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Early Life

Earl Alexander Olmsted was born in Ottawa at the start of WWI in 1914. He was the first member of his extended family to receive a university degree from St. Patrick's College in Ottawa. He had always wanted to attend Queen's University but was unable to do so because of financial constraints caused by the Great Depression. He met his wife Marjorie Kingsland (Salter) Olmsted at Parkdale United Church in Ottawa, Ontario – they would remain together for over 70 years.

Enlistment & Training in the Canadian Forces

A family story suggests that E. A. Olmsted was attending Red Pine Camp near Ottawa, Ontario, when war was officially declared. 

In a solemn address titled "Canada at the side of Britain," Prime Minister Mackenzie King speaks to his country. Earlier the same day, King George VI declared war on Germany. Canada will follow suit a week later as a sovereign nation. With steely resolve, King makes obvious his intention to curb Germany's aggression. "To save one," he implores in this radio address, "we must make up our minds to save all." [full audio available]

The following picture features E. A. Olmsted during military training, which is thought to have been at Camp Petawawa, Ontario based on his Certificate of Military Qualification. E. A. Olmsted can be found in the second row from the front, seven places to the right. The specific location, date and other service members in this photo have note been confirmed at this time.

E. A. Olmsted Training.jpg