Percy Broad was killed at the battle of Somme in 1916. He and his brothers William and Thomas

Broad family lost three sons in war

One of Summerland’s most tragic stories of the Great War was about Professor William Tucker Broad’s sons.

Two days ago our community gathered in Memorial Park to remember and honour the soldiers who died in World War I and II.

But not all of Summerland’s fallen soldiers are listed on our cenotaph.

Some families did not want their loved ones posted on the cenotaph, for various reasons.

There are at least eight soldiers from World War I and at least three soldiers from World War II,  not listed.

One of Summerland’s most tragic stories of the Great War was about Professor William Tucker Broad’s sons. He lost three sons in World War I.

Broad had a long teaching career in England, Pennsylvania and finally Calgary.

He helped start Mt. Royal College and was a staff member there.

Broad specialized in Bible studies and was one of the translators of the Twentieth Century New Testament.

According to the Summerland Review, he was involved with “40 years of Bible class work as well as occupying various offices in the Methodist church.”

In 1912, Broad  and his wife Caroline bought a 10-acre orchard at 9106 Jones Flat Road (just to the west of the present Windmill Garden Centre.)

One of the reasons for moving to Summerland was for health reasons, with our milder winters.

When the Broads bought the orchard, their sons were William age 19, Samuel 18, Thomas, 17; Percy, 15 and Charles, 12.

The Broad sons attended school in Calgary and worked in their Summerland orchard in the summer months.

When World War I broke out, William had graduated from Law School at the University of Calgary and was working with a law firm there. Percy was a law student and records indicate that Thomas worked as a cashier.

William, Thomas and Percy all enlisted in 1915. Samuel did not enlist, perhaps for health reasons and Charles was too young.

Percy had just graduated from Law School when he enlisted. Several of his letters home were published in the Summerland Review.

In one of his letters, Percy wrote, “don’t worry about me or the other boys when they come over.

There is nothing really to be alarmed about. I am having the time of my life and would not have missed coming for anything. It is the only thing worthwhile I ever did.”

Seven days after writing that letter, Private Percy Broad was killed at the battle of Somme in 1916.

Oldest brother Lieutenant William Broad died at Vimy Ridge in 1917.

A year later, Captain William Broad fought at the battle of Monchy.

This village was a strategic site in France. It had been captured by the Commonwealth forces, then the German army acquired the village and during the final re-capture of the village in September 1918, Captain Thomas Broad was killed, just two months before the end of World War I.

When the war ended, the Broad family had been active Summerland citizens for six years. They chose to remember their sons with memorials in Calgary.

There is a plaque to remember the Broad sons at the Calgary Law School.

On July 1,  1923, there was a special memorial service at the Central Methodist church in Calgary to honour the three brothers.

Two plaques were placed in the church as memorials.

Broad and his wife and sons Samuel and Charles continued to live in Summerland after the war.

He died in 1923 and his wife died a year later.

Both are buried at the Peach Orchard Cemetery.

Summerland honours the Broad family with the naming of a street.

The Calgary Methodist church plaque reads, “their bodies are buried in peace but their name liveth for evermore.”

 

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