|Date of Birth||February 29, 1884|
|Place of Birth||Lorette, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||A. Hamel, Father, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|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||February 28, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||32|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 2, 1959|
|Age at Death||75|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
George James Hamel was born on 29 February 1884 in Lorette, Manitoba. His parents were Amede and Odile Hamel who were both from Quebec. Siblings included: Josephine (b. 1874), Henry (b.1877), Ernestine (b. 1880), and Alfred (b. 1886). By 1911 George and his father had moved to the rural area of Jaffray Mellick which is on the outskirts of Kenora, Ontario. They were living with George’s brother, Henry, and his wife and children.
When George enlisted with the 94th Battalion in Kenora on 28 February 1916 he was single, 32 years old, and working as a farmer. His unit sailed for England on 28 June 1916 aboard the S.S. Olympic. Upon his arrival, George was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion. In May of 1917 George was assigned to the Canadian Forestry Corps and went to France with the 38th Company.
‘The Canadian Forestry Corps provided lumber for the Allied war effort by cutting and preparing timber in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe. Forestry units also cleared terrain for the construction of installations such as airfields and runway, prepared railway ties, as well as lumber for the creation of barracks, road surfaces, ammunition crates, and trench construction.‘ (from www.canadiansoldiers.com)
On 19 August 1917 George was appointed filer with pay at rate of $2.25 per Diem inclusive. In January of 1918 George had a two week leave to Paris and in February 1918 he earned a Good Conduct Badge. In November of 1918 he had another two week leave to the United Kingdom. Shortly after his return to duty he was diagnosed with venereal disease and was admitted to the Canadian Stationary Hospital in Camiers. He was invalided to England on 21 January 1919 and entered the Canadian Special Hospital in Witley for treatment. George returned to Canada in May 1919. He received his official discharge due to demobilization on 30 May 1919 in Winnipeg. His discharge papers noted that he intended to live in Winnipeg.
The 1921 Canadian Census shows George living with his father on a farm in the Springfield district of Manitoba.
The next we know of George is that he passed away on 02 November 1959 at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. He had formerly been living at 402 Elgin Avenue. His Veteran Death card listed his nephew Mr. R. Hamel of St. Vital in Winnipeg as next of kin. At the time of his death he was survived by his brothers Alfred and Henry and his sister Alice Gagnon. George is buried in a military plot at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.