Stanley Edward Turner was born on 6 August,1919 in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. His parents were William Henry and Annie Turner; Annie was British born. By the time Stanley Edward went into the army, both parents had died but it is not clear when. He lived with his stepmother Maggie Turner and had a stepbrother, George Ellis, and an uncle, George Arthur Turner. He belonged to the Church of England.
At the end of grade 6, when he was fifteen, Stanley Edward left school and went to work on a farm. He learned to drive a tractor, truck and car there and was also able to repair vehicles. After the war he wanted to go back to the farm in Balsam Grove, Alberta.
In 1940, the National Resources Mobilization Act came into force in Canada. Available men had to register for army service in order to defend the homeland in the first instance. Later these men were also deployed for service overseas. One of these men was Stanley Edward Turner and on 19 March,1941, he enlisted in Calgary, Alberta for his compulsory service. He left the farm in Balsam Grove and was given army number M - 600050. He was found to be a healthy, single man, 1.72 m tall, weighing 75 kilo, with blue eyes, brown eyes and a dark skin colour. There were scars on the fingers of his left hand.
He spent the first fifty seven days of his service in Camrose Training Centre and this included five days in hospital when he contracted German measles. He then went to the training centre in Red Deer, Alberta for a further seven weeks.
After his stay in Red Deer, Stanley Edward’ s service time was postponed for some unknown reason, but in November, 1941 he was again conscripted in Calgary where he was placed in the District Depot. Almost immediately, he stayed away without permission from 22 November to 23 December and lost 32 days’ pay.
He also let someone escape from the camp while he was on duty. In July,1942 he was given a month’s leave, probably so that he could help with the harvest on the farm. When he returned he was transferred to the Experimental Station Suffield, Alberta, a military research station, five kilometres to the north of Suffield. Here, during WWII, British and Canadian Military were trained in the use of biological and chemical weapons and methods of defence against them. Stanley Edward stayed there for the whole of August and then returned to Calgary.