|Date of Birth||February 28, 1883|
|Place of Birth||Lorette, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Amede Hamel, Father, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 28, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||33|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||November 2, 1959|
|Age at Death||75|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
George James Hamel was most likely born on 28 February 1883 in Lorette, Manitoba. His birth was registered in St. Boniface (now part of Winnipeg) as Georges Julien Roger. His parents were Amede Hamel and Odile Lamy. Odile was born in Quebec but different census records give Amede’s birth place as Quebec, Ontario and the U.S.
When the 1891 census was taken Amede and Odile were living in Norman, Ontario, a small community on the west side of Rat Portage (Kenora). Amede was working as a labourer at a sawmill and the family included five children: Josephine, Henry (both born in the U.S.), Ernestine Alice (born in Manitoba), George and Alfred Avila (born in 1885 in Norman or Rat Portage). Another child, Albert Alphonse, had died as an infant in 1890. He’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
At the time of both the 1901 and 1906 censuses George was living with his parents in St. Boniface, Manitoba. By 1911 he and his father had moved to the rural area of Jaffray Mellick, on the outskirts of Kenora, Ontario. They were living with George’s brother, Henry, and his wife and children. Amede’s wife Odile passed away in St. Boniface in January 1914, at age 66.
When George enlisted with the 94th Battalion in Kenora on 28 February 1916 he was single, 33 years old, and working as a farmer. His unit sailed for England on 28 June 1916 aboard the S.S. Olympic. Upon his arrival, George was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion. In May of 1917 George was assigned to the Canadian Forestry Corps and went to France with the 38th Company.
‘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, and trench construction.‘ (from www.canadiansoldiers.com)
On 19 August 1917 George was appointed filer with pay at rate of $2.25 per Diem inclusive. In January of 1918 George had a two week leave to Paris and in February 1918 he earned a Good Conduct Badge. In November of 1918 he had another two week leave to the United Kingdom. Shortly after his return to duty he was diagnosed with venereal disease and was admitted to the Canadian Stationary Hospital in Camiers. He was invalided to England on 21 January 1919 and entered the Canadian Special Hospital in Witley for treatment. George returned to Canada that spring, arriving in Halifax on 25 May 1919 on the S.S. Bohemian. He received his official discharge due to demobilization on 30 May in Winnipeg. His discharge papers noted that he intended to live in Winnipeg.
The 1921 Canadian Census shows George living with his father on a farm in the Springfield district of Manitoba. By 1952 George was retired and living on Elgin Avenue in Winnipeg. He passed away on 02 November 1959 at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. He had been living at 402 Elgin and his Veteran Death card listed his nephew Mr. R. Hamel of St. Vital in Winnipeg as next of kin. At the time of his death George was survived by his brothers Alfred and Henry and his sister Alice Gagnon. His funeral was held on 05 November and he’s buried in a military plot at Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg.