Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Herbert Philip Crabb (1889-1966)

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Herbert Philip Crabb
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Realtor, contractor, pilot.

Born at Donisthorpe, England on 8 January 1889, he was educated in private schools. He came to Canada in 1901 and settled at Borden, Saskatchewan. After a short period of farm work, he moved to Radisson and, in 1907, joined the staff of the Bank of Commerce. In 1912 came to Winnipeg and worked for the real estate firm of Stephenson and Field.

During the First World War, he served overseas as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps from April 1915 to July 1919. He then returned to Winnipeg and rejoined his former company, which became known as Stephenson, Field and Crabb. In 1923, he formed his own company, Crabb and Company, with himself as President. He later formed the Crabb Construction Company, which built many of the larger homes in Winnipeg and was especially interested in the problem of home insulation. He was also President of Moss Products Limited and General Discounts Limited.

During the Second World War, he became commanding officer of the 112th City of Winnipeg Squadron and, in December 1939, he went to Ottawa. He was later put in charge of air training at Calgary and the Bombing and Gunnery School at Mont Joli, Quebec. In recognition of his wartime service, in 1946 he was made a Member of the British Empire. After the war, he worked for several years on the Assessment Board of the City of Winnipeg and, for a time, was regional director for the Dominion Department of Labor. He sold Crabb and Company in 1953 and worked in investments.

On 24 June 1921, he married Violet Doreen Simons (1899-1990) at Winnipeg and they had a son, John Philip Crabb. He served as President of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board (1930-1931), Canadian Flying Clubs’ Association, Winnipeg Gyro Club (1932-1933), Winnipeg Flying Club, and St. George’s Snow Shoe Club. He was Vice-President of the Mutual Mortgage Company, and the Aviation League of Canada. He was a member of the Winnipeg Board of Trade, Winnipeg Gyro Club, Manitoba Club, St. Charles Country Club, Motor Country Club, and Winnipeg Winter Club. In 1934, he lived at 210 Niagara Street, Winnipeg.

He died at Winnipeg on 5 May 1966.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Men of Winnipeg in Diamond Jubilee Sketches,” Winnipeg Free Press, December 1934. [University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, Winnipeg Elite Study, G. Friesen Fonds, Mss 154, Box 15, File 8]

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 6 May 1966.

Obituary [Doreen Crabb], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 August 1990, page 52.

We thank James Kostuchuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 March 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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