Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 4, 1898
Place of BirthChapleau, Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Clarinda Serre, mother, Chapleau, Ontario
Trade / CallingTeamster
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number486668
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion124th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentNiagara Camp, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentOctober 20, 1915
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 27, 1975
Age at Death77
Buried AtLasalle Roman Catholic Cemetery, Sudbury, Ontario
PlotSection 1, grave 161

Serre, Joseph Albert

Joseph Albert Serre was born on 4 May 1898 in Chapleau, Ontario.  His father Telesphore was from the Ottawa area while his mother Clarinda Chartrand was from Quebec. The couple married in 1892 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. Before the birth of their first child Trefle Rodolphe in 1894 they had moved to Chapleau, Ontario where they were to make their home and raise their family. Over the years Telesphore’s occupation was given as labourer, railway bridgeman, clerk, and salesman. Besides Rodolphe, Albert had an older sister Agnes and younger siblings Maurice, Arthur, Rene, Ernest, Denis, and Edna.

With occupation given as teamster, his mother Clarinda back in Chapleau as next of kin, and his year of birth as 1897, Albert signed his attestation papers at Camp Niagara on 20 October 1915. His brother Rodolphe had signed up the previous month. Organized in December of 1914 with recruitment in northern Ontario, the 37th Battalion (Northern Ontario) sent drafts to England in June and August of 1915 with the remainder of the battalion, 40 officers and 104 other ranks, embarking from Halifax on 27 November 1915 aboard the Lapland. Listed on the nominal roll were Privates Albert and Rudolph Serre.

Once in England Albert was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion in mid March of 1916. In May he was struck off strength to the 13th Battalion, joining the unit in the field on the 28th. Just two weeks later Albert was admitted to the No 10 Canadian Field Ambulance with wounds to the left thigh. He was transferred to the No 10 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne on the 14th and then on to a convalescent camp before being discharged to base details on the 27th. In July he was classified as Permanent Base and transferred to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Folkstone in England. From there Albert went through a series of transfers including the 92nd, 5th Reserve, 34th, 119th, and 124th Pioneer Battalions. He also spent time at a couple of hospitals and convalescent centres, his old wounds not completely healed, he injured his face at one point, and had some contusions to his pelvis. By mid June of 1917 Albert was back in France with the 4th Canadian Entrenching Battalion, to be posted to the 124th Pioneer Battalion. In January of 1918 he spent ten days in Field Ambulances and the No 6 Convalescent Depot in Etaples suffering from furunculosis, boils to the neck and face. In May he was transferred to the 10th Battalion and was granted a fourteen day leave to the UK in early August. By May of 1919 Albert was in England and arrived back in Canada in June aboard the Olympic, disembarking at Halifax on the 13th. His brother Rodolphe had returned to Canada in mid March aboard the Cretic, listed as a Corporal on his way to Chapleau on the passenger list.

After the war Albert returned to Chapleau, found working as a fireman for the Canadian Pacific Railway and living with his parents and some of his siblings for the 1921 Canada census. On 18 November 1926, in Fort William, Ontario, Albert married Ilene (Alvir) Kivisto (Kivosto, Kevisto, Kevista), daughter of Finnish immigrants Leandar (Louis) and Hilda Kivisto. At some point Albert was in the Kenora/Fort Frances area where he applied for membership in the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion although he was not initiated. His address on the card was given as the Fort Frances highway. A 1960 notation in his service record gave his address as 245 Louis Street in Sudbury and then in March of 1961 as Box 151 Hanmer, a community just north of Sudbury. At some point Albert and Irene gave birth to a daughter, Denise.

Joseph Albert Serre died on 27 August 1975. He is interred in the Sudbury Lasalle Roman Catholic Cemetery. As reported in the Sudbury Star on 28 September 1975:  SERRE- (retired cook), August 27, 1975 JOSEPH ALBERT, dear husband of Irene; dear father of Denise Serre of Thunder Bay; dear brother of (Edna) Mrs D Henderson of Toronto, Maurice of Sudbury, Maurice of Montreal, Rene & Denise of Chapleau. Funeral service, Saturday September 30, 1975 at 10 am at the Co-operative Funeral Home, Lasalle Boulevard with interment to follow at the Sudbury Lasalle RC Cemetery.

by Judy Stockham

Grave marker photograph provided by Jo Forbes,

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