|Date of Birth||August 20, 1876|
|Place of Birth||Chatham, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mary Cardinal (wife), Camperville, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Bushman and farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||3rd Labour Battalion, Canadian Labour Corps|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Labour Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Camperville, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||March 17, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||40|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||June 23, 1960|
|Age at Death||84|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
|Plot||RC B- 1-8|
Private Medore Cardinal was 40 years old, married and the father of eight children when he enlisted in March 1917. He served in England and France for fourteen months, returning to Canada due to illness in June 1918.
Medore was the oldest son of Medore Cardinal and Mathilde Richer of Pain Court, Kent County, Ontario. He was born on 20 August 1876 and baptized that same day in Pain Court, a small village near Lake St. Clair in southwestern Ontario. He had at least two sisters and two younger brothers. Around 1887 when he was eleven his family moved to Cheboygan County in Michigan. He was married there in 1898 to Marie Ouillette. Marie was born in Quebec and she’d moved to the US with her family as a baby. Medore found work in lumber and saw mills and their first three children were born in Cheboygan, daughters Beatrice, Annie and Antoinette. Around 1906 Medore and Marie returned to Canada and they settled in Camperville, Manitoba, a small community on the west side of Lake Winnipegosis. Five more children were born between 1907 and 1915: Henry (Harold), Bertha, Dora, Billedeau (William) and Leon Romeo. When the 1916 census was taken Medore was working as a labourer and all the children were living at home except for Beatrice.
The war started in August 1914 and Medore enlisted in nearby Winnipegosis in March 1917, at age 40, joining the 221st (‘Bull Dogs’) Battalion. The battalion had been mobilized in Winnipeg in 1916 and just a month after Medore signed up they left for the UK, embarking from Halifax on 18 April on the SS Ausonia. After arriving in England the men were absorbed into the 11th Reserve Battalion and the 221st was disbanded. In early July Medore was assigned to the Manitoba Regiment Depot then a week later he was transferred to the 3rd Labour Battalion and sent to France. The Canadian labour battalions had been organized for doing work in the rear areas, mostly railway construction, using recruits who were not physically fit for front line duty.
Medore joined the 3rd Labour Battalion in the field in the last week of July 1917. A month later he was admitted to No. 63 Casualty Clearing Station and diagnosed with inflammation of the gall bladder. He was sent to a hospital in Rouen on the coast of France and evacuated from there to England. He spent the next eight months in several hospitals and convalescent centres. In April 1918 Medore was admitted to No. 5 Canadian General Hospital in Liverpool and in May he was invalided to Canada, arriving in Halifax on 4 June 1918 on the SS Araguaya. He was treated for gallstones and myalgia at the Manitoba Military Convalescent Hospital in Winnipeg. He was released from the hospital at the end of July and discharged from the army on 31 August, listed as medically unfit for further war service.
Medore returned to his family in Camperville and he and Marie had two more sons, Robert and Charles. In the late 1920s they moved to Keewatin in northwestern Ontario and by 1945 he was retired. Medore passed away on 23 June 1960 at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. He was predeceased by his wife and survived by his ten children. Medore and Marie are both buried in the Catholic section of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Becky Johnson