Lloydminster woman looks for lost photo album’s family, finds New York doctor

Click to play video: 'Box of mystery photographs results in reunion of sorts for a man with Saskatchewan roots'
Box of mystery photographs results in reunion of sorts for a man with Saskatchewan roots
WATCH ABOVE: Box of mystery photographs results in reunion of sorts for a man with Saskatchewan roots. Ryan Kessler reports – Jan 20, 2017

A Lloydminster woman searching for owners of an aging photo album hasn’t found many answers, but is one step closer thanks to a New York doctor.

Crystal Miller’s family frequents yard sales, estate sales and flea markets in search of a bargain. At some point her sister came across a black photo album with worn edges and loose pictures.

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“I thought ‘well, these don’t belong to me and they’re very personal looking,” Miller said.

She contacted Global News, offering a few hints, including the name of Second World War and Korean War serviceman “W.D. Smallman” and the date of 1941 on one of the pictures.

One of the images shows him standing at the base of Saskatoon’s Broadway Bridge.

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With help from Saskatoon’s city archivist, historical records and social media, Donald Smallman was identified and his son Thomas Smallman contacted.

“I loved my father profoundly,” Thomas Smallman said with a tear during a video conversation from Sarasota, Fla.

His father was severely wounded in the lower body during the Korean War. For two years upon his return, the lieutenant’s family would visit him in hospital.

“My dad was a loving, caring, giving individual.”

Donald Smallman never realized his aspirations of becoming a doctor. His son not only did that, but went on to become an orthopedic surgeon. Thomas Smallman also joined the military.

READ MORE: Korea: Mapping the dead of Canada’s forgotten war

As for why his father is pictured in the album, Thomas Smallman said his grandparents farmed near Hanley, Sask.

There are more than 80 pictures in the album and Smallman was just one of the surnames.

Global News is still seeking the owner of the album.

Other names appearing on pictures that have detached from the album include:

  • Pauline, Patsy, Johnny and Catherine Yaschuk;
  • Harold Lamb;
  • Photograph finisher Len Hillyard; and
  • Other pictures only have first names: Eileen, Marjorie, Warren, Peggy, Gord, Irene, Bill and Warren.

Anyone with information on how the names above or the pictures below could be connected should email Global reporter Ryan Kessler.

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