Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 16, 1878
Place of BirthSherbrooke, Quebec
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinAglae (Agnes) Charest, wife. Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingMotor Car Driver
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number198938
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion28th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 12, 1916
Age at Enlistment37
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathFebruary 12, 1958
Age at Death79
Buried AtAssumption Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotVeterans Garden Grave 12

Charest, Peter

Isaie Peter Charest was the son of Isaie Charest and Emilie Bedard. He was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec on October 16, 1878. Peter’s mother died in 1886 when he was just 8 years old. Peter’s father, left with several small children, married Marie LaRoche on February 21, 1887 in Baie-du-Febvre, Quebec. At some point, Peter and his brother Homer and perhaps other family members moved to Kenora, Ontario and when he married Aglae Villeneuve (daughter of Maxime Villeneuve and Marie Cyr) on February 13th, 1906. Notre Dame du Portage, Kenora, Ontario recorded Peter’s name as Isaie Charest. The witnesses were Peter’s brother, Homer Charest and Aglae’s niece, Maggie Kinney. Peter and Aglae had several children baptized and buried and throughout the records, Peter is known as Isaie, Pierre and finally Peter. Aglae was also known as Agnes and Aggie.

Peter and Agnes had many children who died shortly after birth. Their first born, Marie Lea Emilda Charest (known as Mildred), was baptized on November 5, 1906 with her grandfather Isaie Charest Sr and aunt Lea Villeneuve Kinney as her godparents. This child survived and is shown on the 1911 census as aged 4 with her parents Peter and Aggie both age 33. Peter was a hotel keeper and employer with a domestic and 2 male lodgers. On November 19, 1912 Elmer Charest was born.

Peter’s attestation papers gave his occupation as motor car driver when he enlisted in February 1916. His birth place was given as New Port Maple Leaf, Quebec. Peter joined the 94th Battalion and then was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion and then to the 28th Battalion. He attained the rank of lance corporal according to his service file. The local newspaper said that Pte Peter Charest was admitted to the hospital in Letreport France on April 8th, 1917 with a severe gunshot to his left arm. A later article in July 1917 mentioned that Peter was in hospital in England due to the wound. His service file says that Peter was wounded on April 5, 1917 at Vimy Ridge, France and he received a lesion to his left ulnar nerve which left him with a powerless hand. Peter returned home to his wife on August 18, 1917.

After Peter returned to Kenora, the family moved to Winnipeg where Peter received therapy to try and recover movement and strength in his left hand. He continued receiving therapy and vocational training until he was discharged in June 1919. His wife Agnes Charest had been in and out of the hospital during 1918 and 1919 and Peter had to postpone an operation because she was ill. On the 1921 census, Peter and his father Isaac were living in St. Boniface. Agnes and the two children (Mildred and Elmer) are recorded on the census as in Grande Prairie, Alberta where they are visiting Agnes’s brother Frank Villeneuve. Agnes passed away in May 1922 and is buried in Emerson Trail Cemetery, Sexsmith Alberta. Both Mildred and Elmer remained in Alberta after their mother died. Peter and Agnes’s daughter Mildred married Ed Harrington. Mildred died in August 1935 in Edmonton, Alberta and is buried in Emerson Trail Cemetery in Sexsmith, Alberta. Peter and Agnes’s son Elmer married Mary Krajick on January 6, 1936 at St. Andrews church in Port Arthur, Ontario. After Agnes Charest died, Peter married Rose Anna Gendron (nee Mondor) and is shown in the street directories with his wife living on St. Michael’s Street in Winnipeg during the 1930s and 40s. Another daughter Amy Charest was born on March 21, 1926.

In the summer of 1946, Peter’s son and family visited him in Winnipeg and met Peter’s daughter Amy Charest who had recently married Walter Chubey. When Peter died on February 12th, 1958, the veteran death card showed his next of kin as Mrs. Amy Lambert, daughter, with an address of Kaministiquia Ontario. The will of Peter Isaie Charest, written in 1956, shows two surviving children, Aimy Chubey and Elmer Charest. No mention is made of his second wife Rose Anna.

Peter Charest died on February 12, 1958 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is buried in Assumption Cemetery, Portage Avenue, Winnipeg. Amy’s mother Rose Anna Gendron nee Mondor died in 1973 and there is no mention of Peter Charest in her obituary. Her daughter Amy Spiess and her husband Ed Spiess were living in Ignace Ontario at the time of Rose Anna’s death.

By Rhonda Glofcheski

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