Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthNovember 17, 1887
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Henrietta LaRocque, mother, St Boniface, Manitoba
Trade / CallingLabourer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number820093
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentFort Frances, Ontario
Address at EnlistmentFort Frances, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 11, 1916
Age at Enlistment28
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 6, 1970
Age at Death82
Buried AtMountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, British Columbia
PlotABRAY-*-21-*-0090

LaRocque, Joseph Adolphus

Joseph Adolphus LaRocque was born on 17 November 1887 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His parents Augustin LaRocque and Henriette Boivin had married on 14 April 1873 in Ottawa, Ontario. Augustin had previously married Marie Clare Rochon in St Eustache, Quebec in 1866 but sadly she died in 1872 in Ottawa, the couple childless. Augustin and Henriette lived in Ottawa for a number of years where they gave birth to children Emery (1874-1954), Alfred (1877-1965), Leonie (abt 1879), and Alexina (1881-1958). After the birth of Alexina the family moved to Winnipeg and gave birth to children Archibald (Archie) (1883-1935), Ferdinand (1885-1965), and Joseph Adolphus. By the time of the birth of their next child Albert (1890-1956) the family had relocated to Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in northwestern Ontario where Augustin found work as a labourer. Children born in Rat Portage were Dorothee (1892-1939) and Hillary Ulric (1894-1962). By the 1901 census the family was farming in the area of Pinewood near the US border between Rainy River and Emo. As the children grew the family scattered with some staying in Pinewood. The 1911 census found Augustin and Henriette in Selkirk, Manitoba where Augustin was running a general store although Henriette returned to Pinewood at some point after Augustin’s death in 1913 in St Boniface, Manitoba.

Adolphus was living in Fort Frances, Ontario and working as a labourer when he signed his attestation papers with the 141st Battalion 11 January 1916, giving his mother Henriette in St Boniface, Manitoba as next of kin. He gave his date of birth as 17 November 1888. With recruitment in the Rainy River District, the 141st Battalion had been organized in December 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel D C McKenzie. The battalion embarked for England on two ships, the first group leaving Halifax aboard the Olympic on 29 April 1917 and the second group aboard the Justicia on 3 May. Adolphus’ service record has him listed on both ships, rank of Acting Corporal.

Once in England Adolphus reverted to the rank of Private and was transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion. That September he was drafted to the 8th Battalion, arriving in France on the 24th and joining the unit in the field on 4 October. In October of 1918 he was granted a two week leave to the UK, returning just after the Armistice. With the end of the war Adolphus returned to England in late March of 1919, embarking for Canada aboard the Baltic on 29 April 1919. He was discharged from service in Winnipeg on 11 May.

Adolphus’ brother Hillary¬†went overseas with a draft to the 8th Battalion in September of 1915 and served in Europe with the 3rd Divisional Column, Canadian Army Service Corps, attached to the No 9 Canadian Field Ambulance as a Driver. He returned to Canada in May of 1919.

Adolphus returned to the Rainy River/Fort Frances area and on 16 October 1920, in Fort Frances, he married Lottie Alvina Ottoson. Born on 26 September 1897 in Liberty, South Dakota, Lottie was the daughter of Norwegian Otto and Barbo (Reimer) Ottoson. The family had moved to Minnesota in 1904 and then on to Canada in 1905, settling in the Blackhawk area between Rainy River and Fort Frances. Adolphus’ occupation on the marriage record was given as woodsman. The 1921 census found Adolphus and Lottie living in the Rainy Lake district north of the CN track where Adolphus was working as a fisherman. By 1935 the family was living in Fort Frances where Adolphus was working in construction. Adolphus and Lottie gave birth to five children, sons Adolph and Louis, and daughters Henrietta, Leonie, and Elsie. Around 1944 Adolphus and Lottie relocated to Vancouver.

Predeceased by his parents and all of his siblings, Adolphus died on 6 July 1970 in the Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver. He is interred in the Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver. Lottie, age 102, died on 25 February 2000 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She was predeceased by her parents, two brothers and five sisters, and daughters Henrietta and Leonie. She was survived by sons Adolph and Louis of Nanaimo, daughter Elsie Kena of Sechelt, British Columbia, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Having served during WW2 with the Royal Canadian Engineers in northern France, the Netherlands, and Germany as a lowbed tractor driver for a bulldozer, Adolphus and Lottie’s son Adolph was selected to travel to the Netherlands in May of 2005 as a representative of the RCE with a delegation of veterans and youth to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Adolph died the following year in Nanaimo.

By Judy Stockham

Grave marker photo courtesy of naisenu on findagrave.com.


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