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- Vince, Edward Raban
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Edward Raban Vince was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, on 14 April 1887, the second son and youngest child of Colonel Donald McLeod Vince, KC, VD, Lld, and Milicent Adeline Nevers. He received his early education in Woodstock, and upon graduation from high school, was awarded the Governor-General's medal for the highest marks in the province. He studied civil engineering at the University of New Brunswick and at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham, England.
Vince started his career in the militia company that his father had formed by enlisting on 1 June 1895, at the age of eight, as a bugler. He successfully held all ranks, including Sergeant Major, and was commissioned on 1 July 1906. In the course of military service he took his oath of allegiance to five sovereigns including Queen Victoria.
Before 1914, as a civil engineer, he surveyed for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was attached to the Royal Engineers. After his father's death, he was associated with his elder brother, Colonel Neville Vince, DSO, of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment, in the family law practice. The outbreak of the war in 1914 prevented him from taking final examinations for the New Brunswick bar.
In August of 1914, Edward Raban Vince, with the 1st (Brighton) Field Company Canadian Engineers, left for Valcartier Camp to join the 1st Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Reverting to the rank of Lieutenant and in command of No. 1 section, 1st Field Company, he sailed for England on 3 October.
After a distinguished war service, including a Military Cross for gallantry, he remained in command Canada's only regular Engineer Company. He served in many locations and was present in Westminster Abbey for the coronation of George VI. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1936.
In 1939, he was in Halifax as District Engineer Officer directing the restoration of the Halifax Citadel. After war was declared, he was involved with the modern defence of the Atlantic region, working on harbour fortifications, aerodromes, and camps, and similar installations. Although he was over age, Col. Vince still sought to go overseas to command the fighting troops. Finally in 1941, with the main defences of the east coast essentially completed, he was appointed CRE of the 1st (later 5th) Canadian Armoured Division and, with the Divisional Engineers, left for England in December. The age regulations soon concluded his appointment. He returned to Halifax and retired in January 1944. His years of retirement were spent at his farm in Lower Woodstock.
He was twice married. His first wife was Agnes Gertrude Haugh of Portumna, County Galway, Ireland. They were married in England in 1919. She died in 1939. They had two children; Margaret Melicent Anna (b. 1925), and Donald Michael Raban (b. 1921). Edward Raban Vince married Margaret Madeline Belyea of Woodstock in 1951.
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