Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 29, 1899
Place of BirthLagorce, Ardeche
CountryFrance
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinVictor Portier, father, of Kenora, Ontario
Trade / Callinglabourer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number199083
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion85th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMarch 10, 1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJuly 9, 1940
Age at Death40
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario
PlotRC B-4-25

Portier, Clement

Clement Portier was born on 29 August 1899 in Lagorce, Ardeche, France. As a young lad he immigrated to Canada from France via New York with his parents Victor and Marie Justine (née Leydier) Portier and siblings Celina (1895-1948) and Victor (1897-1979) in August of 1902. The family settled in Norman, Ontario, a small community near Kenora. Eventually the family homesteaded out on Black Sturgeon Lake in nearby Jaffray and Melick. Clement’s siblings that were born in Canada were Alphonse (1902-1957), Lucie (1904-1991), Armand (1906-1953), Yvonne Marie (1908-1988), George (1910-1990), John (1912-1943), Lucien (1914-1983),and Elise (1916-1990).

Clement Portier enlisted in Kenora on 10 March 1916 with the 94th Battalion. His date and place of birth was given as 28 August 1897 in Paris, France, his occupation as labourer, and next of kin as his father.  ‘On May 25, 1916, the men of ‘C’ an ‘D’ Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on June 9, 1916, the Battalion left for Valcartier, Quebec for ‘Summer Camp’ as it was called. For two hundred and five of these men it was the last time they were to see their families and friends. The 94th trained at Valcartier for a period until June 13th when they sailed from Halifax for England on the RMS Olympic. Although the 94th remained a battalion on paper until July 27th, 1918, with an office at East Sandling, if actually ceased to exist on July 13th, 1916 when it was broken up and the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in front lines.’  (from the now defunct 94th Battalion website)

Once overseas Clement was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion and then on to the 34th Battalion. On 24 November 1917 he left Bramshott for France to join the 85th Battalion. After a series of hospital stays/transfers, on 14 October 1918 Clement was invalided to Canada to the Cobourg Military Hospital due to dementia praecox. He was eventually discharged in Winnipeg on 18 January 1919.

After the war Clement returned to the family farm outside of Kenora but was unable to live a normal life. He died on 9 July 1940, a tragic end to a lad that fudged his age  as he felt that he had double duty to  ‘fight for his motherland as well as his adopted country’. At the time of his death Clement was survived by his parents and all of his siblings. His father later died in 1945 followed by his mother in 1960. Clement is interred in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.

by Judy Stockham

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