Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 29, 1897
Place of BirthNorman, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinJoseph Metail, father, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number4070389
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion6th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Garrison Regiment
Enlisted / ConscriptedConscripted
Date of EnlistmentNovember 11, 1917
Age at Enlistment20
Theatre of ServiceCanada
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 29, 1959
Age at Death62
Buried AtAssumption Roman Catholic Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotGarden of Gethsemane Lot 197 Grave 6

Metail, John Casimer

According to his attestation papers, John Casimer Metail was born on 29 August 1897 in Norman, Ontario, a village just west of Kenora in northwestern Ontario. His father Joseph Metail was from Saint-Jeures, Haute-Loire, France while his mother Anne Charlotte Crepet was from nearby Chambon-Feugerolles, Loire where the couple married on 30 October 1893. The next year in September in Saint-Jeures they gave birth to son Auguste. 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 John, the family had relocated to Norman. For the 1901 census the family was living in the Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) 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 onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, John signed his recruitment papers on 11 November 1917 in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as farmer and his father Joseph in Kenora as next of kin. First with the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, in late June of 1918 John was transferred to the 10th Battalion Canadian Garrison Regiment. In July he was transferred to the 6th Battalion CGR in Amherst, Nova Scotia until October when he was transferred back to Winnipeg to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training Depot, taken on strength with the No 10 Manitoba Military Hospital on the 1st for a few days. John was discharged from service on demobilization on 10 October 1919 at Tuxedo where the hospital was located.

At the beginning of the war John’s brother Auguste┬áhad returned to France to serve with the French Army for the duration of the war. When he returned to Canada in 1920 he brought with him his new bride Marie Berthe Lacoste.

John returned to Kenora after the war. On 1 March 1930, in Winnipeg, he married Rosana Pelletier. Born in June 1904 in Norman, Rosana, a school teacher, was the daughter of Maxime Pelletier and Louise Lasalle. Both of her parents were from Quebec, marrying on 26 June 1897 in the Rainy River District, likely Norman or Rat Portage. According to the 1901 and 1911 censuses the family operated a grocery store in Norman.

John and Rosana were to make Winnipeg their home, first living on Hargrave Street where John’s occupation was given as steel worker or builder on Voters lists and then later on Assiniboine Avenue. The couple gave birth to one known child, son John.

John died on 29 October 1959 at his residence. He was predeceased by his mother (1945) and father (1950), both interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora along with a number of his siblings that later died. His wife Rosana died on 25 March 1984 in Ste Anne, Manitoba, a small community 50 kilometres east of Winnipeg. At the time of her death Rosana was survived by their son John. John Sr and Rosana are interred in the Assumption Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winnipeg, graves unmarked.

By Judy Stockham

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