Elwin (Al) Plumbtree was born on September 2, 1915, in British Columbia and enlisted with the 1st Battalion, Rocky Mountain Rangers in June 1940. In the fall of 1941, he served in Italy with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and then attached to No. 2 Light Field Ambulance. In May 1944, Mr. Plumbtree was attending to the advanced dressing stations before and after the bombing of the Monte Cassino monastery when he went into a cleared area and stepped on a leftover mine. He lost his right leg below the knee.
Back in Canada, he joined The War Amps in 1950 and held the positions of:
- Member, Board of Directors, Vancouver Branch
- First Vice-President and Second Vice-President, Vancouver Branch
- President, Vancouver Branch (1964-1965)
Mr. Plumbtree was instrumental in the launch of the CHAMP Program in 1975 and was a dedicated supporter of it for the rest of his life. He went to many CHAMP seminars over the years and would share his experiences with the children and families who attended.
In his personal life, Mr. Plumbtree was an orthopedic appliance maker for more than 17 years. He was an active member of a bowling league, and at retirement, he continued with that sport, as well as golf and curling, setting an example for other retired War Amps members and civilian amputees.
Mr. Plumbtree passed away on September 28, 2017.
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