|Date of Birth||December 1, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Quebec City, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Mary Giguere, Wife, Kenora, Ontario; but Marie, his mother was later made nok.|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||January 3, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||27|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 3, 1928|
|Age at Death||39|
Birth, Parents and Siblings: According to his Attestation papers, Alexandre Giguere was born December 1, 1888, in the province of Quebec. One of his other military records states his birth was 1884;however, the 1891 Quebec census records him as age 8, thus, born about 1883. A birth registration has been located that confirms an 1883 birth.
After researching several Quebec records, it appears that Alexandre was the eldest child of Odilon and Mary/Marie (Dion) Giguere, both of whom were born in the province of Quebec. In the 1891 census, the family was living in the Jacques Cartier Ward of Quebec City. The family had grown considerably by the 1901 census. Alexandre’s siblings were: Henri (born 1884); Raoul (born 1886); Laurenzo (born 1887); Joseph aka Leo (born 1891); Yvonne (born 1892); Paul (born 1894); Albert (born 1898) and Antonio (born 1901). There may be other siblings, however, the census records are unclear. All were born in Quebec and of the Roman Catholic faith.
Early life: Alexandre married Marie Boivin, daughter of Eugene Boivin and Virginie (Fournier) Boivin on April 27, 1908 in the parish of St. Sauveur, Quebec. At some point, Alexandre and Marie moved to Kenora, Ontario where Alexandre was working as a labourer.
War experience: At the age of 28, Alexandre enlisted with the 94th Battalion, Kenora Detachment, on January 3, 1916. He was recorded as being 5 feet, 4 inches tall with a clear complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. His Regimental Number was 198663. The Kenora Daily Miner and News articles of January 5, 1916 and May 27, 1916, identified men who joined up at the time, including Alexandre. He was also among the final list of those leaving Kenora for Port Arthur, Ontario, then on to Val Cartier, Quebec, prior to sailing to England.
Alexandre sailed on the SS Olympian, arriving in England on July 6, 1916. He was sent to France September 21 as a reinforcement with the 5th Battalion and, was accepted on strength on the battlefield on the 22nd. Alexandre indicated he was gassed at Vimy Ridge and began to cough and have body pains after being in wet trenches for extended periods of time, but, he chose not to receive treatment. On April 14, 1917, Alexandre received a gunshot wound in the right buttock and hip (there are discrepancies in his medical records about right versus left and, that his leg was injured). He was taken to hospital in England where he was hospitalized for several weeks. Although Alexandre returned to fight in France, he continued to complain of pain in his leg and lower back and was treated for myalgia in hospital on different occasions in England and once in Belgium.
On May 16, 1919, Alexandre was demobilized. In a final medical examination in 1919, he was diagnosed as being undernourished and had difficulty breathing, as a result of ‘being badly gassed in 1918’. Coughing spasms were frequent and lesions were found on both lungs. Alexandre was deemed to be unfit for General Service in the military and a dry, warm climate with employment that required little or no exertion, was recommended. Alexandre set sail for Canada May 19, 1919. He received the War Service Badge Class A: # 244898.
Shortly after his enlistment, it appears Marie/Mary, Alexandre’s wife, moved to St. Laurent, Quebec, and later, St. Sauveur; however, she had a different address than Alexandre’s parents. Although Mary was initially recorded as wife – next of kin – she did not receive his pay. Then effective April 1916, Alexandre assigned his pay to his mother, Marie/Mary Giguere, and also made her his next of kin. In his final medical discharge record, his mother was given as next of kin, her occupation, farmer, but her name was given as Adilon. Alexandre’s proposed residence upon returning to Canada was at the same address as his mother. This researcher suggests that the confusion between the use of Mary and Marie and mother and father is due to miscommunication between French and English translations.
Life after the War: No additional information has been located for Alexandre at this time.
Date of death and burial location: Alexandre and Mary, who is identified as his widow, were living at 63 Franklin St. in Quebec City when he died on August 3, 1928, at the young age of 40 years. His father, Odilon Giguere, who was living at 21 Pere Arnaud Street, in Quebec City, was also identified as a next of kin.
Prepared by Susan [Hillman] Brazeau in support of the Kenora Great War Project – honouring all who served, remembering those who died.
Ancestry.ca: Quebec Vital and Church Records, Drouin Collection (birth and marriage)
Canada Census records: 1891, 1901, 1911, 1921
Kenora Daily Miner & News
Library and Archives Canada
Veterans’ Death Card