The history of Mississauga's Charlie Martin Trail

East of the intersection of Tomken Road and Burnhamthorpe Road in the 1.9 km recreational trail named for Charlie Martin. Charles Cromwell Martin (1918-1997) was one of Canada’s best-known soldiers from the Second World War. Shortly after war broke out, Charlie joined the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, becoming one of the first residents of what  is now Mississauga to enlist. He rose in the ranks to become Company Sergeant Major.

Sergeant Charlie Martin.jpg

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, he led his men ashore at as part of the landing at Juno Beach, near Bernieres-sur-Mer, France, where terrible losses were suffered. In 1945, Charlie was involved in the liberation of Holland. He was honoured for his bravery, receiving the prestigious Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal. Almost 50 years later, he told his story in the book, Battle Diary. His experiences were also featured in a CBC documentary.

In addition to assisting his former comrades and their families, Charlie was always active in the community. He was a school trustee, a highly respected leader in the scouting movement, and a Sunday-school superintendent. He raised funds for the Dixie Arena and for the Mississauga Hospital.

Charlie Martin trail opening and sign unveiling, 2003.JPG

Born in England, Charlie spent most of his life in the Dixie area of historic Mississauga. The family farm of Charlie’s youth was close to the intersection of Tomken Road and Eglinton Avenue.

We remember his brave service.