Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 26, 1894
Place of BirthKenora, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinPhilibert L'Heureux (father), 543 Greenwood Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingBank Teller
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number153418 (RFC) / 2381556 (CEF)
Service RecordLink to Service Record
ForceRoyal Flyings Corps & Canadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Engineers
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment543 Greenwood Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentDecember 6, 1917
Age at Enlistment23
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 21, 1980
Age at Death86
Buried AtSt. Pierre-Jolys Roman Catholic Cemetery, Manitoba

L’Heureux, Oscar George

Sapper Oscar George L’Heureux enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in December 1918. He served with them for three months, followed by fourteen months of service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Canada and Great Britain. He returned home in June 1919.

Oscar was the oldest son of Philibert L’Heureux and Delia Lasalle of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Delia was born in 1864 in Yamaska, Quebec and moved to Manitoba with her family around 1876. They settled in the Ste. Agathe area south of Winnipeg. Philibert was born in 1862 in St. Simon, Quebec and along with his older brother Ernest he moved to Manitoba in the early 1880s. Philibert and Delia were married in October 1886 in Winnipeg and their first child, Berthe, was born in Winnipeg in August 1887. Not long after that they moved to Rat Portage (now called Kenora), in northwestern Ontario, where Philibert and Ernest operated a hotel. At the time of the 1891 census Philibert and his family were living in Norman (now part of Kenora), and in 1901 they were listed in Rat Portage, which included Norman.

Philibert and Delia had five children born in the Rat Portage area: Blanche, Oscar (26 April 1894), Corinne, Orise and Aime. After Aime was born they moved back to Winnipeg and Philibert became the proprietor of the Grand Central Hotel, located at the corner of Fort and Graham. Their youngest son, Paul, was born in Winnipeg in 1905. When the next census was taken in 1911 the family was living in the hotel and Oscar, age 16, was a student.

Conscription started in Canada in 1917 and Oscar reported as required and had his medical on 13 October. He was living at home in Winnipeg at the time and working as a bank teller. On 6 December he joined the Royal Flying Corps and he was sent to Toronto a few days later to train as an aviator cadet. He was discharged on 2 March 1918 under the King’s Regulations, Paragraph 392 (ix) (Unfitted for the duties of the Corps). His rank was Aircraft Mechanic 3rd Class. Oscar returned to Winnipeg and on 1 April he was called up for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment and appointed Acting Sergeant on 22 April.

In late May Oscar was sent to St. Johns, Quebec and transferred to the Canadian Engineer Training Depot. He went overseas with the 74th draft of the Canadian Engineers, embarking from Montreal on 12 July. After a few weeks in Halifax he sailed for England on 3 August on the SS Carnarvonshire, arriving there on 15 August. He was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Engineer Reserve Battalion with the rank of Sapper. On 28 January 1919 he was transferred to the 1st Canadian Engineer Reserve Battalion and he served in England for another five months. He left Southampton on 14 June on the SS Aquitania and arrived in Halifax six days later. He was discharged on demobilization on 24 June in Winnipeg.

Oscar may have spent some time in the U.S. in the 1920s. On a 1925 border crossing record his address was Winnipeg, his occupation bank clerk and he said he was on his way to Miami, Florida to reside permanently. He was granted an immigration visa. By the 1930s he was living in Winnipeg and working as a salesman. His father died in Winnipeg in 1934 and he’s buried in the cemetery in St. Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba. Oscar’s sister Corinne married Leo Benard, a lawyer, former hockey star and son of a Senator. Corinne died in 1939 at age 41. Their oldest sister Berthe married Edouard Belair and became part of Winnipeg’s music scene as a soprano singer. The youngest son, Paul, graduated from medical school as a doctor in 1933 and lived in Alberta and Manitoba. He served as the Medical Director of St. Boniface Hospital from 1951 until his retirement in 1971. Their mother Delia died in St. Boniface Hospital in February 1964, at age 99. During the 75th anniversary celebrations of the city of Winnipeg she had been presented with a gold medal as a Pioneer of the West.

Oscar passed away in St. Boniface Hospital on 21 December 1980, at age 86. He was survived by his sister Berthe Belair and his brothers Aime and Paul. He is buried along with his parents in the St. Pierre-Jolys Roman Catholic Cemetery.

By Becky Johnson

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