Vernon & District Family History Society

SHARING GENEALOGY KNOWLEDGE SINCE 1982

The Warn Brothers by Joyce Young

"FINDS A MINE, ENDS A LIFE" reads the headline from the New York Times dated May 16, 1910.

Harry F. Waugh, a leader of an expedition up the Mackenzie River and through the Yukon in 1909, killed himself after being unable to raise capital for the development of his mine.

We had a request recently for information on Harry F. Waugh. The writer was also interested in Stanley Harcourt Warn a long-time Vernon resident and his two brothers, Harold and Lance who had accompanied Harry Waugh on the expedition. I had to disappoint the writer with only the news article and an entry in the 1901 Census of Canada for the Unorganised Territories, Yukon for Mr. Waugh.

However, I was able to provide a wealth of information on Stanley H. Warn and his brothers. Using the subscription databases available at the Resource Centre I was able to track Stanley back to his family in England.

Using the BC Archives for marriage and death registrations, I was able to confirm the information gleaned from the various census pages and immigration records.

Image - Marriage of Stanley Warn & Alice Eldridge

Marriage of Stanley Warn & Alice Eldridge

The Greater Vernon Museum & Archives was my next stop. There I found a recording of a lecture given by Stanley's daughter, which included excerpts of Stanley's 1909 expedition journal. In addition, the museum had several photos of Stan Warn and his family taken during Vernon Days during the 1930s. Then I hit the jackpot! The museum has "People" files including a large file on the Warn family. It included copies of obituaries, news articles, wedding announcements and Royal Canadian Legion membership and correspondence.

Image - Obituary of Stan Warn

Obituary of Stan Warn

Not only were the Warn brothers adventurous participating in the expedition in 1909 but also they went on to serve in the First World War.

Image - Attestation Paper of Stanley Warn

Attestation Paper of Stanley Warn

Captain Lance Warn died in service to his country while Stan returned as an injured veteran. He spent eight days missing in action, given up for dead in no man's land. He crawled out in spite of his many injuries and recuperated in England before being sent home to Canada.

Image - 1916 News Article on Stanley Warn

1916 News Article on Stanley Warn

Stanley had been a competitive swimmer in his youth and after moving to Victoria held the BC Championship title for some time. This strength & endurance proved a significant factor in his survival during WWI.

This wealth of information provided an intriguing picture of a very strong, resourceful gentleman with great courage and fortitude.

I for one will be contacting the local archives for the communities in which my family's ancestors resided for help in developing a truer picture of their lives!