Memorable Manitobans: Charles Kenning Newcombe (1877-1944)
Educator, civil servant.
Born at Banda, Ontario on 23 February 1877, son of Charles Kinsey Newcombe and Annie Kenning, elder brother of Harold K. Newcombe, in 1883 he moved with his parents to Westbourne, Manitoba where he was raised. He attended the Winnipeg Collegiate then, starting at age 15, he began teaching successively at Woodside School, Shoal Lake School, Alexander School (1899), and Virden School (1899-c1904).
While at Virden, he did extra-mural work that earned him a BA degree from the University of Manitoba. He worked as a School Inspector from 1905 to 1909. In the latter year, he studied law then entered the firm of Aikins, Fullerton, Foley and Newcombe. In 1914, he returned to educational work as Superintendent of Education for Manitoba.
During the First World War, he enlisted in the army and went overseas in 1915 as a Major and second-in-command of the 184th battalion, later transferring to the 442nd siege battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. After the war he returned to his position as Superintendent of Education. In 1920 he became Principal of the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute (now Daniel McIntyre Collegiate). He served as Principal of the Manitoba Educational Association (1922-1923). In 1925, he was appointed Chairman of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, a post which he held to his death.
On 10 December 1912, he married Barbara Livingstone Purdon, daughter of Robert Purdon, at Brandon. They had three children: Rev. Charles Newcombe, Kenning Newcombe, and Barbara Newcombe (Hill). He was a member of the Manitoba Club and the St. Charles Country Club, served as President of the Canadian Club of Winnipeg (1920-21), and was a member of Westminster United Church. In 1922, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Progressive Party in Manitoba’s general election.
He died at Winnipeg on 29 September 1944 and was buried in Brookside Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Attestation Papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“C. K. Newcombe dies Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 September 1944, page 4.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 September 1944, page 19.
“Maj. C. K. Newcombe is buried Monday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 October 1944, page 4.
The History of the Manitoba Educational Association by Ernest Butterworth, MEd thesis, Faculty of Graduate Study and Research, University of Manitoba, 1965.
This profile was prepared by E. James Arnett, Barbara Newcombe Hill, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Profile revised: 20 May 2013
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