Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Alfred Turner (1912-1960)

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James Alfred Turner
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Administrator, educator.

Born at Winnipeg on 11 July 1912, son of James Kennedy Burgess Turner (1860-1945) and Clara May Reader (1872-1959), he attended the University of Manitoba, attaining a Bachelor of Arts (1937) and a Bachelor of Education (1939). He taught school until the outbreak of the Second World War, at which point he was the Principal of Norwood School (?-1939). He enlisted in 1941, serving as Adjutant of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. He went to Europe in 1940, attained the rank of Captain, and saw combat at Dieppe in August 1942. He was taken captive and was imprisoned at Oflag 7B (Eichstatt, Germany) for two and half years before being liberated in May 1945. He was mentioned in dispatches, awarded the Croix de Guerre with Silver Star (1946) by the French Government for his part in the Dieppe Raid.

On 25 August 1936, he married Margaret Jane Buchanan (1912-?) at First Presbyterian Church in Brandon. He later re-married, to Rose McManus “Pat” Bullock on 26 May 1945 at the Registry Office in Liverpool, England. They returned to Winnipeg in July 1945 and would later have three children: Leslie Lynne Turner (b 1947), Heather Turner (b 1949), and James Kennedy Burgess “Kenny” Turner (b 1956).

In August 1945, he joined the University of Manitoba as a veterans councillor, and became the Assistant Registrar in March 1946. He was Regional Supervisor of Special Placements with the Unemployment Insurance Commission (1949-1960) and also liaised with other commission offices and educational institutions. He taught at Charleswood Collegiate from September to November 1960. He served on committees of the Manitoba ex-POW Association (1950) and was a member of the Masons (Norwood Lodge No. 119).

He died at his Winnipeg residence, 340 Thompson Drive, on 5 November 1960 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


Birth registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Turner-Buchanan,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 August 1936, page 7.

“Enlisted in February,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 Sept 1942, page 6.

“Canadian Active Army issues two Dieppe prisoner lists,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 December 1942, page 10.

“Free 24 more Manitobans,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1945, page 6.

“6 Manitobans out of prison camps,” Winnipeg Free Press, 19 May 1945, page 6.

“Norwood Principal weds overseas,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 July 1945, page 8.

Obituary [James K. B. Turner], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 December 1945, page 12.

“U. of M. announces changes in staff,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 1946, page 3.

“5 Manitoba soldiers awarded French honors,” Winnipeg Free Press, 26 November 1946, page 3.

“Family robe a christening,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 1947, page 12.

“Government post for J. A. Turner,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 October 1949, page 9.

“Manitoba POW's form group; will seek $1,125,000 in grants,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1950, page 29.

“Self-made houses are fun,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 November 1954, page 17.

“Births [Turner],” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 August 1956, page 26.

Obituary [Clara M. Turner], Winnipeg Free Press, 27 July 1959, page 8.

“Ex-Adjutant of Camerons dead at 48,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 November 1960, page 19.

We thank Heather Buggie, Leslie Dunford, and Ken Turner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 8 May 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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