Saskatchewan Gen Web Project - SASKATCHEWAN AND ITS PEOPLE by JOHN HAWKES Vol 1II 1924

Colonel Norman Gentles, sheriff of the Judicial District of Moose Jaw, is well known as a member of the legal profession in Moose Jaw and a veteran of the Great war, with a distinguished service record. He came to Canada from Scotland, his native land, eleven years ago, and has re- sided in Moose Jaw ever since, with the exception of the time he spent in the army. Here he was engaged in the practice of law and had built up a gratifying practice when he was appointed sheriff of this district in 1922. What the profession lost when Colonel Gentles gave up his practice to enter upon his new duties was more than gained by the public as a whole, for he has performed his duties as a public officer with ability and judgment, upholding the highest traditions and standards of service in official positions. Norman Gentles was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 31st of March, 1873, the son of the Rev. Thomas and Cecile (Wer- nicke) Gentles, the former of whom was a Scotchman by birth, but the mother was a native of Stralsund, a German port on the Baltic sea, and was married in the land of her birth. The Rev. Thomas Gentles was an honor student in classics at Aberdeen University, from which he grad- uated, and began life as a schoolmaster. Eventually he became a clergy- man in the Established Church of Scotland and preached at Trinity College church of Edinburgh and in Paisley Abbey. During the twenty-seven years he was minister at the Abbey he effected the restoration of that famous old building, at a cost of a million dollars. Norman Gentles is the fifth child in a family of nine, eight of whom are living. He was educated in the Paisley Grammar school and the Uni- versity of Glasgow, graduating from the latter in the class of 1895, with the Bachelor of Laws degree. After serving his apprenticeship at law in a Glasgow office he established a practice in Motherwell, Scotland, where he remained for thirteen years. In the course of his residence in Motherwell he was made parish councillor and became a magistrate. Mr. Gentles was not completely satisfied with the future as he saw it stretching out before him in Scotland and determined to seek another field that was broader and where opportunities were more plentiful. Accordingly, he disposed of his practice in Motherwell and set sail for Canada. Mr. Gentles arrived in the Dominion in March, 1913, and made his way west to Moose Jaw, where he became associated with the legal firm of Seaborn, Taylor, Pope & Quirk, with whom he remained until September of the following year. He gave up his legal work to enter the army and was among the first of the Moose Jaw men to enlist. It was more than four years before he re- turned to civilian life. For a short time after coming back to Moose Jaw, Colonel Gentles practiced law alone, but in May, 1919, joined Mr. Broatch in forming a partnership under the name of Broatch & Gentles. This firm continued successfully until October, 1922, when Colonel Gentles' appointment to the office of sheriff necessitated his withdrawal from prac- tice. The outbreak of the Great war in August, 1914, did not find Norman Gentles totally inexperienced in affairs of a military nature, for twenty- five years before he came to the Dominion he served in the Territorial Army of Scotland and when he retired was holding the rank of major. He was also awarded the long service decoration for his work in the Terri- torial army. When he left Moose Jaw for service in the European war, in the fall of 1914, it was as captain in command of the Moose Jaw Com- pany, Twenty-eighth Northwest Battalion. The 15th of the following January witnessed his promotion to the rank of major. He sailed for England in May, 1915, and upon his arrival was appointed adjutant. After a period of intensive training in England, Major Gentles went to France with his unit and as battalion adjutant was at the front until October, 1916. He was sent from the front lines to his base, where he was an instructor until January, 1917, when he was appointed commandant of the Second Canadian Division Training School in the front area, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. In November, 1918, he was recalled to England to take command of the Canadian Cadet Corps at Bexhill. He was honorably discharged the following March and returned to Moose Jaw. Colonel Gentles was made a companion of the DistinguIshed Service Order during the war, mentioned three times in the commanding chief's dispatches and awarded the French medal of honor. In June, 1902, Mr. Gentles was married to Miss Margaret Wallace, daughter of the Rev. John Wallace, a clergyman of Scotland. Mrs. Gentles was born in Dalrymple, where her father had charge of the Dalrymple parish where Robert Burns attended school. Her great-great-grandfather, General Sir Robert Henry Dick, was in command of the famous Black Watch at the battle of Waterloo and was later killed while in action in In- dia. Four children have been born to Colonel, and Mrs. Gentles: Margaret, who is a stenographer; and Thomas Patrick, Norman Wallace and Robert Henry, all of whom are attending school. The family is affiliated with the Presbyterian church, in which Colonel Gentles is an elder. He is a Mason, his associations being with St. John Hamilton Kuwinning Lodge, No.7, A. F. & A. M., of Scotland, and he is a charter member of Memorial Lodge, No.172, A. F. & A. M. of Moose Jaw. This last mentioned lodge is unique in that all the charter members saw overseas service in the Great war. Colonel Gentles has continued to take a deep interest in the welfare of all former service men and has been a leader in their organiza- tions. He was formerly president of the Great War Veterans Association and is now holding the presidency of the United Service Club of Moose Jaw. His athletic hobby is golf, but he is fond of all the clean, manlY sports and holds that they should receive the proper encouragement. The amateur gardeners claim him as one of the fraternity, as he has a garden each year that does him great credit as a horticulturist and gives him a vast amount of pleasure. Bibliography follows:

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