PeoplePicture of a mural depicting the member of the Dufferin Gang that were in the Air Force

During the Second World War, men and women from across the globe enlisted in the military together to fight for their countries. At the time, it was common to see friends and family members from the same neighbourhood enlist together.

A group of enlistees from Selkirk, Manitoba were a little bit different.

Dubbed ‘The Dufferin Gang’, 35 men and women who lived on Dufferin Avenue in Selkirk all enlisted to fight in the Second World War together. The loyalty and the pride of country shown by this remarkable group of men and women illustrated Selkirk’s dedication and courage in time of war.

Though The Dufferin Gang is considered to be the highest concentration of enlistees from a single street, military historian Ted Barris says in a Winnipeg Free Press article that it’s not yet confirmed. However, Barris hasn’t heard of anything close to that enlistment rate before.

Dufferin Avenue is still a well-populated street in Selkirk today. To honour the men and women of The Dufferin Gang, a mural was painted on the corner of Dufferin Avenue and Main Street listing the names of all known members. A monument is also set to be erected in honour of The Dufferin Gang.


Gordon Coutts

330 Dufferin Ave

Military Career:

Commanding officer over Harold Henrikson at Camp Borden in Barrie Ontario.


Lawson Dillabough

Headshot of Lawson Dillabough in his military uniform.

332 Dufferin Ave

Department: Army

Military Career:

In June of 1944 Lawson was sent overseas to Italy. Italy is where Canada’s second longest military campaign took place during WW2. Canadian soldiers battled across Sicily and through the Italian Peninsula. By May 1, 1945, the allied forces completed their objective when German soldiers surrendered in Italy. During battle Lawson was shot in the head by an enemy sniper, but luckily for him the bullet did not kill him. The bullet grazed his scalp then exited the back of his helmet. Lawson was interviewed after the battle and said “I guess I might make a new part in my hair” looking at the damage done to his scalp.

Lawson Dillabough was reported missing December 17, 1944 and was later buried in Ravenna Italy.


Raymond Fiddler

322 Dufferin Ave

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Early Life:

Raymond Fiddler was the son of Roddrick Fiddler. He was born at Little Bullhead that is now known as Pinedock, Manitoba in 1925.

Military Career:

Raymond was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force but did not see battle. The war came to an end before Raymond’s training was complete.

Post Military Career:

After the war Raymond went on to become the Tugboat Captain of the Suzanne E on the Hayes River. Raymond later worked for Marine Transport.


Roddrick Fiddler

Headshot of Roddrick Fiddler in his military uniform.

322 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Chief Petty Officer

Department: Royal Canadian Navy

Early Life:

Roddrick was born on the family homestead at the time called Little Bullhead that is now known as Pinedock, Manitoba on May 30, 1890. Roddrick was a Metis WWI veteran where he held the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Rodderick looked after the boilers on ships such as the Keenora and Wolverine between WW1 and WW2. Roddrick was in his 50s and considered too old to enlist in WW2. He had five children and his wife Mary who was bedridden at the time with arthritis to look after. However, the military needed more people to serve, so he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Navy.

Military Career:

Roddrick served as a Chief Petty Officer aboard the Corvette titled HMCS Windflower. The HMCS Windflower was used in convoy escort during the Battle of the Atlantic. On December 7, 1941 the Windflower was struck by a freighter ship in a heavy fog. The fog was so thick that ships could not see where they were going resulting in a collision. When members of the Windflower knew their ship was sinking, they deployed the lifeboats. Escort ships were unsure what struck the Windflower because of the dense fog. This led to the escort ships thinking the lifeboats were enemy U-Boats and started shooting at them. The collision sunk the Windflower and 23 crew members were lost, including Rodderick Fiddler.


Brandur (Lefty) Goodbrandson

Headshot of Brandur (Lefty) Goodbrandson in dress clothing.

314 Dufferin Ave

Early Life:

Brandur was born November 26, 1926. He worked multiple jobs including Fairfields, The Manitoba Rolling Mills, Booth Fisheries, and managed a Shell Service Station. Brandur was also a fisherman on Lake Winnipeg where he cut and delivered ice to residents.

Post Military Career:

In 1955 Brandur opened “Goodbrandson’s Transfer” a trucking and transportation company that is still active today. Brandur ran this company successfully until he retired in 1988. Brandur kept busy during his retirement. He was a member of the Manitoba Trucking Association, Kinsmen Club, K-40 Club, Selkirk Curling Club, Selkirk Golf and Country Club, and an Executive member of the Selkirk Steel Kings Hockey Team.

On November 17, 2011 Brandur Goodbrandson peacefully passed away at the Selkirk General Hospital surrounded by his family.


Siggi Goodbrandson

Headshot of Siggi Goodbrandson in military uniform.

314 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Quartermaster

Department: Royal Canadian Navy

Early Life:

Siggi Goodbrandson was born February 16, 1925. After graduating from Devonshire Collegiate Institute in 1942 Siggi worked for retired NHL player Crutchy Morrison at Morrison’s Hardware until he joined the Navy in 1943.

Military Career:

Siggi served in the Navy as a quartermaster on the frigate HMSC St. Therese. During his time on the St. Theresa Siggi would hunt for enemy submarines within the English Channel. The submarines would hide beneath sunken ships. To destroy the submarines, he was to drop depth charges down into the channel to disturb enemy submarines. It was a difficult task to tell if an enemy sub was hit because ship debris would surface from past wrecks with each blast.

Post Military Career:

After Siggi finished with the military he worked with his father at the Provincial Department of Highways. He married his wife Isabel Edwards in 1951 and they had twins Gail and Gary. Siggi attended the University of Manitoba and graduated from the Faculty of Engineering in 1958. He then returned to the Department of Highways and retired in November of 1990 as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Highways.

Siggi Goodbrandson passed away August 3, 2006, at The Waverley Retirement Community in Winnipeg.


Charles (Charlie) Griffiths

323 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Pilot Officer

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Military Career:

Charlie was a bomber pilot. He was killed in action during a flight mission.


Daniel (Danny) Griffiths

323 Dufferin Ave


Beatrice Gunter

Headshot of Beatrice Gunter in her military uniform.

371 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Major

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Early Life:

Beatrice Gunter was born in 1924 and grew up with ten other siblings.

Military Career:

Beatrice was a Major in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She was second in command in Cold Lake Alberta. Her Job was to train recruits in the parade square. Being a woman in command a lot of the male recruits would not take her seriously. Beatrice would remain professional, but if the recruits refused to listen to her, she would make sure she got the last laugh.

One time when the recruits refused her orders she went back to her barracks and slept for the day. When midnight came, she went into the recruit’s barracks and woke them all up. She proceeded to make them do their training they were supposed to do that day in the middle of the night. That’s how Beatrice made sure she was respected. Beatrice remained an active member of the Royal Canadian Air Force after the war until 1972.

Post Military Career:

After Beatrice’s retirement from the Air Force, she worked with the Air Force Cadets in Rivers Manitoba. Beatrice kept her focus on her family during her retired years.

On August 10, 1997, Beatrice Gunter passed away at the Selkirk and District General Hospital.


Blair Gunter

Headshot of Blair Gunter in his military uniform.

371 Dufferin Ave

Department: Army, Fort Garry Horse Armada

Early Life:

Blair Gunter was born November 29, 1916 and was the oldest of ten siblings. When his dad passed away Blair stepped up to help his mom raise his brothers and sisters. Blair worked as a crane operator and helped build one of Selkirk’s staple landmarks, the blue bridge. He eventually enlisted with the military and joined the Fort Garry Horse Armoured Regiment.

Military Career:

Blair was radio operator and a tank gunner. He served in the assault on Juno Beach. During battle Blair was struck in the hip by a bullet but was able get to safety and treat his wounds. Shortly after that he was sent back home to Selkirk.

Post Military Career:

Blair was employed by the Town of Selkirk and worked with the town for 29 years after returning home from the war. He was an active member in the community serving as President of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada, Unit No. 151. Blair also served as the President and Secretary of the Selkirk Branch of Canadian Union of Public Employees.

On February 19, 1974 at the Health Science Centre Blair Gunter passed away.


Elma Gunter

Photo of Elma Gunter standing in her military uniform.

435 Dufferin Ave

Department: Canadian Women’s Army Corps

Early Life:

Elma Gunter was born August 9, 1926 and grew up with ten other siblings.

Military Career:

Elma was a part of the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Corps where she received business training as a secretary.

Post Military Career:

Elma’s time after the war was spent working multiple positions with Sears, Eaton’s, and the Lord Selkirk School Division in the payroll department. Elma always stayed active in her community by volunteering with several women’s organizations and the United Church.

On January 4, 2014, Elma Gunter passed away peacefully at Seven Oaks General Hospital.


Gerald (Gerry) Gunter

Headshot of Gerald (Gerry) Gunter in his military uniform.

371 Dufferin Ave

Department: Army

Early Life:

Gerry Gunter was born in 1920 and grew up with four other siblings.

Military Career:

Gerry enlisted into the military as a part of the Army. Gerry served alongside his brother, Blair on the front lines.

Post Military Career:

Gerry passed away in January of 1982.


Jack B. Gunter

Headshot and slight side profile of Jack Gunter in his military uniform.

371 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Chef

Early Life:

Jack Gunter was born in 1918.

Military Career:

Jack was a chef for the soldiers on the frontlines. He did not fight in any battles, but he did move to the different war fronts. His brothers Gerry and Blair would give Jack their special belongings to hold onto when they went to fight. One day when Blair and Gerry went to the front when friendly bomber bombed their camp. Jack was wounded but survived. Their camp was destroyed along with Blair’s and Jerry’s special belongings.


Harold Henrikson

Headshot of Harold Henrikson in his military uniform.

333 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Lance Corporal

Department: Canadian Army, Lord Strathcona’s Horse Tank Corps

Early Life:

Harold was born June 29, 1915. He was the oldest of seven children. Growing up on Dufferin Avenue led Harold to develop a close bond with his neighbours on the block. As a young boy he was always seen playing hockey or football with the other children from the block. These days are what established the strong bond between the people on Dufferin Avenue. When the Great Depression shook the economy in the 1930s Harold decided to leave school to help support his family. Harold picked up a job at the Manitoba Rolling Mills where he was proud to help his family push through this hard time.

Military Career:

Harold was dispatched to Camp Borden in Barrie Ontario for training in 1943, leaving behind his wife Margurite and six-month-old son, Jim. In 1944 Harold left for Europe to help the allied forced in Holland/Belgium to push back the invading German army. Harold road atop a Sherman tank that was a part of the infantry in active fighting where he and his squad mates faced many hardships and challenges along the road to victory.

Post Military Career:

After bravely serving over seas Harold was able to return home to establish a productive life back in Selkirk for over forty years with his wife Margurite and children Jim and Geraldine. Harold returned to his job at the Manitoba Rolling Mills producing casting for railway and ship manufacturers. He eventually retired from the Manitoba Rolling Mills to conclude his working life at the Selkirk Mental Institution in support & maintenance services until he was able to fully retire. In Harold’s retired years he enjoyed helping his mother on Dufferin Avenue and remained an active member of the Legion, Masons, and the Selkirk Lutheran Church by taking leadership roles on within these organizations.

On June 7, 1990 Harold Henrikson passed away at the Selkirk General Hospital.


Paul Henrikson

Headshot of Paul Henrikson in his military uniform.

333 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Abel Seaman

Department: Royal Canadian Navy

Early Life:

Paul Henrikson was born December 6, 1924.

Dufferin Avenue in the 1940’s was a very close-knit street. The residence of the block held a close companionship with one another. When enlistment rates were high there was a positive peer pressure to enlist on Dufferin Avenue. Paul Henrikson at the time was a university student studying pre-med. When Paul saw his friends and brother enlisting into the military he wanted to go too. Unfortunately, at the time the military wanted all students to stay in school instead of enlisting. His first few attempts to enlist were denied. Paul eventually told the recruitment officer that he was going to enlist, and university could wait. He was then accepted into the military.

Military Career:

Paul served with the Royal Canadian Navy on the HMCS Uganda. The HMCS Uganda was a destroyer class ship where Paul was an anti-aircraft gunner. The HMCS Uganda accompanied many different fleets across the globe. The destroyer travelled through the Bay of Biscay, English Channel, Mediterranean, Pacific, and more.

Post Military Career:

When Paul returned home from the war he decided to return to university where he was able to gain the credentials to obtain his Bachelor’s in Education. During his summer breaks from schooling he worked at the Hudson Bay Mining Company in Flin Flon. When he obtained degree, his teaching career moved him away from Selkirk to Deloraine, Manitoba.

In 1958 Paul married his wife, Margaret Paterson. Paul’s career then took them to Kipling Saskatchewan. In 1966 Paul returned to Selkirk for a job with the Lord Selkirk School Division. Paul kept active in the Selkirk community where he became a Councillor from 1975 to 1983 and the Deputy Mayor for the last five years. Paul was also President of the Selkirk Evangelical Lutheran Church, Selkirk and District Curling Club and Multiple Sclerosis Society (Selkirk Chapter), and a charter member of the Selkirk Lions Club.

On September 2, 1992 Paul Henrikson passed away. Paul’s friends and family were able to celebrate his life thanks to the Last Post Fund from the Canadian Legion. A mass and headstone were provided in Paul’s Honour.


Richard (Dick) Johnstone

321 Dufferin Avenue

Early Life:

Born September 9, 1901 Richard was well-known for his warmth, thoughtfulness and care he expressed for others. During the Great Depression Richard’s good nature was appreciated by all people around him, as he would help his neighbours and family members anyway he could. An example of his kind gestures was when one of his neighbours passed away, leaving behind a wife and kids. Seeing them in need, Richard cut wood to keep their home warm.

Richard married a woman named Fanny on December 10, 1932. They had three children Margaret, Betty, and Elsie. He worked as a ground’s keeper and labourer at the Selkirk Golf Course before he enlisted with the military.

Military Career:

Richard was supposed to take part in the assault on Dieppe, France August 19, 1942 however he was sent on military leave prior to the attack. While Dick was on leave, he broke his ankle, which kept him in England during the raid.

Post Military Career:

In 1944 Richard was back in Canada and worked as a night watchman for Government yards at the Selkirk Slough. He also worked for Emil and Kenny Davidson, plumbing and heating until he moved to Dryden in 1955/1956 where he continued plumbing.

Richard Johnston passed away peacefully in 1993 at Selkirk General Hospital.


Jack C. Laye

Headshot and slight side profile of Jack Laye in his military uniform.

341 Dufferin Ave

Department: Canadian Army

Early Life:

Jack was born November 24, 1918.

Post Military Career:

Jack did not like to tell war stories to anyone but other veterans. After returning home from overseas he worked for North American Lumber for many years. Jack was able to attend night school where he got his Red Seal Ticket in carpentry. This certificated allowed him to work for the Province of Manitoba Government Services and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre. Jack retired in 1983 and enjoyed fishing in his spare time.

March 28, 2006 Jack Laye passed away peacefully at Selkirk General Hospital.


James (Jim) Laye

341 Dufferin Avenue

Post Military Career:

James Laye passed away in 1997 in Selkirk and is buried at Little Britain Church Cemetery.


William (Bill) Little

Headshot of William (Bill) Little in his military uniform.

322 and ½ 320 Robinson

Rank: Lieutenant

Department: Army, Fort Garry Horse Armada

Military Career:

William Little was the brother of Harold Little, Charles Tetroe and Frank Tetroe. William was a D-Day veteran that served with the Fort Garry Horse as a Lieutenant. He first got involved with the Fort Garry Horse, when he attended a regiment ran summer camp. The camp instructed children on how to ride horses and introduced them to military horsemanship. Military horsemanship teaches fundamental skills on how to ride horses in special units. This camp started William’s military career and ignited his lifelong love for horses.

William like his brother Harold travelled in an amphibious Sherman tank. His tank survived the beach landing in Normandy. In a Winnipeg Free Press interview from 2013 William talked about his encounters overseas. He explained how a frag grenade wounded him and took him out of battle for two weeks. When he returned to the frontlines he said “from then on it was straight fighting Germans until we finished up, May 3. In Oldenburg Germany. That’s where we ended the war.”

Post Military Career:

William was awarded the Military Cross at the war’s conclusion. The Military Cross is given to soldiers in the British Armed Forces and other Commonwealth countries. The Military Cross acknowledges “an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land”. William was also named to the Legion of Honour in France for his role in D-Day and the liberation of France. The Legion of Honour is the highest order of merit in France given to military and civil acts. First established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

After the war William continued his military career in intelligence with the Canadian High Commission in Cyprus, advising Greek and Turkish armies.

When William finished his military career, he still entertained his interest of horses. He went on to become the Executive Director of the Canadian Equestrian Association and that eventually led him to become the Director of the Equestrian Event at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.


Harold Little

Headshot of Harold Little in dress clothing.

Lived at 322 and ½ 320 Robinson.

Rank: Lance Corporal

Department: Army, Fort Garry Horse Armada

Military Career:

Harold Little was the brother of William (Bill) Little, Charles Tetroe and Frank Tetroe. Harold was a D-Day veteran that served with the Fort Garry Horse as a Lance Corporal. Harold piloted a swimming tank that was a part of the “C” Squadron.

Harold’s Tank encountered a disabled tank blocking his path on the beach after landing. His commanding officer ordered him around the disabled tank. Harold moved the tank according to his orders and trigged a landmine. The explosion resulted in him losing an eye and disabling his tank. When Harold left his tank, he saw a wounded soldier laying nearby unable to walk. Harold hoisted the soldier up and carried him to a boat that was awaiting injured Canadians. Harold was hospitalized for five months after his injury. After Harold’s hospitalization he was reunited with his unit in Nijmegen, Belgium where they kept advancing through Europe into Germany until the war’s end on May 8, 1945.

Post Military Career:

After Harold returned home from the war, he married his classmate Frances Oshoway on May 25, 1946.

In his post-military career, Harold was a part time diver for the provincial government, subsequently for the City of Winnipeg and later, for private firms. Some of Harold’s diving assignments were repairing flood damage, recover drowning victims, and recovering high valued items such as guns. His diving suit and metal helmets are on display in the Manitoba Marine Museum.

Harold Little passed away peacefully at Seven Oaks hospital on August 16, 2010.


Bill McLean

421 Dufferin Ave


Dunc McLean

421 Dufferin Ave


Eric McLean

421 Dufferin Ave


John McLean

421 Dufferin Ave


Jack Norquay

Headshot of Jack Norquay in his military uniform.

308 Dufferin Ave

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Early Life:

Jack Norquay was born on May 14, 1923. He married Mildred Riley on July 7, 1942.

Military Career:

Jack enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in January of 1942. In July of that year, he began training as a bomb-aimer in Mossbank, Saskatchewan.

Jack started operations training in March 1943. The training lasted until he joined an all-RCAF crew with No. 77 Squadron based in Elvington, Yorkshire. At that time Jack’s son was born on July 26, 1943. Jack was thrilled about his son’s birth. His letters home told his wife how he hoped his son would have blue eyes like his mother.

Jack began operations on September 22 in a brand-new Halifax aircraft where he painted Millie on the nose in honour of his wife. Jack made two successful operations flights over Hanover, Germany. There was a total of 88 flights made over Hanover where allied forces bombed the city. His third mission was over Kassel, Germany on the night of October 3, 1943. This mission was compromised, and his aircraft did not return to base. Out of 547 aircraft used, 24 were lost.

Jack Norquay is buried with other allied members in a British Military cemetery 3.5 miles away from the city of Hanover, Germany.


Thomas (Tom) Norquay

Headshot of Thomas (Tom) Norquay in dress clothing.

308 Dufferin Ave

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Military Career:

Thomas served with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Post Military Career:

After the war Thomas raised a family and became the first optometrist in Selkirk.


Harold (Harry) Scramstad

451 Sophia (North Side) part of 508 Dufferin Ave

March 1910 – 1960


Ingwald (Bob) Scramstad

Headshot of Ingwald (Bob) Scramstad in his military clothing.

451 Sophia (North Side) part of 508 Dufferin Ave

Department: Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Rifles

Early Life:

Bob Scramstad was born October 15, 1915.

Military Career:

Ingwald served in France and Holland but primarily his military action took place in Belgium. It was there where he and other allied forces helped liberate a small village. In gratitude of the liberation, the village presented them the title of honorary citizens.

Post Military Career:

Ingwald returned to Selkirk where he worked at the Manitoba Rolling Mills for more than 30 years and raised a family with his wife Dorothy.

Ingwald Scramstad passed away September 29, 1999.


Otto Scramstad

451 Sophia (North Side) part of 508 Dufferin Ave

Department: Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

Early Life:

Otto Scramstad was born February 3, 1918 in Starbuck Manitoba and attended school in Selkirk.

Post Military Career:

When Otto returned home from overseas, he was a crane operator at a copper mill.

Otto Scramstad passed away on June 23, 1976.


Allan Sinclair

307 Dufferin Ave


John V. Sinclair

A headshot of John V. Sinclair when he was younger in his military uniform. Another headshot of John V . Sinclair when he was older in his dress clothing. Both pictures side by side give a good comparison of John V. Sinclair between his older and younger days.

307 Dufferin Avenue

Department: Army, Canadian Essex Scottish Regiment

Early Life:

John was born in 1925 in Winnipeg and raised in Selkirk where he married Elise Bird. When the Canadian government needed people to enlist for the war John saw his neighbours leave for the military, and didn’t want to be left out. At the time he was only 17 years old so John lied to the recruitment officer and said he was 18. Soon enough John was making the trip overseas to fight for his country.

Military Career:

John served with the Canadian Essex Scottish Regiment based out of Windsor Ontario.

In battle, he was shot twice in his left leg. As allied soldiers walked across the battlefield John laid motionless in the mud. John slightly moved at the right time to catch the eye of a fellow soldier. The soldier went to check on him and to John’s surprise it was his neighbour from Robinson Ave “Chappy” Adams. Chappy threw John on his shoulder and placed him on a tank. The tank drove John to safety where his wounds would be treated.

Post Military Career:

John made it back to Winnipeg with his wounded leg. After Johns wounds were healed his leg was two inches shorter.

After his time in the war like many other members of the Dufferin Gang he found a job at the Manitoba Rolling Mills.

On January 4, 2012 John V. Sinclair passed away at Selkirk General Hospital.


Harold Starr

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force


Stefan Stephanson

Picture of Stefan Stephanson standing in his military clothing.

326 Dufferin Ave

Rank: Sergeant

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Military Career:

Stefan Stephanson enlisted with the Irish Fusiliers Regiment in March of 1941 where he served at the West Coast in Canada and in Jamaica for local protective duties. Stefan was discharged on April 19, 1944.


Charles (Bud) Wilfred Tetroe

Headshot of Charles (Bud) Wilfred Tetroe in his military uniform.

322 and ½ 320 Robinson

Department: Royal Canadian Air Force

Early Life:

Charles Tetroe was born in 1916 and worked at the Berens River Mines in Favorable LAke, Ontario before enlisting in January 1941.

Military Career:

Charles Tetroe was the brother of William (Bill) Little, Harold Little and Frank Tetroe. Charles served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. On October 23, 1944, Charles was riding his bike back to his barracks that evening when he was accidently struck by a friendly vehicle driving down the road. He passed away early the next morning due to his injuries.


Frank Tetroe

322 and ½ 320 Robinson

Early Life:

Frank was the brother of William (Bill) Little, Harold Little and Charles Tetroe.


While the City of Selkirk has some information on the members, others are much harder to find.

The City of Selkirk is committed to upholding and preserving our community’s history and we’re always looking to keep our records up to date. If you or someone you know has any information about the member(s) of The Dufferin Gang, please contact the City of Selkirk’s heritage team at (204) 485-0268 or by emailing [email protected].