Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 6, 1887
Place of BirthMoose Creek, Stormont County, Ontario
CountryCanada
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMrs. Alice Lalonde (wife), Norman, Ontario
Trade / CallingLumberman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number198903
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion94th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentNorman, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 2, 1916
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 13, 1947
Age at Death60
Buried AtWoodlawn Cemetery, Toledo, Ohio

Lalonde, Alexander

Private Alexander Lalonde was married and the father of two young children when he enlisted in February 1916. He served overseas for three years and returned home in June 1919.

Alexander was the son of Alexander Lalonde Sr. and Jane Barnes of Moose Creek, Stormont County, Ontario. Alexander Sr. and Jane were married in 1884 in Moose Creek and Alexander was born there on 6 November 1887. He had at least eight brothers and sisters: Frank, Lavinia (Vina), William, George, Henry, Harry, Mary Clara and Lilly. Their father was a hotel keeper in the 1880s and 90s but by 1901 he had taken up farming. The oldest son Frank died in a train accident in 1905, at age 19.

As a young man Alexander moved to the Kenora area in northwestern Ontario and found work in a local sawmill. He was married in Kenora on 6 November 1910. His wife, 20-year-old Alice Mary Lebleu, was born in Manitoba to Charles and Pamela Lebleu. Her family moved to the Kenora area when she was a child and her father worked in a sawmill. Alexander and Alice made their home in Norman, a small village just west of Kenora. Their first three children were daughter Zelia (1911), who died as an infant, and sons Jean Oliver (1912) and George (1914).

The war entered its second year in August 1915 and Alexander enlisted that winter, signing up in Kenora on 2 February 1916 with the 94th Overseas Battalion. He was living in Norman at the time, working as a lumberman, and next of kin was his wife Alice. The 94th Battalion was based in Port Arthur and the Kenora recruits were sent there in May to join the rest of the unit. They left for Quebec on 9 June and spent a short time at the military camp in Valcartier, north of Quebec City. The troops embarked for England on the SS Olympic at the end of the month, arriving in Liverpool on 6 July.

Alexander was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion on 13 July and six days later he became ill with influenza, He was admitted to the brigade hospital in Shorncliffe where he recovered until 1 August. In January 1917 he was assigned to the Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot and on 1 March he was posted to the 5th Canadian Divisional Train. Three weeks later he was transferred to the 14th Field Ambulance and he served with them for the next two years. He arrived in France with his unit on 6 June 1918.

Field ambulances operated advanced and main dressing stations, which were located just behind the front lines. They provided short term medical care, collecting casualties, treating them and evacuating them to the clearing stations and hospitals as needed. They also operated rest stations and provided stretcher bearers for moving the wounded.

The Armistice ended hostilities in November 1918 and the 14th Field Ambulance served in Belgium, Germany and France until the following spring. On 11 April 1919 Alexander was transferred to the Canadian Army Service Corps Pool then, the following day, to the 5th Canadian Divisional Train. He returned to England four weeks later. He embarked for Canada on 11 June on the SS Scotian, arriving in Quebec on 22 June and getting discharged on demobilization the following day in Ottawa.

Alexander’s daughter Loretta Rose was born in August 1916, while he was overseas. After the war he and his family lived in Norman for another year. In July 1920 they moved to the U.S. and settled in Toledo, Ohio. On the border crossing manifest Alexander’s occupation was listed as sawyer and he said he had an uncle John Barnes living in Toledo. His youngest son, Harry Frank, was born there in 1922. Alexander worked for many years as a porter in a hotel. He passed away in Toledo on 13 December 1947, at age 60. At the time he was employed by the Toledo Terminal Railroad Company. His wife Alice died in 1964. Their grandson, Harry Frank Lalonde Jr., was killed in Vietnam in 1969, at age 22, while serving with the U.S. Army.

Alexander and Alice are both buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo.

By Becky Johnson

Lalonde-Alexander-90 94th-1916-05-27b Lalonde-Alexander-91 Lalonde-Alexander-92

Grave marker photo courtesy of meeganm on findagrave.com.


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