The building at 1843 Rae St. in Regina may not be much to look at while it’s currently under construction, but the property has a historic legacy.
A plaque out front, installed in 1995, commemorates it as the former home of Sergeant Arthur Knight, who fought and died in the first World War and received the Victoria Cross, the highest honour in the commonwealth.
On Saturday, two-dozen chairs were set up in the street in front of the plaque as Knight was honoured.
“Memories fade and the Victoria Cross recipients were Saskatchewan heroes,” said Major Brad Hrycyna, president of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) of Regina. “We need to remember our heroes and the examples they set.”
RUSI is working to memorialize all 14 Victoria Cross recipients from Saskatchewan.
Hrycyna led the event while representatives from municipal, provincial, and federal governments spoke, along with Lieutenant-Governor Vaughn Soloman Schofield.
There were also several guests from the military, including three veterans of the second world war.
Weldon Moffat was a sergeant in the second World War. He said it was important to be at the memorial, as it feels like honouring a partner.
“It’s a different war, but we understand what our requirements are and when we see a problem we try to rectify it.”
Moffat said the permanent plaque in front of Knight’s home is important as well.
“Today there’s a lot of people who say ‘war is bad’ and they want to forget it. Well, it is bad, but let’s do what we can to make this a better place to live in.”
The story of how Knight earned his Victoria Cross was published in an official gazette and was provided to media by the RUSI:
“For most conspicuous bravery, initiative, and devotion to duty when, after an unsuccessful attack, Sgt. Knight led a bombing section forward, under very heavy fire of all descriptions, and engaged the enemy at close quarters. Seeing that his party continued to be held up, he dashed forward alone, bayoneting several of the enemy machine-gunners and trench mortar crews, and forcing the remainder to retire in confusion. He then brought forward a Lewis gun and directed his fire on the retreating enemy, inflicting many casualties.
“In the subsequent advance of his platoon in pursuit, Sgt. Knight saw a party of about thirty of the enemy go into a deep tunnel which led off the trench. He again dashed forward alone, and, having killed one officer and two NCOs, captured twenty other ranks. Subsequently he routed, single-handed, another enemy party which was opposing the advance of his platoon.
“On each occasion he displayed the greatest valour under fire at very close range, and by his example of courage, gallantry, and initiative was a wonderful inspiration to all.
“This very gallant NCO was subsequently fatally wounded.”