Memorable Manitobans: Francis Walker “Frank” Armstrong (1900-1986)
Cleric, community activist.
Born on a farm near Melita on 25 June 1900, son of Robert Armstrong (1861-1912) and Emily Jane Stewart (1862-1934), he was raised at Melita and enrolled in Manitoba College in 1921, He was ordained in the United Church of Canada in 1928 and received a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel College in Toronto in 1933. He served congregations at Pierson, Elva, The Pas, and Pipestone United Church.
During the Second World War, he enlisted in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, serving as chaplain to the regiment, and went overseas in June 1942. He was discharged as a Major in 1946. He returned to Manitoba and served at North Brandon, Bermuda, St. James United Church (1951-?), and Kirkfield Park United Church (?-1968). He retired in 1968.
On 26 June 1930, he married Emily Jane Horsley (?-?) and they had a daughter and a son. In retirement, he served as Winnipeg school trustee (1968-1977) and was a founder of the St. James-Assiniboia Historical Museum. He was President of the Association of Manitoba Museums (1973-1974) and helped to establish the Pioneer Citizens Association that rebuilt the Grant’s Old Mill on Sturgeon Creek. In 1966, he received a Margaret McWilliams award for an essay entitled “Voices in the Wilderness”. He was made an honorary citizen of Winnipeg.
In 1981, he and his wife moved to Edmonton, Alberta where he died on 13 July 1986.
His publications for the Manitoba Historical Society:
Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Capt. Frank W. Armstrong,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 April 1943, page 16.
“City calendar,” Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 1981, page 2.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 15 July 1986, page 39.
Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 May 2021