|Date of Birth||February 4, 1888|
|Place of Birth||St. Boniface, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Maggie Flett (wife), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer and painter|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 20, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||27|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
Private Norbert Joseph Arthur Flett was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba on 4 February 1888, the son of Charles Flett and Dorothy Laviolete. He was married in Kenora, Ontario on 12 April 1910 to Maggie Blackeye. Maggie was 20 years old, born in Ontario and the daughter of Abraham and Mary Blackeye. Norbert and Maggie settled in the Fort Frances area and they had three children: George, Harold and Irene. Norbert worked as a hunter, teamster, and painter and decorator.
In August 1915 the war entered its second year and that fall a new unit, the 94th Overseas Battalion, was mobilized in Port Arthur. It was recruited in towns throughout northwestern Ontario, including Kenora. Norbert and his family were living in Kenora at the time and he enlisted there on 20 November 1915. His occupation was labourer and painter and next of kin was his wife Maggie in Kenora. He said he had served with a militia unit, the 12th Manitoba Dragoons.
After training locally over the winter the volunteers left for Port Arthur in May 1916 to join the rest of the unit. Norbert, however, was in the Kenora jail at the time where he was incarcerated for 21 days, from 10 May to 31 May (reason not stated). Following his release he was transferred to the 141st Battalion, which also trained in Port Arthur. Norbert was absent without leave from 9 June until 5 August when he was discharged, ‘in consequence of being illegally absent for a period of 21 days and struck off strength as a deserter by a Court of Enquiry.’
By the summer of 1917 Norbert and his wife were living in Fort Frances again. Maggie died there in April 1919 of influenza and pneumonia. When the 1921 census was taken Norbert was listed as widowed and working as a painter and decorator. His two sons were students at the residential school on the reserve in Fort Frances. Norbert was married again the following year, on 8 June 1922. His second wife, Caroline Jourdain, was born in Fort Frances, the daughter of Simon and Julia Jourdain.
Norbert and Caroline were still in Fort Frances in 1926, when their infant son died in McKenzie Hospital at age three days. Nothing further is known about Norbert’s life and his date of death and place of burial have not been found.
By Becky Johnson