|Date of Birth||October 24, 1897|
|Place of Birth||Westport, Massachusetts|
|Country||United States of America|
|Next of Kin||Emma Plante, wife, Sandridge PO, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Farmer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Sandridge PO, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||May 14, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Date of Death||April 6, 1987|
|Age at Death||89|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Alphonse Joseph Plante was born on 24 October 1897 in Westport, Massachusetts, USA. His parents Eusebe Plante and Agnes Racine were from the Louiseville/Sainte Alexis de Monts area in Quebec, marrying in Sainte Ursule on 30 January 1870. Children born to the couple where they farmed were Charles Edouard (1870-1950), Joseph Herminigilde (1872-1925), Joseph Clovis (1874-1932), Victoria (1877-1908), Oneda (1879-1947), Napoleon (1881-1918), Joseph Philorum (1883-1918), Marie Anna (1888), and Marie Regina (1890-1893). By 1892 the family had moved to Massachusetts to farm, with son Joseph William born that year in Fall River, a community near Westport that was known for its many cotton mills. At the time of the 1900 US census Eusebe was listed as a farmer while a number of the older children were working in the cotton mills. By the time of the 1911 Canada census, Eusebe, Agnes, Alphonse, William, and Clovis were living in the RM of Woodlands in the interlake area in near Teulon/Inwood/Sandridge in Manitoba where they farmed. Sadly, Eusebe died on 26 October 1917, with Agnes and some of the family moving to the Sainte Claude area in south central Manitoba.
On 25 December 1917, in Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Alphonse married Emma Alma Lafreniere. Born on 19 June 1901 in Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba, a small community near Sainte Claude, Emma was the daughter of Theotime Lafreniere and Delina Beaudry. Her parents had married on 2 August 1897 in Lorne, Manitoba. After the marriage Alphonse and Emma farmed in the Sandridge/Teulon area.
With the onset of conscription in the latter part of the war, Alphonse was called up for service on 14 May 1918 in Winnipeg. On attestation his date and place of birth were given as 24 November 1897 in Fall River, Massachusetts, his occupation as farmer, and his wife Emma at the Sandridge post office as next of kin. First assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion, Manitoba Regiment, in August 1918 Alphonse was transferred to the 10th Battalion Canadian Garrison Regiment after being reclassified as medical category C2, fit for service only in Canada. With the end of the war Alphonse was discharged from service on 2 January 1919, rank of Private.
Alphonse’s brothers Napoleon and Joseph Philorum both served during the war. Napoleon enlisted with the 179th Battalion in Winnipeg in November of 1915 and served in France/Belgium with the 43rd Battalion. Philorum enlisted in December of 1915 in St Boniface, Manitoba with the 222nd Battalion and served overseas with the 22nd Battalion. Sadly both men were reported as killed in action on 28 August 1918. Napoleon is interred in the Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt while Philorum was laid to rest in the Quebec Cemetery, both in Pas de Calais, France.
At the time of the 1921 census Alphonse and Emma were living in the RM of South Norfolk in Manitoba near where Emma was born and where Alphonse’s mother had relocated after Eusebe’s death. Living with the couple were Agnes, and Alphonse’s brothers Clovis and William. In February of 1919 the couple had given birth to son Roland who passed away a short time later. In 1921 daughter Lilianne was born in Portage la Prairie followed by son Peter in 1925 as well as daughter Annette.
In 1927 the family moved to Kenora in northwestern Ontario to run the summer concession stand on Coney Island. A pioneer of transportation in the Kenora area, Alphonse started Excel Coach Line in 1934 and then established Plante Motors in 1947 and the Kenora Bus Depot in 1948, all of which he operated until his retirement in 1960. He was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2806, a member of the Father Aulneau Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, a charter member of the Kenora Lions Club, and founding member and past president of the Notre Dame Credit Union.
Alphonse died on 6 April 1987 at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora. At the time of his death he was survived by daughter Lilianne and husband John Shaw of Parksville, BC, daughter Annette and husband Leonard Romanek of Kenora, and son Pete and wife Helen of Kenora, along with their children and grandchildren. He was predeceased by his father Eusebe, mother Agnes (1931, Kenora), most if not all of his siblings, and his wife Emma on 24 August 1975. Alphonse and Emma are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Judy Stockham