1880 - 1953
Arthur Leighton was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, on January 5, 1880. His parents were school teachers and moved to Cambridge and Bristol where Arthur was educated. After immigrating to Canada he found work as a farmhand in Manitoba. In 1902, he enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, Lord Strathcona Horse, under the command of Commander Sam Steele. He sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the "S.S. Victorian" to Table Bay, South Africa and fought in the Boer War. He returned to Manitoba in 1904 and worked on the Wright Farm where he met Alice Sophia Wright. Leighton attended the University of Manitoba where he studied law and in 1908 he was called to the Bar in Winnipeg. On June 8, 1908, Alice and Arthur were married in Brampton, Ontario.
Arthur practiced law in Minnedosa for four years then in 1912, the couple moved to Nanaimo, and settled on Machleary Street where he practiced law as the senior partner of Leighton, Meakin & Weir. Arhtur was also a great cricket enthusiast in the Nanaimo Cricket Club and a member of the BC All Star Cricket Team. In 1915, Arthur Leighton left his business in the hands of J. Ross, to join the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade as a commissioned lieutenant and was later promoted to captain. They soon found themselves involved in trench warfare in France with a Mortar Battery. Alice followed Arthur to Europe as soon as she could book passage arriving in England in 1916. After a short reunion with Arthur, Alice began to work with the Ministry of Pensions. She later became a volunteer at St. Dunstan's Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors. Arthur's knee was wounded from a shell blast and he spent some time in England recovering from his injury before he returned to his Battery.
The couple returned to Nanaimo in 1919, and settled near Departure Bay by the Pacific Biological Station. Arthur returned to his practice and Alice became involved in many charitable societies. She assisted with the organization of the Local Council of Women and occupied the office of Corresponding Secretary for the first year. She also held the post of educational secretary of the Bastion chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire and was a member of St. Paul's Church. On January 13, 1922, Alice became the second woman only in Nanaimo, to be elected to the office of school trustee, by beating out Mayor Busby and ex-alderman, G.W. Ferguson.
The Leighton's were avid gardeners and Arthur enjoyed going into the mountains in search of wildflowers for the garden. In July 1929, he joined Geoffrey Capes, Adrian Paul, Cyril Berkeley and his daughter Alfreda (also from Nanaimo) and Ben Hughes on a trip to the Comox Glacier via Kookjai Mountain. He was a member of Ashlar Lodge No 3 AF & AM, Keystone Chapter #8, Bethlehem Preceptory #69, Gizeh Temple Order of the Mystic Shrine, Kiwanis, and the Chamber of Commerce. There were no children. Arthur passed away in Vancouver on August 1, 1953, at the age of seventy-three and Alice in Nanaimo, July 28, 1957.