|Date of Birth||January 29, 1899|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Margaret Cusson, mother, General Delivery, Somerset, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Teamster|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||8th Battalion, CE|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||General Delivery, Somerset, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||May 14, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||19|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||May 21, 1979|
|Age at Death||80|
|Buried At||Our Lady of the Nativity Church Cemetery, Somerset, Manitoba|
Philibert Joseph Cusson was born on 29 January 1899 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Joseph Edmond Cusson was from L’Assomption, Quebec while his mother Marguerite Chamberland was from Nashua, New Hampshire. Joseph and Marguerite married on 24 October 1893 in St Boniface, Manitoba. They gave birth to two children, Joseph Alexandre (1894) and Alice (1895) before moving to Rat Portage where Joseph found work as a butcher. Children born in Rat Portage were Edmond (1897), Philibert, and Yvonne (1900). The family moved back to St Boniface for a couple of years as evidenced by the births of Berthe (1902), and Eva (1905) and then relocated to south-central Manitoba in the area of Somerset where Joseph was a hotel keeper. Children born in Somerset were Maria (1907), Adelard (1909), Leo (1912), Helene (1914), Jules (1915), and Albert (1916).
With occupation given as teamster and his mother Margaret at General Delivery, Somerset as next of kin, Philibert signed his attestation papers in Winnipeg on 14 May 1918 with the No 10 Forestry and Railway Construction. He arrived in England aboard the SS Saturnia with the 74th Draft to the Canadian Engineers Training Camp on the 22nd of July, taken on strength with the 2nd Reserve Battalion, Canadian Engineers upon arrival. By the end of September as a Sapper Philibert had joined the newly formed 8th Battalion, Canadian Engineers in the field. With the end of the war Philibert returned to England in mid February of 1919 and by mid March was on his way home back to Canada, discharged on April 1st.
After the war Philibert was to make Somerset his home. On 21 December 1922 in St Boniface, he married Mary Louisa Lusignan. Born in 1905 in the Somerset area, Mary was the daughter of farmer Joseph and Louise (née Foster) Lusignan who had married in the RM of South Norfolk in 1901. Philibert and Mary gave birth to two children, Frederick in 1923 and Evelyn in 1925. Philibert worked for the Canadian National Railway for 30 years, retiring as an engine watchman. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Army and Navy Veterans Association. Philibert and Mary’s son Fred served with the RAF during WW2, 1939-1945.
Philibert died on 21 May 1979 at the Lorne Memorial Hospital in Swan Lake, Manitoba. He was predeceased by his father in 1931 and his mother in 1959, both interred in the St Boniface Cemetery in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Mary, daughter Mrs Evelyn Pollock, son Fred Cusson, all of Winnipeg, as well as six grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and three sisters and four brothers. Philibert is interred in the Our Lady of the Nativity Church Cemetery in Somerset. His wife Mary died on 22 January 1998 at the Tuxedo Villa Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.
By Judy Stockham
Grave marker photograph provided by Darryl Toews