|Date of Birth||February 21, 1880|
|Place of Birth||Trout Lake (Chichester), Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Michael LaBelle, father, Beausejour, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Marine engineer|
|Regimental Number||A39569, 859175|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Machine Gun Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Fort Francis, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Age at Enlistment||35|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 5, 1939|
|Age at Death||59|
|Buried At||Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA|
Daniel Leon LaBelle was born on 21 February 1880 in the township of Chichester, Pontiac, Quebec. For reasons unknown he was baptized in the nearby township of Sheenboro with the surname of Micheau, parents given as Michael Micheau, farmer, and Mary Brennan. His father usually went by the name of Michael Labelle, the name given on their marriage record of 4 September 1877 in St Paul the Hermit church in Sheenboro. However in earlier censuses his surname was given as Isobell/Isabell as well as in the 1881 census after their marriage. The Chichester/Sheenboro area had been settled by Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine, with Mary’s parents among the immigrants as was Michael’s mother. The Brennan and Isobell/Isabell families both farmed in the area. Children born in Chichester, also baptized in Sheenboro with the surname of Micheau, were Ambrose (1878-1912), Daniel, Mary Ellen (1882-1936), Michael James (1884), and twins Joseph Ernest (Ernie) (1886-1961) and Catherine Ada (Kate) (1886). The 1881 census found Michael, Mary, and children Ambrose and Daniel, surname given as Isobell, living with Mary’s parents in Chichester where they were farming.
By the time of the 1891 census the family had moved to Rat Portage, later renamed Kenora, in northwestern Ontario where Michael found work as a lumberman. From this time on the family went by the surname of Labelle/LaBelle/La Belle. Children born in Rat Portage were Bridget Ethel (1889-1984), John Guy (1891-1924), Annie Laurene (Rene) (1893-1970), George Leo (1894-1895), and Joseph Parnell (1897-1980). By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Beausejour in Manitoba to farm. Norah Louise, daughter of Kate, joined the family in 1903 to be raised by her grandparents.
Daniel signed his first set of attestation papers on 28 July 1915 in Fort Frances, Ontario. He gave his date and place of birth as 28 July 1881 in Trout Lake, Quebec. (There is a Trout Lake in the township of Chichester where the family lived.) His occupation was given as engineer and his mother Mary back in Beausejour as next of kin. With service number A39569, he served for a couple of days with the 98th Regiment before being transferred to the 52nd Battalion, working as a guard on the Rainy Lake Bridge. However he was found medically unfit upon examination (heart murmur) and discharged from service on 7 August.
Daniel signed his second set of attestation papers on 28 October 1915 in Winnipeg. He gave his date and place of birth as 28 July 1882 in Trout Lake, occupation as marine engineer, and his father Michael in Beausejour as next of kin. With a fair complexion and green eyes, Daniel had auburn hair.
As a Private with the 179th Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) Daniel arrived in England aboard the Saxonia on 13 October 1916. Upon arrival he was transferred to the Canadian Machine Gun Depot and then on to the Machine Gun Pool at Crowborough the following May, arriving in Camiers on the 12th. He was posted to the 15th Canadian Machine Gun Company, arriving for duty on the 26th. Daniel was granted a two week leave in mid January of 1918. In March his unit was absorbed by the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps where he was to serve for the remainder of the war. He was granted a second two week leave in late November and returned to England in mid February of 1919. In mid March he embarked for Canada aboard the Cretic, arriving in Halifax on the 24th and discharged from service on the 28th in Toronto.
Most of Daniel’s brothers were to enlist/serve during the war, Ernie in Great Britain with the Canadian Forestry Corps, Parnell with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment in Canada, and Michael James signed his U.S., World War I Draft Registration Card in Floodwood, Minnesota on 11 September 1918, service unknown.
According to his service record, Daniel’s proposed residence after the war was Beausejour although he lived for a while in Teulon, Manitoba. In May of 1923 Daniel crossed the border on his way to Detroit. He had been living in Windsor at the time and gave father Michael, RR1 Winnipeg as his nearest relative. On 27 October 1923, in Detroit, Daniel married Marie (aka Mary Jane) Cowie. The daughter of John and Annie (Thomson) Cowie, Marie was born in Rathven, Banffshire, Scotland on 5 May 1881. At the time of the marriage Daniel was working as a machine operator and Marie as a domestic. The 1930 US census found the couple living on Grixdale Avenue East in Detroit along with Marie’s sister Annie. Daniel was working as a machinist in an automobile factory. They later moved to nearby Hazel Park/Royal Oak, Oakland where Daniel died on 5 July 1939 of heart disease. He is interred in the Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak. It appears that Mary died in 1973 in Royal Oak.
by Judy Stockham