|Date of Birth||July 18, 1884|
|Place of Birth||Sawyerville, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Isaac Charest, Father, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Miner|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||22/12/1914|
|Age at Enlistment||30|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Decorations and Medals||Military Medal|
|Date of Death||17/01/1938|
|Age at Death||53|
|Buried At||R.C. Shediac Road Cemetery, Moncton, NB|
Homer was one of several children born to Isaie Charest and his wife Emelie Bedard. The family lived near Sherbrooke, Que. Homer was just two years old when his mother died. His father married again to Marie Laroche in February 1887 in Baie-du-Febvre, Quebec. At some point Homer and his older brother and perhaps other family members moved to Kenora Ontario. In February 1906, Homer acted as a witness to the marriage of his brother Isaie Pierre (known as Peter) Charest to Aglae (Agnes) Villeneuve in Kenora. In November 1906, Homer acted as a witness to the marriage of Arthur Ouellette to Jesse Legat Floyd also in Kenora.
Homer married Malina Neilson on May 25, 1908 in Kenora. Ten months later on March 20th, 1909, Melina was conditionally baptized at Notre Dame du Portage church and then Homer and Malina were married that same day in Notre Dame du Portage, Kenora Ontario. Both events were witnessed by Peter and Agnes Charest. Malina passed away May 28th, 1912 in Edmonton. It is unknown whether Malina and Homer had any children.
Homer returned to Kenora and enlisted on December 22, 1914. The attestation form shows Homer as being single and a miner by trade. Homer joined the 27th Battalion. The local newspaper traced the movements of the troops as they trained and then went by ship to England. Homer was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for ‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when on September 15th and 16th, 1916, Corporal Homer Charest by his fine example encouraged his men to consolidate under heavy fire. With only ten men left in his platoon, he succeeded in digging a trench in his company frontage under intense artillery fire.’ On July 11, 1917, the local newspaper reported that Homer had been injured a second time on July 6 and was now at #18 casualty clearing station and that his father, Mr. I. Charest at 539 3rd St. South, Kenora, Ontario had been notified. The article also mentions that Homer’s brother, Peter Charest was in the hospital in England suffering from a wound in the left arm. Several articles in the local newspaper mentioned Homer and Peter in the celebrations given in the towns of Keewatin and Kenora Ontario to honour their returning troops.
Homer married Annie Marie Gallant (the widow of Mr. Truchon) on June 12, 1920 in Moncton New Brunswick. The marriage registration shows Homer as a motor mechanic age 34, living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His bride, a widow, gave an address as Pearl Street, Moncton, N.B. The clergyman who officiated was Presbyterian. It is possible that Homer had settled in Winnipeg to receive follow up treatment for his injuries from the war. His brother Peter also settled in Winnipeg to receive follow up therapy. On the 1921 census, both Peter and his father Isaie are living in St. Boniface. Homer and his new bride Annie were enumerated at 44 Pearl St., Moncton, N.B. The census shows Homer age 35, his wife (recorded as Homarth) age 26, and a daughter Christina age 8 born in N.B. Christina’s daughter believes that her mother was born on 12 Nov. 1912 in Manitoba but this record has not been found. Homer’s place of birth and the birthplace of his parents is incorrectly recorded as Winnipeg and then crossed out and Manitoba is written in. Homer’s occupation is unreadable. The family went to the French Church. The family moved back to Manitoba before 1928. Marie Christina Charest married Albert Arthur Ash in October 1928 in St. Boniface, M and recorded her parents as Homer Charest and Mary Ann Gallant. Homer and Annie’s daughter Doris Odellia Charest was born in St. Boniface Manitoba in 1930. In 1935, the voters’ list for St. Boniface, showed Homer and his wife living at 130 1/2 Berry St.
The family moved to Moncton New Brunswick in about 1936. Homer died January 17th, 1938 in Moncton. He and his wife were living at 85 Lewis St, Moncton at the time. Homer is buried in the Roman Catholic Shediac Road Cemetery in the military section. Their daughter Doris married Allan McLean in March 1949. Homer’s widow Annie Charest passed away on July 3rd, 1950 and is also buried in Shediac Road Cemetery.
By Rhonda Glofcheski