RidgeWood West Remembers

Nov 10, 2016

Kelly Place

Once a year, Canadians take a day to remember those who died in service of our country, and acknowledge those who continue to protect our freedoms. Wreaths will be placed, heads will be bowed and countless service men and women will be remembered. The community of RidgeWood West honours those lives year round by naming seven streets in Phase 1 after service personnel who lost their lives in World War I and II, or who served and returned to have a greater impact on the Charleswood area.

Eileen MacDonald from the Charleswood Historical Society has spent many years learning about the fallen soldiers and Veterans that have had an impact on the community of Charleswood.

“Many of these soldiers were friends of my older family members, and I knew how important it was to make sure they weren’t forgotten for what they’ve done,” says MacDonald. “I promised myself that when I had the time and if it’s the last thing I do; I’d make sure they had a street named after them.”

Couture Crescent
Joseph Arthur Leo Couture, who lived on Roblin Boulevard and attended Charleswood School, became a flight Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). At the age of 24, on July 21 in 1944, Couture was killed during a flight over Holland.

Kelly Place
Another notable fallen solider remembered from the area is Ralph Gordon Kelly who was only 21-years-old when he went missing. Kelly lived on Wexford Street when he first joined the RCAF. He has been considered missing in action since 1944 when 80 planes were lost during a raid.

McKellar Drive
Malcom McKellar was killed during a bombing raid in Berlin when he was only 20-years-old. McKellar served in the RCAF as a Bombardier, and grew up in Charleswood on Roblin Boulevard.

Joynson Crescent
Francis E. Joynson served as a Pilot Officer, but was killed during action on June 29th, 1944.

Sansregret Court
Alexander Sansregret died on September 3rd, 1918 as a result of wounds he endured in action while serving with 46 Battalion.

While Charleswood was home to many brave and courageous fallen soldiers, there are many who made it home and dedicated their lives to the community.

Crocker Place
As a Veteran of the 13th Field Artillery in the Second World War, Bill Crocker moved to Charleswood in 1954 and opened Charleswood Bldg. Supplies with his wife Ruth in 1956. They were dedicated to sponsoring many community sporting events like curling, bowling and baseball. Bill started the Senior Slow Pitch League where he not only played for many years, but was an umpire. The Charleswood Legion #100 was very important to the Crockers as Bill was the Legion’s Sports Chairman for several years.

“Their son Chuck, was over the moon when he heard that a street was going to be named after his parents,” says MacDonald. “You can’t put into words how much this means to their kids.”

Chaikoski Court
Michael and Minnie Chaikoski purchased a ½ acre lot in Charleswood in 1953. From 1942 to 1945, Mike served on the minesweeper HMCS Thunder and re-enlisted to serve on the Pacific right before Japan suddenly surrendered.

“The Chaikoski’s were able to purchase their land through the Veteran’s Land Act and became such an important part of the community’s growth,” says MacDonald.

Mike was dedicated to helping evolve the community and spent many years working to establish the Roblin Park Community Club, and him and his wife both served on the executive. The Chaikoski’s are not only dedicated members of Charleswood, but have volunteered for the Cancer Society, Friends of Assiniboine Park, Red River Exhibition, the Alzheimer Society and are members of the Charleswood Senior Society and Historical Society.

“It’s really important to living family members that these people are remembered in one way or another. And especially for those who don’t have any living family members around anymore, you just don’t want these people forgotten.” says MacDonald.

MacDonald mentioned that with an overwhelming response of support for the street names in RidgeWood West, the community has come together to remember those who fought for our freedom.