Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 24, 1894
Place of BirthSaint-Jeures, Haute-Loire
Marital StatusSingle
Trade / CallingAgriculteur (farmer)
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number954
ForceFrench Army
Branch105th Infantry Regiment
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentOctober 1, 1914
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 15, 1964
Age at Death70
Buried AtNotre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec
PlotSection M Lot 03412D

Metail, Auguste Dieudonnais

Auguste Dieudonnais Metail was born on 24 September 1894 in Saint-Jeures, Haute-Loire, France. His father Joseph Metail was also from Saint-Jeures while his mother Anne Charlotte Crepet was from nearby Chambon-Feugerolles, Loire where the couple married on 30 October 1893. The young family immigrated to Canada in 1895, arriving in New York aboard the Maasdam on 11 February, on their way to Winnipeg, Manitoba. They lived in the Saint Boniface area of Winnipeg for a short time, giving birth to daughter Maria Alexandrine in 1896. By the next year and the birth of son John, the family had relocated to Norman in northwestern Ontario, a village just west of Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora). At the time of the 1901 census the family was listed in the Rat Portage census area where Joseph was working as a labourer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the next census in 1911 they had bought a farm in nearby Jaffray where they were to raise their children: Auguste (1894-1964), Maria (Sister Mary)(1896-1964), John (1897-1959), Antoinette (m E Boisjoli)(1899-1961), Mary Louise (m James Fox)(1900-1970), Anna (Sister Veronica)(1902-1975), Joseph (1904-1978), Maurice (1905-1995), Henry (1907-1979), Theodore (Ted)(1910-1975), and Cecile (1912-1995).

With the outbreak of the war Auguste returned to France to serve, enlisting on 1 October 1914. Details of his service as translated from his record:

  • Incorporated in the 105th Infantry Regiment on 1st October 1914, Soldat de Deuxième Classe (Private)
  • Classed ‘Auxiliary Service’ by the Reform Commission in Riom (near Clermont-Ferrand) on 26 September 1916 (mutilation of 4 fingers on left hand by accident)
  • Detached as a Worker at Saint-Etienne on 12 April 1916
  • Affected to the 53rd Artillery Regiment on 15 January 1917
  • Affected to the 21st Colonial Infantry Regiment on 1st July 1917
  • Detached as a Worker at Lyon on 17 November 1917, then at Boulogne-sur-Seine on 24 November 1917
  • Demobilized on 20 March 1919

Auguste’s brother John signed his recruitment papers in November of 1917 and served in Canada with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, 10th and 6th Battalions Canadian Garrison Regiment, and for a few days with the Canadian Army Medical Corps before being discharged from service in October of 1919.

Auguste returned to Canada in February of 1920, arriving in New York on the 12th aboard the Rochambeau, listed as a returning soldier and passage paid by the French government. Travelling with him was his new wife Marie Berthe Marcelle Lacoste. Born on 3 December 1898 in Tulle, Marie Berthe was the daughter of Henriette Massoulier who married Francois Lacoste on 28 April 1900. On the marriage record it appears that Marie Berthe was acknowledged as Francois’ daughter.

Auguste and Marie Berthe were to first make Kenora their home, giving birth to children Marie Jeanne (12 September 1920), Joseph Louis (13 March 1922), Jacques Jean Marie (8 February 1925), and Paul (29 June 1926). By the early 1930’s the family had moved to Montreal where Auguste, a machinist, and Joseph-Louis later ran a successful business, Auguste Metail and Sons, while Berthe was a milliner/seamstress. Sadly the couple gave birth to two other children that were stillborn or died shortly after birth (November 1932 and November 1934). On 9 December 1939, in Montreal, Auguste and Marie Berthe became naturalized citizens of Canada. It appears that all three sons served during WW2, a 1945 Voters list for the family listing Joseph Louis as a veteran and Jacques and Paul as in the military. According to a family member Auguste and Marie Berthe later separated.

Auguste died on 15 October 1964. He was predeceased by his parents Anne Charlotte (1945) and Joseph (1950) and some of his siblings, most of the family interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Auguste is interred in the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal. According to the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery records Marie Berthe had died in February of 1960.

By Judy Stockham

Family research, family records, and Auguste’s service record from France: courtesy of Joël  Flottat
Gravemarker photo: courtesy of Graceti on


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