Les travelled by train with his brother, Archie, to the Canadian Prairies, on a harvest excursion in the fall of 1926. Their plan was to accumulate enough money to pay their way by ship to Australia, which they did. Unfortunately, the brothers went separately because of an incident that happened in Nelson, B.C., where Les was charged with assaulting a young boy. After a court case, Les was exonerated and he continued on his way, via Vancouver, San Francisco, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. The boys never did met up in Australia, but Les found work building houses for about six months, then returned to Canada in 1927. Les had it in his mind to visit the family of Horace Somerville, whom he had met while travelling west a year before. He really had his eye on one of the daughters, Helen. After a period of courtship, they married on 28 September 1929. Their honeymoon travels took them through Nelson and Passmore, B.C., so Les could visit with his Uncle Alex. Then onward to Kamloops, where Helen's Uncle Bob had promised work for Les, cutting wood to supply the boilers at the Royal Inland Hospital. Les and Helen found their way north to Chu Chua, where he worked as a millwright at the Windpass Mine (gold). It was while they were there that their first son, John Leslie, was born in 1932. John had a birth defect, spina bifida, so the new family was hard pressed to keep up with the medical costs. Another son, Robert Alexander, was born in 1936. Eight years passed, during which Helen had two miscarriages, then three more children were born, Charles Stephen (Steve), James, and Marylen, the latter three in Kamloops, where Les had built a house, completing it in 1944.
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