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The Cenotaph, erected in the St. Norbert Cemetery, was an over-grown, long forgotten homage to the thirteen men who fought and died in World War I and who were connected to the St. Norbert area.

In 2008, Art Bloomfield, long-time St. Norbert resident, took a closer look at the overgrown monument while walking his young grandson to preschool. Soon after, he and his family made it their personal mission to ensure that the cenotaph and those thirteen men whose names are etched in stone were forgotten no more.

Celebrate and honour these men at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.

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Regimental #288239

Born:  December 22, 1894, St. Norbert MB

Occupation:  Farmer

Enlisted:  March 29, 1916, 78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Killed in Action:  January 31, 1918 (aged 23 years) near Lens, France - during gas & artillery bombardment)


The child of Roger Chartrand and Annie Parisien Moran, Roger was a single farmer when he enlisted. At 21 years of age, he stood 5 feet 9 inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He weighed 165 lbs. His brother, Arthur Chartrand, Regimental No. 3345266, also fought for our freedoms.

image of the 221 st Bn Cap Badge
221st Battalion
Cap Badge

Private Chartrand enlisted in the 221st Battalion along with Joseph Frobisher, James Normand, and brothers Alfred and Ernest Ryan

image of 78th Bn Cap Badge
78th Battalion
Cap Badge

The 221st went overseas in April, 1917; and was absorbed into the 11th Reserve Battalion the day after arriving in England.  From there he was posted to the 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion.  The Winter of 1917-1918 was relatively quiet for the Canadian Corps, then stationed mostly in the trenches in and around the city of Lens.  Late in the evening of January 31, 1918, however, the enemy lobbed over a couple of gas canisters, followed by a brief artillery barrage, leaving twenty men killed or wounded.  Private Chartrand was KIA at a time when almost nothing of note was happening.

In a brief article from the Winnipeg Tribune when Chartrand first enlisted, volunteer enlistments had dropped off noticeably by March of 1916.  Articles like this were meant to encourage others to enlist, but few (if any) battalions raised from this date onward were able to recruit to full strength before departing to England.  It was the start of the manpower crisis that led directly to conscription a year later.

He is interred at Sucrerie Cemetery, Oblain St Nazaire, III C 03
He is commemorated in the First World War Book of Remembrance, page 383
His name is inscribed on the St Norbert, MB War Memorial
Veterans Affairs Canada Link
Library and Archives Canada File RG150, 1992-93/166, Box 1652-990

*with files from Jim Busby

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