|Date of Birth||September 6, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Schreiber, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||John Bougie, father, 217 Algoma Street, Port Arthur, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||boilermaker, Canadian Pacific Railway|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Address at Enlistment||217 Algoma Street, Port Arthur, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 3, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 16, 1918|
|Age at Death||24|
|Buried At||no known grave/Vimy Memorial|
According to his attestation papers, Joseph Bougie was born on 6 September 1894 in Schreiber, Ontario. His parents were Jean Baptiste Bougie and Lea Marie Marcoux who had married on 26 April 1880 in Quebec City. By the 1901 Canada census the family was living in North Bay, Ontario where Jean (John) was working as a boilermaker for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Family members included in the census were Lea, and children Jean Baptiste, Thomas, Rosa, Caroline, Amelia, Eva, Joseph, and Frank (Grant). By Eva’s birth the family had left Quebec and were living in Schreiber, Ontario before moving on to North Bay.
By the 1911 Canada census the family had moved to Port Arthur, Ontario where Jean (John) continued to work for the CPR. Household members in this census were the parents and the following children: Rosa who was working as a dressmaker, Amelia, Eva who was working as a book keeper, Joseph employed as a teamster, Grant, and two new children, Victoria and Margaret. Thomas had married Mary Cantani on 24 January 1908 and he and his wife also lived in the home.
Joseph signed his recruitment papers on 3 January 1918 in Port Arthur, Ontario. At the time he was employed as a boilermaker with the Canadian Pacific Railway. With a draft of the 1st Depot Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Joseph embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Cretic on the 19th of February. Once in England he was posted to the 11th Reserve Battalion at Dibgate before being transferred to the 43rd Battalion, joining the battalion in France on the 10th of August.
With the 43rd Battalion, the Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948 Record for Joseph Bougie states on or since 16 August 1918 he was ‘previously reported wounded and missing, now for official purposes presumed to have died’. Joseph died in the actions around Damery, which came immediately after the battle of Amiens, the start of the Hundred Days offensive that brought the war to an end (8 August-11 November 1918). The 43rd Battalion moved into the area of Damery on 15 August in support of the 52nd Battalion. All four companies of the 43rd helped to secure the area and one company was relieved by the French that night. On 16 August the remaining companies supported the French in an attack on Goyencourt and Fresnoy. They were subjected to heavy artillery and machine gun fire. Casualties were 1 officer killed, 1 wounded, 1 missing, 14 OR killed, 109 wounded, 5 wounded and missing, 31 missing.
Inscribed on the ramparts of the Vimy Memorial are the names of over 11 000 Canadian soldiers who were posted as ‘missing, presumed dead’ in France; Joseph Bougie’s name is among them. Joseph is commemorated on page 371 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the St Andrews Catholic Church Memorial in Thunder Bay, and on the Canadian Pacific Railway Roll of Honour that lists him as an employee in Kenora, Ontario.
Joseph’s older brother Thomas also enlisted and went overseas with the 52nd Battalion; he survived. His mother had received notification in late September 1918 that Joseph was missing. She later died on 12 December 1918 in Port Arthur due to gall bladder related causes.
by Judy Stockham
St Andrew’s Catholic Church and Memorial photo: copyright by John Edward Costa and used with permission
Port Arthur Daily News Chronicle newspaper clippings: courtesy of the Thunder Bay Public Library