Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 17, 1887
Place of BirthSt. Boniface, Manitoba
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Flavia Lauzon (mother), Pinewood, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number820696
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion44th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentPinewood, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentPinewood, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 1, 1916
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 10, 1960
Age at Death72
Buried AtPinewood Municipal Cemetery, District of Rainy River, Ontario

Lauzon, Antoine Napoleon

Private Antoine Napoleon Lauzon enlisted in May 1916 and served in France with the 44th Battalion. He was wounded at the Battle of Valenciennes, in the last days of the war, and he spent more than a year recovering in hospitals.

Antoine was born on 17 October 1887 in St. Boniface, Manitoba. His birth was registered as Joseph Francois Napoleon Lauzon and his parents were Antoine Lauzon and Flavie Ducharme. Antoine and Flavie were married in 1887 in Marieval, Saskatchewan. Not long after their son Antoine was born they moved to the town of Rat Portage in northwestern Ontario. They had at least six more children: Joseph Emilien (1890), Flavie Alexina (1892), Marie (1896), Emilien/Emile  (1897), Sybil and Joseph Hylas Albert (1910). Sadly, Joseph Emilien and Flavie Alexina both died at age one and Marie at age four days. When the 1901 census was taken the family was living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) and Antoine was a butcher. By 1910 they had moved to the Pinewood area in Dilke Township, District of Rainy River, where they took up farming.

By the fall of 1915 the war was in its second year and Antoine enlisted the following spring, signing up in Pinewood on 1 May 1916 and joining the 141st Battalion. He was 28 years old, single and a farmer. The 141st Battalion was recruited in towns throughout northwestern Ontario and the recruits were sent to Port Arthur to train. Antoine had a three week farm furlough in May and likely headed to Port Arthur after that. After training in Canada for a year he left for the east coast with the 141st Battalion on 20 April 1917. Three days later they were in Ottawa where they were inspected by the Governor General. The troops embarked from Halifax on 29 April on the SS Olympic and arrived in England about a week later.

Antoine was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion on 7 May. On 21 June he was drafted to a front line unit, the 44th Battalion, and sent to France. After some time at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp and with an entrenching battalion he joined his new unit in the field in mid-January 1918. In February he spent a week in a field ambulance with an infected arm. The Canadians were in the Arras area that spring and in the summer they were given several weeks of intensive training in open warfare. They were heavily involved in the final three months of the war, a period known now as the Hundred Days Offensive.

Following the Battle of Amiens (8-11 August 1918) the Canadian Corps moved to the Arras area for further operations. They crossed the Canal du Nord at the end of September but Antoine was away on a two-week leave of absence at the time. The Canadians took part in the capture of Cambrai in early October and continued advancing northeast, toward Valenciennes and Mons. Antoine was wounded near Valenciennes on 1 November when he was buried by the explosion of an artillery shell. He suffered a fractured right femur and injuries to his chest. He was taken to a casualty clearing station then sent by ambulance train to No. 8 Stationary Hospital in Rouen. He was there for six days, listed as seriously ill.

Antoine was evacuated to England on 10 November and admitted to No. 4 London General Hospital at Denmark Hill. On 8 December he was moved to Rochester Row Military Hospital. On 26 April he was transferred to No. 16 Canadian General Hospital in Orpington. During the move his femur was accidentally refractured and surgery was required, including the application of an extension. Antoine’s leg didn’t heal well and it was shorter than his left leg with limited knee movement. On 23 July he was moved to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital in Liverpool, to await his return to Canada. He sailed on 8 August 1919 on the hospital ship Araguaya, arriving home about ten days later via Portland, Maine. On 21 August he was admitted to the Manitoba Military Hospital in Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg where he received treatment for another five months. He was discharged from the army on 14 January 1920 in Winnipeg. His brother Emile Lauzon had enlisted in January 1916. He served in France with the 7th Battalion and returned to Canada in May 1919.

Antoine returned to Pinewood and when the 1921 census was taken he was living with his parents on the family farm. Living nearby was a widow, Florrie Morrison (née Stone), and her five children. Florrie was born in 1895 in Bedfordshire, England, the daughter of Ephraim Stone and Ada Woodward. She had immigrated to Canada with her family in 1906 and married Benjamin Edward Morrison in Pinewood in 1910. Benjamin died in 1920 following an accident at work. He was 36 years old and he left his wife Florrie and five children: Benjamin, James, William, Gordon and Ruby.

Antoine and Florrie were married on 8 August 1922. They continued to farm in the Pinewood area and they had ten children: Charlie (1923), Claira, Violet (1925), Florrie (1927), Edna (1929), Helen (1931, died at age four months), twins Philip and Albert (1932), Judy and Shirley. Their son Charlie served overseas during the Second World War.

Antoine passed away in the Red Cross Hospital in Emo on 10 June 1960, at age 72. He is buried in Pinewood Municipal Cemetery. Florrie died in 1973 and she’s interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Rainy River.

By Becky Johnson

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Photos of Antoine and Florrie are courtesy of Lauzon public family tree on ancestry.com.


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