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Our Local Veterans

The Town of LaSalle is proud to highlight stories from our local veterans.

Due to COVID-19 and the provincial gathering restrictions, the Town of LaSalle will not host a public Remembrance Day Ceremony in 2020.  The Town recognizes the importance of honouring our Veterans and their sacrifices and is planning a small ceremony with invited guests only.   There will be a live presentation of the ceremony on the Town of LaSalle Youtube page at 11:00 am on November 11.  The recorded ceremony will remain available on Youtube for viewing at any time.

This webpage is dedicated to showcasing the history of our local service veterans. If you know of a local veteran from LaSalle, or the former Township of Sandwich-West, and would like to highlight their story of service to Canada and their connection to LaSalle, please contact us

World War II

The Second World War was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. Canada's Army, Air Force and Navy played key roles in the war effort, including repelling the Luftwaffe air raids and engaging in battles at Dieppe and Normandy.

Harry Bondy

Harry Bondy

Harry, eldest son of Harvey and Isabelle Bondy of Windsor, Ontario, was born in September of 1915. He became a member of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment and 1939 married Marie Norah (Paddon) also of Windsor. Soon after, when war broke out, he joined the RCNVR and served as Chief Engine Room Artificer (maintainer and operator of all ship mechanicals) until 1945 including four years sea time in the Atlantic. Post war, he was a very active member of the RCN Reserve Unit, HMCS Hunter, especially the Chief and Petty Officers Mess. 

Harry and Norah moved to LaSalle where they settled into their home located behind Colonel Bishop School to raise their 8 children. Harry worked for Phil Woods Industries in Windsor, then Revenue Canada in their Windsor office where he organized and built a filing wall for the many different forms people needed. They were both very active with Sacred Heart Church and many community organizations. Harry could often be found tinkering around in his workshop/garage.

Harry and Norah were always there with a helping hand to anyone that needed it, whether it be to build or repair something, a meal or just a friend to lean on. Harry passed away in January 1975. Norah carried on until her death in January 2010.

Martin Victor Bondy

Martin V. BondyMartin Bondy on HMCS Matane

Martin was born in the Township of Sandwich West. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in March of 1943. He served as an able seaman in the Atlantic Theatre on several ships including the Frigate HMCS Matane (K-444), the Mine Layer HMCS Whitethroat, and the Corvette HMCS Collingwood (K-180). Martin served on the Matane (EG-9) as an anti-aircraft gunner and was involved in the Battle of the Atlantic as well as Operation Overlord (D-Day) in June of 1944 in Normandy. The EG-9 Group was credited with 6 German U-Boat kills, including the destruction of Nazi submarine U-311 in the North Atlantic.

D-Day and Normandy Landings

While patrolling along the English Channel during D-Day and the Normandy Landings, Matane came under German glider bomber attack. The attack left Matane damaged and killed four seaman along with some thirty more injured. Martin lost the hearing in his right ear, partially in the left, and suffered nerve damage to his legs.

HMCS Matane on June 6, 1944

HMCS Matane on June 6, 1944 (D-Day)

Matane with hull damage

HMCS Matane displaying hull damage from attack.

For his service in the war, Martin returned home a war hero and received numerous medals and decorations. After the war, Martin returned to the Township of Sandwich West and married his wife, Mabel. Martin and Mabel had six children and were married for over sixty years. Martin continued his involvement in the Navy Veteran's Club and was also a supporter of the LaSalle Minor Hockey Association. Martin volunteered in his community with numerous organizations including Windsor Goodfellows and the Royal Canadian Legion LaSalle branch. Martin passed away in 2008 but Martin's family has continued his legacy by donating a memorial in his honour to the Town of LaSalle. This memorial is installed at the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex for all to see.

Memorial to Martin at Vollmer

Beatrice A. Girard

Beatrice Girard

Captain Beatrice A. Girard, born 1906, served as a nursing sister from 1942 to 1945. Beatrice was born and raised in LaSalle. In 1928, she graduated from the Hotel Dieu nursing program and worked at a sanatorium. She enlisted with the R.C.A.M.C (Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps) and was hired by the S.A.M.N.S. (South African Military Nursing Service). She was stationed at various hospitals in South Africa and Egypt, while finally being transported to England in 1945. After her return from service in 1945, Beatrice continued working in Windsor and Detroit before moving to California to continue her nursing career. She returned back to the Town of Sandwich West (LaSalle) in 1976. Beatrice passed away in 1994, but still has family in the area.

William L. Hazael

Russ HazaelWill Hazael

William Hazael was born in 1927 to Edwin and Mary Hazael in Kingsville. At a young age, the Hazael family relocated to the former Township of Sandwich West. William attended grade school in LaSalle and went to Sandwich Collegiate Institute from 1941 until 1943, when he left prematurely to serve in the Canadian Forces. William's father, Edwin, also served in the Canadian Army during the First World War

In April of 1943, William joined the Merchant Marines and served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserves (RCNVR). From there, William was assigned to a ship in Nova Scotia, but was sent to Halifax too late to board it. He was then reassigned to HMCS Laurier. The ship that William missed was subsequently sunk in the Atlantic. William continued to serve in the Navy until his honourable discharge in 1945. 

After the war, he returned back home to the Township of Sandwich West and met his future wife, Marguerite. The two married in 1949 and settled their family home on Disputed Road. Marguerite and William raised three children together. William's pride for his country and love of his community followed him his entire life. William was one of the first volunteers to join the newly formed Sandwich West Fire Department. He served as a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant. William passed in 2009, but his family continues to live in the Town of LaSalle today.

Royal (Roy) Hazael

Royal HazaelRoyal Hazael

 

Military service runs in the Hazael family. William's eldest brother, Royal, also served during the war. Royal was a Pilot Officer and tail gunner assigned to the RCAF 431 squadron. He served in a Lancaster bomber and then in a Halifax bomber. In April 1944, while out on a night patrol in his Halifax bomber, Royal's plane and its crew were fired upon by enemy flak. The plane was shot down over Belgium. Royal was one of four casualties from the incident and one of 45,000 Canadian service member casualties during the Second World War. He is buried in the Town of Wilrijk, Belgium. Although Royal could not return home, his memory lived on and his service shall never be forgotten.

For more information on Royal's mission and sacrifice, visit his Veterans Affairs memorial page.

Enos L. Howson

Enos HowsonEnos Howson

Enos Howson was enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. Enos served as a Chef at Canadian Air Force bases Centralia, Trenton and St. Jean. Enos was honourably discharged from service in 1945 at the conclusion of the war and returned to his native Essex County where he and his wife started their family.

In the early 1950s, Enos and his wife, Ruby, moved into a rural farm property on Malden Road in the heart of the Township of Sandwich West. Enos and Ruby raised their five children in the Township. As a farmer and family man, Enos and his wife grew vegetables and other crops on their farm to donate to those that needed it. During the summertime, Enos was employed by the Township of Sandwich West to maintain vacant lots and keep the Township looking clean. Today, Enos and Ruby's property is still in the family where one of their son still resides on Malden Road. Enos passed away at the age of 70, but is survived by ample grandchildren and great-grandchildren who reside in the Town of LaSalle today.

Willis H. Ingram

Willis Ingram

Willis (Bill) Ingram enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1939. He worked as a cipher operator decoding messages in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. In March of 1943, Willis was sent to Europe where he was stationed throughout the continent in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. 

As first published in the LaSalle Silhouette (May, 1998), the message that Willis best remembers arrived just after 1:00 am on May 5, 1945. The message read: All offensive operations cancelled forthwith. Cease fire 0800 hours 5 May 1945. All units stand fast until further orders.

Willis and his army unit celebrated when this message came through, signalling the end of conflict in Europe with the fall of Nazi Germany and its European allies. Each year, Canadians remember VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) which signals the end of WWII in Europe. VJ Day (Victory in Japan Day) is commemorated in August to remember the surrender of Japan and the end of all conflict.

Willis returned to the Windsor area after the war and married in 1946. He built his family home in the Oliver Farms subdivision of LaSalle. Willis passed in 2003, but still has family in the LaSalle area.

Ralph Munholland, M.D. (Ret.)

Ralph MunhollandRalph in Uniform

Ralph Munholland enlisted into the Canadian Army in August 1942 as a recruit. Within a few months, Ralph achieved and succeeded the ranks of Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant before being sent to Officer's School in Victoria. Ralph achieved the rank of First Lieutenant and was sent to Garrison Petawawa, which is still an active Canadian military base. At Petawawa, Ralph joined a tank squadron before being transferred to the National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa as a Staff Officer. 

Ralph met his wife in 1946 and married in 1947, after which he attended McGill with a surgical and medical degree in 1952. Ralph and his wife raised four sons and one daughter. Ralph opened an office in what was then the Township of Sandwich West, until the area was annexed by the City of Windsor. Ralph continued practicing until 1985 when an injury lead him to retirement. Today, Ralph still lives in the Town of LaSalle.

Howard Paddon

Howard PaddonHoward Paddon

Howard was born in 1925 in Windsor. He attended St. Anthony’s elementary school and Assumption High School. He was one of four Paddon brothers (Howard, Weymouth, Norris and Neil) to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy. When Howard’s older brother Weymouth Paddon became the first Windsor casualty of war, Howard voluntarily enlisted in March of 1943 at the age of 17. He originally trained as a shipwright in Cornwallis, Halifax but was reassigned as a gunner on Canadian River Class Frigate HMCS Orkney. These vessels were the first Royal Canadian Navy warships to carry advanced horizontal fan echo sonar. This allowed the ship to more efficiently hunt and destroy enemy submarines.

Howard was proud to represent his country. Howard respects the core values of the navy: duty, integrity, loyalty and courage.

After the war, Howard married Stella in 1951 and together the pair raised four children. He was a carpenter by trade and built their family home in Lasalle where they lived for over 60 years. Howard and Stella were active members in the community and Howard enjoyed many years singing in the Sacred Heart church choir. He enjoyed helping neighbours and friends with repair jobs and carpentry projects.

Howard recently celebrated his 95th birthday. He continues to be a good and honorable man, proud of his service, country and community. 

Leon (Leo) Joseph Paré

 Leon Pare

Leon Paré, known as Leo, was the son of Richard and Louise Paré. The family had a family farm in the Petite Cote area, now known as LaSalle. Leo enlisted in 1941 at the rank of Private (Pte) and was a member of the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd division. Leo joined the regiment in March 1945, in preparation for the Rhineland Offensive.

One of Canada's most important operations during World War II was the Liberation of the Netherlands. The people of the Netherlands were starved and suffered severe hardship under Nazi Germany control. From the Fall of 1944 to the Spring of 1945, the Canadian Army fought fiercely against German forces to liberate the country village by village. Under Major-General Vokes, Leo and the Highland Light Infantry encountered the enemy at Twente Canal in Holland near the German border. This was another crucial battle that the Canadian Army won on its path to liberating the Netherlands. During this battle, Leo was killed in action at the age of 25.

Leo is buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. In 2014, Leo's nephew was the first of his family to visit the cemetery and held a gravesite memorial service. During the service, soil from the gravesite of Leo's mother, Louise, was added to Leo's grave. Soil from the Netherlands was also brought back to LaSalle to add to Louise's grave. Leo's brother Arthur would later serve as the Chief of Police for the Town of LaSalle in the 1950s. Leo's family still resides throughout LaSalle today.

For more information on Leo's mission and sacrifice, visit his Veterans Affairs memorial page.

Frances Parr

 Frances ParrFrances Parr 100

Frances Parr graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. After graduation, she enlisted in the Naval Forces of Canada in 1943 and was stationed at HMCS Shelburne (Base) in Nova Scotia. Frances served in the Women's Royal Naval Service (known as Wrens) and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. After the war, Frances was honourably discharged in December of 1945. 

Frances met her husband, John Parr, while in the WRNS and built their family home in the Township of Sandwich West. Their four children were raised in the family home by John and Frances. Today, Frances still resides in the Town of LaSalle and just celebrated her 100th birthday.

Marc J. Renaud

Marc RenaudMarc Renaud

Marc Renaud, son of William and Elizabeth, was born in June, 1920. The family lived in LaSalle and ran a successful family farm on Front Road. Marc served in the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, 3rd division from 1942 until his discharge in 1945. After the war, he continued to run the family farm in LaSalle. Although Marc passed in 1989, he is survived by an extensive family of three children, ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, some of whom still reside in LaSalle today.

Leonard Robinet

Leonard RobinetLeonard Robinet

Leonard Robinet was a soldier in the Algonquin Regiment during World War II. In September of 1942, he left home to take a basic training instructor course in Calgary. In March of 1943, Leonard was stationed as a Sergeant  in Aldershot, England. His duties included training new recruits. Leonard was asked to remain in England to continue training soldiers, but instead chose to fight alongside his regiment on mainland Europe. 

News article of missing soldier

Originally reported as missing in September of 1944, Leonard was captured and taken Prisoner of War (POW) during the battle of Leopold Canal in Belgium. With only his summer clothing, thin wool blanket and little food, Leonard spent the harsh winter months in a prison camp in Northern Germany until liberation in June 1945. While in custody, Len managed to pass a note through the prison bars to let his wife Marie know that he was still alive. The note successfully made its way back to Marie. When released from the prison camp, Leonard was severely ill with tuberculosis and weighed only 85 pounds. He was hospitalized for several weeks in London, England until he was strong enough to return to Canada. For the next year, Leonard received care in London(Ontario), and Windsor until he was finally well enough to go to home to Marie in June 1946.

Leonard Robinet

Len and Marie purchased their family home in the Township of Sandwich West and raised 10 children together. Leonard worked as an independent milkman at Twin Pines Dairy and eventually built up seven milk routes in Windsor and LaSalle. In his later years, he went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a farmer. Len passed away in 2011, but still has family in the area. He would have been 100 years old in December.

George Soanes

George Soanes

George Soanes enlisted in early 1942 in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve and served from 1942 until his honourable discharge in 1945. George served as a Stoker First Class. During the invasion of France in June of 1944, George served on HMCS Qu'Appelle, a Canadian River-Class Destroyer. As part of the invasion forces, the HMCS Qu'Appelle served as U-Boat patrol on the outer rim of the Atlantic. George would also later serve on HMCS Peregrine, HMCS Shelburne and HMCS Hunter.

After the war, George purchased property in the Oliver Farms subdivision in the Township of Sandwich West. Together, George and his wife Eileen raised four children in the Township. Today, three of those children reside within the Oliver Farms neighbourhood in the Town of LaSalle.

George currently lives in the LaSalle area and is 96 years old.