Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 29, 1884
Place of BirthRed Lake Falls, Minnesota
CountryU.S.A.
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinMabel Louise Beaudro (wife), Cochrane, Ontario
Trade / CallingAccountant
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number1006468
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion6th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentCochrane, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentCochrane, Ontario
Date of Enlistment27/05/1916
Age at Enlistment32
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of Death10/02/1960
Age at Death75
Buried AtBarrie Union Cemetery, Barrie, Ontario
PlotSec H, Plot 421-S

Beaudro, Rocque Francis

Captain Rocque Francis Beaudro was married and the father of three young boys when he enlisted in May 1916. He served in France with the Canadian Railway Troops and returned to Canada in March 1919.

Rocque was the son of Joseph Henry Beaudro (Beaudrault) and Sarah Leger of Kenora, Ontario. He was born on 29 February 1884 in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, the seventh of nine children. His mother was from New York and his father was from Sorel, Quebec. Their first eight children were born in Minnesota: John, Mary, Ida, Charlotte, Moses, Edward, Rocque and Walter. Around 1887, when Rocque was three, Joseph and Sarah moved to northwestern Ontario. Their youngest son Silas was born in Fort William in November 1890 and by the following spring they were living in the Rat Portage area, on Lake of the Woods. Joseph was involved in mining and he also owned and operated a hotel in the town of Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora).

Hockey was very popular in Kenora and Rocque, or Roxy, became interested at an early age. By the time he was 13 he was playing for the Rat Portage Thistles and he was with the team for about ten years. In January 1907, when the Kenora Thistles won the Stanley Cup, Roxy scored the winning goal in the series against the Montreal Wanderers. He retired from hockey that spring, at the end of the season. A few months later, on 27 August 1907, he was married in Winnipeg to Mabel Louise Goodman. Mabel was born in 1884 in Waterloo County, Ontario, the daughter of Frederick and Mary Goodman. Her family had lived in Kenora in the early 1900s, when Roxy was playing for the Thistles, but by 1906 they were living in Winnipeg.

After getting married Roxy and Mabel moved to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where he worked as a timekeeper for a railway contractor. Mabel went back to Kenora for the births of their first two sons, Earl Laurier in January 1909 and John Edward in June 1910. At the time of the 1911 census they were living in Nipigon, Ontario. Their youngest son Roxy Judson was born around 1912 and they lost an infant daughter in February 1916. By then they were living in Cochrane, Ontario and Roxy was employed as an accountant for the Canadian Government Railways.

Mabel’s brother Earl Goodman was also living in Cochrane and Roxy and Earl enlisted together, both signing up on 27 May 1916. Roxy joined the 228th Overseas Battalion (Northern Fusiliers), which had been organized two months earlier and was being recruited in northern Ontario. Some of the CEF battalions put together hockey teams and over the winter of 1916-17 Roxy played in eight hockey games for his unit. On 7 February he was commissioned as a Lieutenant and ten days later the 228th Battalion embarked for England on the SS Missanabie. While he was overseas his wife and children moved to Winnipeg and lived with her parents.

Early in March the 228th Battalion was re-designated as the 6th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops and a few weeks later they were sent to France. They arrived there on 3 April and Roxy served in France and Flanders for the next 22 months. His unit was mainly involved in construction which included grading, ballasting, surfacing and laying track as well as track maintenance. The battalion had an average of 750-800 men. Roxy was promoted to Acting Captain in April 1918 and Temporary Captain in August.

In November when the Armistice was signed the 6th Battalion was near Roisel, southeast of Cambrai. They stayed in that general area for the next two months, carrying out maintenance work. On 22 January 1919 the troops entrained for the coast and they spent several days at the Canadian Base Depot in Etaples. At the end of the month they moved to Le Havre, embarking from there for England and proceeding to Knotty Ash Camp in Liverpool. Roxy left for Canada with his unit on 19 March on the SS Minnekahda. They arrived in Halifax on 27 March and he was discharged on demobilization on 3 April in Toronto. His brother Silas Alexander had been called up for service in 1918 and he spent ten months with the Canadian Field Artillery.

After the war Roxy and Mabel made their home in Cochrane again and they had a daughter, Betty, born in the spring of 1920. Sadly, their middle son John died of acute appendicitis in March 1921, at age 10. By 1930 the Beaudros had moved to Fort William and they were there until after the Second World War. In his later years, Roxy lived in Toronto and apparently attended Maple Leafs games as a guest of Foster Hewitt.

Roxy passed away in Barrie, Ontario on 10 February 1960, a few weeks before his 76th birthday. His wife died five years later, at age 80. She was survived by their son Roxy of Toronto and their daughter Betty (Mrs. Ronald Hardie) of Barrie. Roxy and Mabel are both buried in Barrie Union Cemetery.

Roxy is commemorated on the Canadian National Railway Roll of Service: ‘Canada’s National Railways: Their Part in the War.’

The 1907 Kenora Thistles hockey team was inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 (website).

By Becky Johnson

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