Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 25, 1895
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. Seraphine Cardinal (mother), 87 Furby Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingTrainman
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number2383952
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Army Medical Corps Training Depot
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment87 Furby Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentMay 9, 1918
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMay 29, 1967
Age at Death72

Cardinal, Rene Joseph

Private Rene Joseph Cardinal was working for the railroad when he was called up in May 1918, at age 23. He served in Canada until a month after the Armistice.

Rene was born on 25 January 1895 in Rat Portage, Ontario. His parents, Jules Hyacinthe Cardinal and Seraphine Charron, were both from Quebec. They had settled in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in the early 1890s and they lived there for more than twenty years. Jules worked as a grocer. Rene was the oldest son and one of nine children: Lola, Anne Marie, Rene, Horace, Cora, Louis, Lorette, Edward and Raymond.

Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and single men age 20 to 34 were required to register that fall. Rene’s parents were still living in Kenora but they also had a residence in Winnipeg and Rene had his medical in Winnipeg on 5 November 1917. He was called up for service on 9 May 1918 and assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment. In June he was transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training Depot (District No. 10) and he served with them for six months. He was discharged on 7 December 1918, a month after the Armistice, ‘by reason of being a railroad employee.’ His cousin Elphege Louis Cardinal had joined the Royal Air Force in May 1918 and he was also discharged in December.

In November 1920 Rene’s mother died in Winnipeg after being hit by an automobile while crossing the street. Rene was living in Vulcan, Saskatchewan at the time and a few years later he moved to the U.S. When the 1930 census was taken he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and working as a salesman for a bond company. His father was married again in 1922, to Florine Jutras, and over the years Rene made several trips home to visit them. Jules died in Winnipeg in July 1950 and he’s buried in St. Boniface Cemetery with his first wife Seraphine.

Rene passed away in Milwaukee on 29 May 1967, at age 72. He was predeceased by at least three of his siblings: Raymond died in Sioux Lookout, Ontario in 1938, Lola in California in 1939 and Horace in California in 1958.

By Becky Johnson


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