Hometown Heroes

Canada’s participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945) touched every community in this country. Parks Canada invites Canadians to join us in commemorating individuals from all walks of life who made unique contributions to the war effort. During these global conflicts, civilians and those in the armed forces played a crucial role in protecting and building their communities and thus Canada as a whole.

Get to know the remarkable stories of these Hometown Heroes, honour their memory and express your gratitude for their service by visiting Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites, National Parks, and National Marine Conservation Areas. We will remember them…

Motosaku Akagi (1897-1976)

Corporal Akagi was more familiarly known as “Motorcycle Charlie”. During the Second World War he was stationed at Camp Utopia. He then served overseas with the 8th Princess Louise (NB) Hussars.

Motosaku was born in Cloverdale, BC and married a Charlotte County girl, Romona Agnes Mona Homan (1918-1958). She was the granddaughter of the well-known Passamaquoddy native John Nicholas, a hunter, trapper and guide. They are both buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery, St. Andrews Parish, Charlotte County.

James Alexander Stewart, ONB, DFC, CA

Flight Lieutenant Stewart, born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1922, served with the Royal Artillery and later the Royal Air Force flying Hurricanes and Typhoons. Shot down in 1944, he was a prisoner of war (POW) at two POW Camps as well as at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mr. Stewart and his family settled in New Brunswick in 1952. He retired as a Senior Vice-President with Connors Bros. Limited. Mr. Stewart received the Order of New Brunswick in 2002.

Clifford Malcolm Briggs (1923-1987)

Private Briggs was born in Heathland, New Brunswick. He joined the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1942 and served until 1945. He served in Italy, Holland and Belgium. His brother Ronald Armstrong Briggs was killed in Italy in 1944.

Mr. Briggs married Clara Mary Daigle in 1957. He worked as a mechanic for such local firms as Clark Motor's, Bricklin and Acadian Bus Lines.

Mary Emma Nesbitt (1908-2009)

Lieutenant Commander Nesbitt was a Nurse Matron-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She served until 1960.

Mary Emma Nesbitt was born in St. Stephen to Albert Nesbitt and Rosebell Goss. She was a teacher for several years before starting her nursing career at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1933. Mrs. Nesbitt was appointed Honourary Nursing Sister to Her Majesty the Queen in 1956.

Leonard James (Ben) Leland (1921-2011)

Warrant Officer 2nd class Leland served as a navigator with Bomber Command from 1943-1945. He flew in both Halifax and Lancaster bombers. Mr. Leland was on leave at home when the war ended.

Mr. Leland was from St. George and held a variety of jobs; aircraft sheet metal work, bus driver, taxi owner, and later with the NB Liquor Commission. He married Margaret McVicar in 1947.

Heber Randolph Fitzsimmons (1890-1976)

Private Fitzsimmons enlisted in the 115th Battalion in 1915 after two years with the 71st Regiment. He served overseas and returned in 1919.

Mr. Fitzsimmons was born in St. David Parish, New Brunswick in 1890. He married Georgiana May Swift in 1915. After the war, he and his wife lived in the United States before returning to Charlotte County where he worked as a farmer.

Alward Elmer Scott (1920-1945)

Squadron Leader Scott joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and served with the 47th Royal Air Force Squadron in the Far East. The Squadron was flying both Beaufighters and Mosquito aircraft. Mr. Scott died in Burma and is buried in the Rangoon War Cemetery.

Mr. Scott was born in St. Stephen, the son of Elmer Scott and Annie Mehan who married in 1919.

John Perry Polk (1919-1943)

Private Polk served with the Carleton and York Regiment in Italy. He was killed in action during the Battle of the Moro River on December 14, 1943. He is buried in the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Italy.

Mr. Polk was born in St. Stephen in 1919, the son of Harold Polk and Rosanne Perry who married in 1911.

Aubrey Roy Barry

Leading Aircraftman Barry joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943. He served as a Motor Boat crewman aboard the boat Detector in Eastern Air Command until 1945.

Mr. Barry was born in Beaver Harbour in 1918. He married Ruby Sparks in 1939. Before the war he was a truck driver and a fisherman. He continued fishing after the war including five years in Ceylon. He retired from Fisheries Canada in 1983. Mr. Barry still lives in Beaver Harbour.

LeRoy Taylor Goodeill (1898-1918)

Private Goodeill enlisted in the 115th Battalion in 1916. After training in England, he served with the 26th (NB) Battalion in France. He was killed in action in December 1918. Mr. Goodeil is buried in the Wailly Orchard Cemetery at Pas de Calais in France.

Noel Blanchard Justason (1927-1999)

Private Justason was born at Pennfield and grew up not too far from the air base at Pennfield Ridge and Camp Utopia. He joined the militia in 1942 and the Infantry Corps in 1945. He trained at Fredericton and Utopia. The war ended just before he was to go overseas.

Mr. Justason worked as a scuba diver and a licensed guide. He finished his career as a lightkeeper at Cape Enrage.