlisted in the 15th Alberta Light Horse Reserve force in August 1938 with his friend Laurence Larsen. They had to bring their own horses to training at the Sarcee Camp in Calgary.

On July 28, 1941 he transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps and attended training at Camp ‘K’ Kananaskis. After completing his training, he was transferred to the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) in Dundurn, Saskatchewan before being deployed overseas to Liverpool UK in April 1942.

He spent until October 10, 1944 training with various engineer units in England. This training included spending time with the Night Vision Training and Test Unit. He disembarked in France on October 11, 1944. Taken on strength by the 6th Canadian Field Company, RCE, Sapper Miller and his unit headed north, where they helped clear the Scheldt Estuary in the Netherlands.

On March 16, 1945, Sapper Miller and three of his comrades were defusing enemy mines. At 1615, three mines exploded, killing all four soldiers. The reason for the explosions was determined to be either faulty mechanism due to water and weather corrosion or a mechanism weakened by the explosion of shells in the area. He was 27 years old.

Sapper Miller was buried that evening at the temporary Canadian War Cemetery in the village of Bedburg, Germany. In 1946, his grave was moved to the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

(image) Leonard Miller.

Harvey St Denys

(pictured) Harvey St. Denys and wife, Mary Bramley. When Harvey signed up for service in World War II, he marked his nationality as French Canadian, as identifying as Métis was not an option. Harvey met his war bride, Mary Bramley, while skating at the Paisley Ice Rink (England). Mary slipped and fell on the ice, Harvey tripped over her, and once it was safe to do so, he helped her up.

Mary’s father, a high ranking military man, opposed the marriage, so Harvey sought permission to marry from his father-in-law’s superior. As a result, Mary’s family disowned her. Harvey returned to Canada after the war, bringing his bride. They lived in a small shack off the highway entering into Caroline, Alberta. They had a loving and successful marriage, and had two daughters, Kay and Raye. The family moved into Red Deer in the 1960's.

(image) Harvey St. Denys and Wife Mary Bramley.

Remembrance Day 2020

We are open from 12-4:30 pm on November 11th, with informal tours of the military section in our permanent history exhibit taking place through the afternoon, as well as an art activity running in our Stewart Discovery Studio from 1-4 pm.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, please let us know you're coming by booking your visit online.

Looking for more reading material? Check out our Liberation of Holland blog post!

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