|Date of Birth||February 12, 1886|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Adelaide Leullier (mother), Norwood, St. Boniface, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Electrician|
|Force||Royal Air Force|
|Branch||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Toronto|
|Address at Enlistment||Norwood, St. Boniface, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||March 28, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||31|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||May 26, 1943|
|Age at Death||57|
|Buried At||St. Norbert Cemetery, St. Norbert, Manitoba|
Aircraft Mechanic Emile Arsene Leullier joined the Royal Flying Corps in April 1917 and served in Canada for almost two years.
Emile was the son of Arsene Leullier and Adelaide Gasse of St. Boniface, Manitoba. Arsene and Adelaide were both born in France and they came to Canada around 1881. They settled in the town of Keewatin in northwestern Ontario. Their five children were all born in the Keewatin area: Leo, Emile, Raoul, Rene and Leonie. Emile, the second of the four boys, was born on 12 February 1886. For the 1891 census Arsene was listed as a storekeeper and in 1901 he was a miner. Around 1911 the family moved from Keewatin to the Norwood neighbourhood in St. Boniface, Manitoba. Emile became an electrician and when the 1911 census was taken he was living in Vancouver, British Columbia, lodging on Howe Street and employed at an electric works company. A few years later he returned to Manitoba and lived with his parents in Norwood. Around the time the war started he was hired by Canadian National Railways and he had a long career with them.
Early in 1917 the Royal Flying Corps organized a pilot training program in Canada and recruiting centres opened across the country. Emile enlisted with the RFC on 28 March 1917 in Toronto. He was 31 years old, an electrician, and next of kin was his mother in Norwood. He started as an Aircraft Mechanic 3rd Class and on 1 January 1918 he was promoted to Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class. On 1 April 1918 the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force and Emile was transferred to Royal Air Force (Canada). Operations began winding down after the Armistice and he was discharged on 13 January 1919, ‘in consequence of being Surplus to R.A.F. requirements.’
Emile returned home and went back to working for Canadian National Railways. He was married in St. Boniface on 23 August 1922, at age 36. His wife, Helene Mathilde Pirson, was born in 1894 in St. Norbert, Manitoba, the daughter of Oscar and Jeanne Pirson. Her father was from Belgium and her mother from France. Emile and Helene had four sons and a daughter: Robert, Emile, Paul, Claude and Evelyn. Emile Jr. and Paul both served overseas in the Second World War.
Emile passed away at his home in St. Boniface on 26 May 1943, at age 57. His funeral was held three days later and he’s buried in the Leullier family plot at St. Norbert Cemetery. A few years later Helene moved to British Columbia, where some of her sons were living. She passed away in Surrey in May 1955, at age 60, and she’s buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in New Westminster.
By Becky Johnson