Sapper Norman "Earl" Campbell
2nd Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops
Norman "Earl" Campbell was born March 22, 1895 in Vaughan Twp.
Earl was the 6th child of Jerome Campbell and Martha (McMurchy). The family lived south of Nobleton and moved to Kinghorn where Earl and his siblings attended the Kinghorn Public School.
In February 1916, Earl was recruited into the 127th Battalion, York Rangers. He was sent overseas in 1917. He returned to Canada in 1919 after suffering a wound and gas inhalation when his gas mask became entangled in barbed wire.
Between 1916 and 1919, Earl sent over 100 pieces of correspondence, including letters, postcards, and photographs to his family in King Township. Through this correspondence, Earl captured the conditions of living in the trenches, the sights and sounds of constant bombings, and sadly news of friends and comrades that were killed or injured. Earl's letters also capture the events that were happening at home in King Township.
In 1925 he married Hazel Gambrill and lived on W ½ of Lot 8, Con. 4, King Township. Earl and Hazel had five daughters - Clara, Gloria, Gerry, Earlene and Shirley. During the 1930s he began a silver fox farm, which he named "Vimy Ridge" Fur Farm. Earl was an avid sportsman, playing soccer and he won a medal in speed skating competitions. Earl sold the farm in 1967 and built a new house on a reserved two acres. In his later years, Earl was the caretaker of the King City Cemetery. Earl died March 14th, 1971.
We are fortunate that Earl's family, first his sister Merelda, then Earl's own children had the foresight to preserve this precious correspondence.