|Date of Birth||April 28, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. M. Pelletier (mother), Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Railroader|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 22, 1917|
|Age at Death||25|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||RC E - 10 - 18|
Sergeant Aimé LeBleu enlisted in June 1915 and served as a recruitment officer in Canada until February 1917, when he was discharged for medical reasons. He died in a train accident eight months later.
Aimé was the son of Jean (John) LeBleu and Marie Louise LaSalle of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Jean was born in 1843 in Gentilly, Quebec and Louise was born in 1857 in Yamaska, Quebec. They were married on 25 September 1873 in Silver Islet in the district of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Silver Islet was a small community on Lake Superior across from Port Arthur, in what is now Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Jean’s occupation on their marriage registration was miner. He and Louise moved to Manitoba sometime after the birth of their first child, daughter Hortense. Louise’s parents had moved there around 1876 and they were living in the Ste. Agathe area, south of Winnipeg. Jean and Louise had at least five more children, three sons and two daughters. Aimé, the youngest, was born on 28 April 1892 in Winnipeg. His father died in Winnipeg in June 1893, when Aimé was just a year old.
Louise had an older sister Delia who was married and living in Norman, Ontario, a village just west of the town of Rat Portage (now called Kenora). After being widowed Louise joined her sister there. She married her second husband, Maxime Pelletier, in June 1897 in Rat Portage. They were both residents of Norman at the time. A year later, in December 1898, Aimé’s oldest sister Hortense died in Rat Portage at age 23. When the 1901 census was taken Maxime and Louise were living in Norman with only Aimé in the household. For the 1911 census the family included Aimé and a daughter Rosana, who was born in 1904.
The war started in August 1914 and Aimé enlisted with the 61st Battalion on 4 June 1915 in Winnipeg. He was working for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) at the time and he said he was serving in the active militia with the 106th Regiment. Aimé had suffered an abdominal injury in a railway accident in 1912 and as a result he was unable to take part in any military drills. He worked as a recruiting officer and he was transferred from the 61st Battalion to the 222nd Battalion and then the 233rd, managing to avoid a medical inspection for almost two years. When his condition was discovered he was discharged as medically unfit on 5 February 1917 in Edmonton.
Aimé married a Kenora girl, Ernestine Fortin, on 31 December 1915 in Winnipeg, while he was still with the 61st Battalion. Their son Edgar was born the following year. After Aimé was discharged he returned to his job with the CPR and he and his family lived on Fourth Street North in Kenora. On the evening of 22 October 1917 Aimé was at work near Taché, Manitoba when he was hit by a train and killed. His funeral was held on 25 October and he’s buried in the Catholic Block of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Just two weeks later his wife’s brother Edgar Fortin was killed in action in Belgium while serving with the 28th Battalion. Aimé’s brother Samuel LeBleu was conscripted in 1918 and after the war he married Ernestine’s sister Leona Fortin. Aimé and Samuel’s half-sister Rosana Pelletier married war veteran John Casimir Metail.
Ernestine was expecting another child when she lost her husband. Their second son was born in February 1918 and named Aimé after his father. A short time later Ernestine moved to St. Boniface where her parents and sisters lived, and the two boys grew up there. In 1946, after almost 30 years as a widow, she married Amédée Prefontaine, a widower who had lost his wife in 1936 after the birth of their eighth child. Amédée had a farm in St. Pierre, Manitoba and they lived there, moving to St. Boniface after he retired. Ernestine was widowed again in 1976 and she died in Kenora in October 1982. She’s buried beside her first husband in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Also buried there are their son Edgar (1916-1989), Aimé’s mother Marie Louise (1855-1927), his stepfather Maxime Pelletier (1868-1941), his two brothers (John and Samuel LeBleu) and some of Amédée’s family. Aimé LeBleu Jr. (1918-2008) is buried in Glen Lawn Memorial Gardens in Winnipeg.
By Becky Johnson