|Date of Birth||March 12, 1887|
|Place of Birth||Maria, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Elizabeth Fugere, mother, Maria, Quebec|
|Trade / Calling||Fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||79th Company, CFC|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Forestry Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Maria, Quebec|
|Date of Enlistment||April 30, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||30|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 23, 1961|
|Age at Death||74|
Joseph Philippe Alexandre Fugere was born on 12 March 1887 in Maria, Quebec, a community on the southeast coast of the Gaspé Peninsula about 70 kilometres from the New Brunswick border. His father Boniface Fugere was a farmer and had married Philippe’s mother Elizabeth Glawser on 12 January 1886 in nearby Carlton. Boniface’s first wife Louise LeBlanc had died, leaving him a widower with a number of children: Catherine, Abraham, Honoré, Napoleon, Marie, Emélie Anne, Joseph, Melanie, Leocadie, and Emma Jane. By the time of the 1911 census the household had been greatly reduced with just Boniface, Elizabeth, and Philippe listed. However Philippe was also found elsewhere in the census, living in St André de Restigouche near the New Brunswick border and working on a farm.
With occupation given as fireman and his mother Elizabeth in Maria as next of kin, Philippe signed his attestation papers on 30 April 1917 in Campbellton, New Brunswick just across the border. Illiterate, Philippe’s name was spelled as Philip Forgere throughout his service record. With the No 2 New Brunswick Forestry Company Draft, Philippe embarked from Halifax aboard the Megantic on 5 September. Once in England he was taken on strength at the CFC Base Depot in Sunningdale.
On 17 October of 1917 Philippe arrived in France to serve with the No 79 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps (No 4 District, Bordeaux Group). The Canadian Forestry Corps provided lumber for the Allied war effort by cutting and preparing timber in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe. Forestry units also cleared terrain for the construction of installations such as airfields and runway, prepared railway ties, as well as lumber for the creation of barracks, road surfaces, ammunition crates, trench construction, etc. These units were sometimes called on in the First World War to perform as infantry.
Philippe was granted a fourteen day leave to the UK in late September of 1918. While on leave he was admitted to the Endell Street Military Hospital in London on 9 October, suffering from influenza. He was discharged on 6 November, rejoining the unit on the 11th. In January of 1919 Philippe was admitted to the No 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Camiers (vdg), transferring to a hospital in Bexhill, England in February, with discharge on 11 March. With the end of the war, Philippe embarked for Canada aboard the Belgic on 16 April and was discharged from service on the 24th in Saint John, intended residence given as Maria.
The 1921 census found Philippe working as a teamster in Matapédia, a community about 80 kilometres west of Maria on the Quebec/New Brunswick border. At some point he moved to the Kenora area in northwestern Ontario, joining the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion. In 1952 he married Josephine Albertine (née Harrison) Gauthier. Born around 1878 in Lorette, Manitoba, Josephine had moved to the Kenora area as a child with her parents Damase and Helene (née St Mathe) Harrison. She married Louis Leonide Gauthier on 27 July 1897 and together gave birth to known children Louis Romeo, Mark, Leo, Leona, Thomas, and John. Louis died in 1943 and Josephine on 13 November 1957. They are interred in an unmarked grave in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Philippe was found on a Kenora Voters list for 1958 but he returned to Maria where he died on 23 November 1961.
By Judy Stockham