Charlie was born in Paynton Saskatchewan, Canada on October 10th 1913. To say it was a rural community in the farming flatlands of Canada may be an understatement because the population was under 200 people. It is located just East of the Alberta border.

Coming from a farming community he was no stranger to hard work and was working the fruit fields before his 7th birthday. In 1920 the family moved West to Edson, Alberta, population a few thousand. On leaving school he left home to work on the Prairies working in the vast wheat fields.

Following that he worked in the forestry industry as a lumberjack, a most back breaking job in those days. He was obviously a nomad in those days as he left the lumber camps to become a hunter and trapper in the North. This proved to be a profitable line of work and he managed to save a considerable sum of money.

n 1932 Charlie left Canada on board a ship to England to seek adventure and to have a year-long holiday. However within a few weeks of his arrival fate was to intervene when a friend took him along to his first dirt track race at Wembley Stadium. He was hooked on the sport and a life as a speedway rider appealed to him.

However riding speedway did not come easy to him and try as he may he found it difficult to break into a team. He was on the verge of returning to Canada when he was offered a contract with Hackney Wick and lost no time proving himself a valued member of the team. By the 1939 season he was proving a hard man to beat but once again fate had something else in store for him as WW2 broke out.

Charlie being who he was joined up within 14 days of the war and became Aircraftsman Appleby of the RAF. Four months later he was a wireless operator-air gunner. And for the next five and a half years he saw action in India and Burma.

Article: Tom Marriott


canadian speedway history

This section of our site is forever growing. Despite its size, Canadian Speedway has been blessed to have some iconic names associated with it, and we are proud to bring this information to you.

Thanks is offered to many contributors including Duncan Luke, Tom Marriott, Roger Stevens and David Hensby for the the information used on this site.