|Date of Birth||December 17, 1877|
|Place of Birth||Lagorce, Ardeche|
|Next of Kin||Alphonse Leydier, 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||March 25, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||38|
|Theatre of Service||France|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 1, 1965|
|Age at Death||87|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||RC B - 12 - 6|
Alphonse Jean Paulin Leydier was born on 17 December 1877 in Lagorce, Ardeche, France. He immigrated to Canada via New York with his father in October of 1895 aboard the Werkendam, making their way to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1896. His father then went back to France in 1898 to bring over Alphonse’s mother Justine (née Magellier) Leydier and his siblings Marie Justine, Pauline, Anais, Marius, and Lucie.
On 25 March 1905 Alphonse married Regina Jette, daughter of Joseph and Azilda (née Bissonette) Jette of Richelieu, Quebec, marriage registered in the Rainy River District. The couple farmed in the area (Jaffray and Melick) as they raised their children, sons Arthur, Louis, Lawrence, Wilfred, Joseph, and Francis (died as an infant), and daughters Rosalie, Blanche, Mary, Eleonore, and Julie.
With occupation given as farmer, Alphonse Leydier enlisted in Kenora on 25 March 1916 with the 94th Battalion. With blue eyes and brown hair, he was 38 years of age.
‘On May 25, 1916, the men of ‘C’ an ‘D’ Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for ‘Summer Camp’ as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic. Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, if actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front line units.’ (from the now defunct 94th Battalion website)
Once overseas Alphonse was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then eventually to the 74th Company of the Canadian Forestry Corps, arriving in France on 8 September 1917. He was granted a Good Conduct Badge on 25 March 1918 and a 14 day leave in France in September. In December of 1918 he was transferred back to England. Private Alphonse Leydier arrived back in Canada in Halifax aboard the Baltic on 5 February 1919.
Alphonse Leydier served his community well, being elected reeve of Jaffray and Melick for seven years and was a past president of the Kenora Agricultural Society. In the spring of 1930 Alphonse, his father Alphonse and stepmother Marie/Madeleine, travelled back to France for a visit. Predeceased by his wife Regina in 1957, Alphonse died on 1 August 1965. Both are interred in the family plot in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by thirty-one grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren. Most of the children stayed in the area, marrying and raising their families.
by Judy Stockham