Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of Birth1893 or 1894
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMike Kurisnicki (stepbrother), 1931 Home Avenue, Fort William, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number4079116
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion18th Reserve Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentPort Arthur, Ontario
Address at Enlistment1931 Home Avenue, Fort William, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentNovember 11, 1917
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 23, 1971
Age at Death77
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Richman, Leon

aka Leon Rechman, Leon Ochrenowicz

Although there are some small discrepancies, it seems very likely that the Leon Richman who was called up for service in Port Arthur, Ontario on 11 November 1917 (reg. no. 4079116) is the same Leon Richman who is buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario.

According to his obituary in the Kenora Miner and News, Leon Richman (aka Leon Rechman, Leon Ochrenowicz) was born on 8 November 1893 in Zelaska, Beskurski, Austria. The 1911 census of Canada records an L. Rechman, possibly the same person, who was born ca1894 in Austria and living in Redditt, a small village north of Kenora. He was working as a labourer on the railroad at the time. He was single, Roman Catholic and his year of immigration was 1911.

The service record for Leon Richman has the following information:

-He was called up for service as a defaulter on 11 November 1917 in Port Arthur
-He had his medical exam on 10 July 1918 in Port Arthur
-Present address: 1931 Home Avenue, Fort William, Ontario
-Date of birth: March 10, 1894
-Place of birth: Zaliesce, Biskupisky, Austria
-Single; Roman Catholic; labourer
-Next of Kin: Stepbrother Mike Kurisnicki, 1931 Home Avenue, Fort William
-Leon was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment
-He embarked for England with the 81st draft on 4 August 1918 on HMT Nellore
-He arrived about eleven days later and was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion
-On 18 November he was attached to the Canadian Training School in Bexhill
-In December he was back with the 18th Reserve Battalion
-He returned to Canada in June 1919, embarking from Southampton on the SS Aquitania and arriving in Halifax
-He was discharged on 23 June 1919 in Port Arthur

After the war Leon Richman lived in Wayne County, Michigan where he was married in 1921 or 1922. His wife, Rose Pechewa, was born around 1902 in New Jersey and both of her parents were from Poland. Leon and Rose had two children, Florence born in 1922 in Detroit, and Edward Arthur born in 1924 in Dearborn. Edward later used the surname Blazus. When the 1930 U.S. census was taken the family was living in Detroit and Leon was working as a repairman at an automobile plant. In answer to one of the census questions he said he was a veteran of the World War.

Leon and Rose divorced and he moved to Canada around 1938, settling in Kenora about two years later. He worked as a plumber and carpenter and by 1945 he was remarried. His wife, Carrie, was born in 1892 in West Ukraine and she’d lived in the Kenora area for many years. She was previously married and had several children. Carrie died in the Kenora General Hospital on 29 March 1959, at age 67.

Leon moved into Pinecrest Home for the Aged in December 1967. He passed away there on 23 March 1971, at age 77. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried next to Carrie in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. He was survived by his son Edward Arthur Blazus of Livonia, Michigan, and his daughter Mrs. Florence (Joseph) Jagodzinski of Plymouth, Michigan. Edward and Joseph were both veterans of the Second World War. Edward died in Michigan in 1996 and Florence in 1999.

By Becky Johnson

Richman-Leon-90 Richman-Leon-91 Richman-Leon-92

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