World War Two Roll of Honour



Lance Corporal Leslie Marlow Warr
December 24, 1941
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Service Number L/2609. Original Unit of service – Saskatoon Light Infantry (MG)
Sai Wan Bay Memorial, Hong Kong. Age unknown
Son of John L. and Minnie Warr
Husband of Janet Warr (nee Gibson), Calgary, Alberta

Leslie Warr was born in Nelson, B.C. and was keenly interested in motorcycles. In 1940 he joined the Canadian Army in Saskatoon and received his training at Dundern. Leslie, a despatch rider, was killed December 24, 1941 during the Defence of Hong Kong. Leslie was married to Janet Gibson of Calgary, Alberta. His mother, Minnie later married Reginald Norman Osborne of Chilliwack.


Pilot Officer John William Williams D.F.C.
October 31, 1942
Operational tour expired. Formerly 126 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number J/15604
Gibraltar Memorial, Gibraltar. Age 20
Son of Herbert and Frances Williams, Chilliwack, B.C.

Known by members of his fighter squadron on Malta as "Willy the Kid", John came to Chilliwack from Kamloops. He attended high school in Chilliwack and after graduation in 1940 enlisted in the R.C.A.F. John served in Malta flying Spitfires with 249 "Gold Coast" Squadron. Several mentions of John Williams are included in the book, "Malta Spitfire"; written by George Beurling, a Canadian fighter pilot who became the highest scoring allied pilot during the Siege of Malta. The Mediterranean Island of Malta was under siege by both the Italian Regia Aeronautica and the German Luftwaffe during 1940 through 1942. This beleaguered island was the scene of many air raids of great intensity, forcing the islanders and the individuals who defended the soil to rely upon their own initiatives to survive and adapt. John Williams was a successful fighter pilot and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in August 1942. At the end of his Malta tour, Williams was to return to the United Kingdom via Gibraltar. Enroute to Gibraltar, in a Liberator aircraft, Williams and 13 others were killed when the aircraft crashed in the sea off the east end of the runway at Gibraltar, October 31, 1942. The award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was presented at Chilliwack High School to John's mother who stood beside her husband. Group Captain E.C. Luke of Western Air Command made the presentation with 147 Air Cadet Squadron in attendance. A bouquet of pale and deep pink carnations was given to Mrs. H.E. Williams on behalf of the Chilliwack Auxiliary to the Air Services. Offered the opportunity to travel to Ottawa to be receive the award Mrs. Williams turned down the offer as she felt her son would liked to have known his D.F.C. was presented at the school he loved. His original family surname was Larson, and changed to Williams when his mother remarried.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“This officer has fought the enemy with great determination. Within a short period he has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft, two of which he shot down in one day. Later his aircraft was damaged by enemy fire but he flew it safely to base. His courageous example has been most inspiring.”


Private Kenneth William Wilson
December 20, 1943
Royal Canadian Regiment
Service Number M/12451. Original Unit of Service – Calgary Highlanders
Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Ortona, Italy
Next of Kin Unknown


Trimmer Kenneth W. Wilson
January 22, 1942
S.S. Gandia (Belgium)
Canadian Merchant Navy
Halifax Memorial
Next of Kin Unknown


Corporal Abe A. Wittenberg
December 13, 1944
Loyal Edmonton Regiment
Service Number K/49935. Original Unit of Service Westminster Regiment  (M.G.)
Ravenna War Cemetery, Italy. Age 25
Son of Abe and Katherine Wittenberg, Yarrow, B.C.

Abe Wittenberg was born to Mennonite parnets in 1919 at Gnadenheim Slaugrad, Siberia, Russia. His family emigrated to Canada in 1925 and lived in Drake, Saskatchewan from 1925 ‑ 1928. Abe began school in Drake and attended Kansas School until the family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba. In Winnipeg he was educated at Lord Kitchener School until his family moved to Chilliwack in 1935. The Wittenbergs settled in Yarrow and Abe worked in the hop yards at Yarrow and at MacKenzie Barge and Derrick in Vancouver. Abe was an active athlete and participated in bowling, hockey, hiking and was a softball pitcher. He enlisted in the armed forces in February1943, and completed his basic training in Vernon. In Calgary he completed Advance Training at Currie Barracks and was sent overseas aboard the Queen Mary to Aldershot, England in August 1943. Abe was wounded in action in Italy and after his recovery, on his first day back to his regiment, December 13, 1944, Abe Wittenberg died of wounds received in action during the battle of the Naviglio Canal. This battle was the last of the German counter‑attacks in Italy and the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was able to hold the winter line along the dyke of the Senio River. The "Edmontons", however, lost 20 more men in Italy, before the unit moved to Holland and further action in North West Europe.


Private Leslie Cecil Wray
October 7, 1944
Canadian Scottish Regiment
Service Number K/40994. Original Unit of Service – British Columbia Regiment
Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Belgium. Age 24
Son of Mathew J. F. and May C. Wray, Chilliwack, B.C.
Husband of Anna Marie Wray.

"Les" Wray lived on Gardiners Island and attended Camp Slough School as a child. He worked in several local logging camps and then moved to Vancouver where he became a longshoreman. Prior to his enlistment Les worked for Paul Raymond as a truck driver until he joined the Canadian Army in 1943. In June 1944 he was serving with the Canadian Scottish Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. On October 7, 1944, Les Wray died of wounds received in battle. He was married to Anna Marie Wray and had four children, Herbert, Gail, Sherry and Lynn.


Sergeant Frank Harris Wright
September 4, 1942
6 Operational Training Unit, Royal Canadian Air Force
Service Number R/87954
Thornaby‑On‑Tees Cemetery, Yorkshire, England. Age 28
Son of Ernest and Hester Wright, Sardis, B.C.

Frank Wright was an accomplished athlete in Chilliwack and Sardis, and participated in soccer and baseball. Prior to the war he worked for the B.C. Hop Farm in Sardis, a firm managed by his father. Frank joined the R.C.A F. in February 1941 and was trained as a wireless air gunner. On September 4, 1942, while undergoing training at 6 Operational Training Unit, the Hudson aircraft in which he was flying crashed one mile south‑west of Thornaby, Yorkshire, England. All members of the crew were killed.



Chilliwack Museum and Archives 45820 Spadina Avenue, Chilliwack, BC, Canada V20 1T3 [604.795.5210]