|Date of Birth||March 20, 1892|
|Place of Birth||Montreal, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Octave Parent (father), 862 River Street, Montreal, Quebec|
|Trade / Calling||Saw setter|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Norman P.O., Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||November 11, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||26|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
Private Joseph Parent was called up for service in November 1917 and sent to France a year later. He returned to Canada in March 1919.
Joseph was born in Montreal on 20 March 1892 and baptized the same day as Joseph Octave Napoleon Parent. His parents, Octave Parent and Cécile Plamondon, were married in Montreal in 1880 and their children included Marie Cécile Méderise (1884), Jean Alfred Adélard (1887) and Alfred (1890). Joseph grew up in Montreal where his father worked as a cabinetmaker. The family lived on Rue Barré in the 1890s and later on Carriere Street for many years.
Conscription was introduced in Canada in the summer of 1917, as the war entered its fourth year. Single men aged 20 to 34 were required to register by the fall. Joseph was living in northwestern Ontario by then and he failed to report as required. He was called up as a defaulter on 11 November 1917 and he had his army medical on 2 May 1918 in Winnipeg. He was 25 years old, single and next of kin was his father in Montreal. Joseph’s occupation was saw setter and his address was Norman (now part of Kenora). He was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment and sent overseas about two months later, arriving in London, England on the SS Tunisian on 22 July.
Joseph was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion and he trained with them for almost four months. On 8 November he was drafted to a front line unit, the 52nd Battalion, and sent to France. The 52nd had originally been recruited in northwestern Ontario and Joseph joined them in the field in mid-November, a few days after the Armistice. The battalion was in Belgium at the time and they stayed there for another three months before returning to England on 10 February 1919. The troops were sent to Bramshott Camp and most of them were immediately given leave.
After five weeks in England the 52nd Battalion embarked for Canada on the SS Olympic on 17 March. There was a huge reception for the men when they arrived in Port Arthur and the unit was demobilized there at the end of the month. The Kenora veterans arrived home on 31 March and a large reception was held the next day at the Tourist Hotel, with over 200 returned soldiers in attendance. In his speech Kenora’s mayor said their services had made Canada known to the world as a great nation of liberty-loving people.
On his discharge document Joseph listed his intended residence as Kenora and in June 1919 he was living in Norman again. By the time the 1921 census was taken he had moved back to Montreal and he was living with his brother Alfred. Joseph was married in Montreal on 15 September 1923. His wife, Marie Albertine Gosselin, was born in Montreal in 1894, the daughter of Joseph Gosselin and Josephine Gagnon.
Little else is known about Joseph but he appears to have lived in Montreal for the rest of his life. His service file records his address in 1952 as 4103 Rue Drolet and Montreal city directories have him living at that address until 1956. His death date is not known but by 1963 his wife was listed as a widow.
By Becky Johnson