The Military Museums

John Valentine

John Cuthbert Valentine (Bert) enjoyed the rare distinction of having served in both World Wars.

John Valentine

John Cuthbert Valentine (Bert) enjoyed the rare distinction of having served in both World Wars.

John Valentine

John Cuthbert Valentine enjoyed the rare distinction of having served in both World Wars. Born in Ireland, he immigrated to Canada with his parents in 1911, and served with the North West Mounted Police. He joined the Lord Strathcona's Horse in early 1917, and was sent to England in October of the same year.

As one of the few survivors of the Battle of Moreuil Wood, he witnessed the end of the German Spring Offensive in 1918. After this battle he was promoted to Lance Corporal. After the war Bert remained active in the militia and was promoted to Major in 1933. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed paymaster with the Calgary Highlanders, and by the close of the war, was supervisor for all Canada pay services in Northwest Europe.

War Years

J.C. "Bert" Valentine was born in Dublin, Ireland on September 20th 1898. He was the eldest of six boys. In 1911, he and his family immigrated to Calgary.

Truly pioneers, it was reported that the Valentine family spent the winter of 1911 in a tent on the banks of the Bow River, near St. Georges Island. Reaching manhood early, at age 18, he served with the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP). He joined the Lord Strathcona's Horse (LDSH) (Royal Canadians) in February 1917.

In October that same year Private Valentine arrived in England to fight in the trenches of First World War. His regiment set out for France in February 1918. After surviving the Battle of Moreuil Wood he was promoted to rank of Lance Corporal. On April 5, 1919 he was discharged.

On his return to Calgary in 1919 he worked for the CPR and on the order desk at the Motor Car Supply Company. Bert Remained active in the militia and in 1923 was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 15th Canadian Light Horse. He continued his training and qualified as Captain in 1925.

In 1927, he married Evelyn LaMarche and shortly thereafter joined the Ford Motor Company. In 1933 Bert was promoted to Major. At the outbreak of the Second World War was appointed Paymaster with the Calgary Highlanders and sailed once more for England in 1940.

In August 1942, he was promoted to the rank of Major and transferred to the Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps (RCAPC) as a field cashier with the 2nd Canadian Division. Between 1943 and 1945 he served on every front in Europe and Africa as a Senior Pay Officer in the field. At the close of the war Bert was the supervisor for all of Canada Pay Services in Northwest Europe.

When discharged on November 30, 1945 Lieutenant Colonel Valentine had completed a career that included both world wars, he had 9 campaign medals and had been mentioned in dispatches twice 1916 - 1919 while serving with the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and again in 1945.

After the War

Lieutenant Colonel Valentine was the charter President of the RCAPC Association of Alberta and served as Past President of the Dominion RCAPC Association.

At the end of the war he returned to Calgary and to his family of two sons Ted and Doug, and two daughters Nora and Anne, and rejoined the Ford Motor Company in the Lincoln Mercury Division where he set up Basil French as the dealer principal of Universal Sales & Service.

In 1946, he and his business partner Ted Halford established Halford & Valentine Ltd as Texaco retailers in the Big Chief service station at the corner of 17th Ave & 1st West in Calgary. They began by selling Austin, Austin Healey and MGs throughout Southern Alberta and sold some American Motor products and Studebaker cars.

They moved to 12th Avenue & Center Street in 1951. Bert's eldest son Ted joined the firm in 1953. In 1967, Halford & Valentine received the Volvo line and became an exclusive Volvo dealer in 1970.

In 1968, the firm moved to 1st Street SW and Ted became the dealer principal upon the retirement of Bert Valentine and Ted Halford. Bert Valentine died in 1970 and Ted Halford the following year.

Ted's son Paul joined the firm in 1989 under the new name of Valentine Volvo. Paul became General Manager in April 2000 when the firm moved into new premises at 11 Richard Way SW.


Upon his death on April 1st 1970, Lieutenant Colonel Valentine held the following honors and decorations:

British War Medal 1914 - 1920 Canada Volunteer Service Medal with Bar
WWI Victory Medal 1939 – 1945 War Medal with Oak leaf (MID)
1939-1945 Star King George VI Coronation Medal - 1937
Italy Star Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal
France and Germany Star Canadian Efficiency Decoration
Defense Medal WWI Discharge Pin
WWII General Service Pin
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