|Date of Birth||March 19, 1882|
|Place of Birth||St. Gabriel, Quebec|
|Next of Kin||Victoria Villeneuve; wife; Prairie Grove, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Prairie Grove, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||February 5, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||33|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 21, 1950|
|Age at Death||68|
|Buried At||Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, British Columbia|
|Plot||New Church of England Section|
Napoleon was the 14th child born to Maxime Villeneuve and Marie Cyr in Bouchette Quebec. He was born on March 9th, 1882 and baptized on the 15th at St. Gabriel R.C. Church in Bouchette. In 1889, Mr. John Mather was recruiting in the Ottawa Valley looking for workers to settle in Keewatin Ontario where he was building a sawmill. The Villeneuve family, along with several of their married children and their families, decided to make the move to Keewatin. In 1891, the Villeneuves were living in Keewatin South, Algoma District, Ontario. Napoleon was 9 years old.
By 1901, the Villeneuves (Maxime, Marie and children Aglae and Napoleon) had moved to the De Salaberry Municipality in the Provencher District of Manitoba. Napoleon was 19 years of age on the 1901 census. Napoleon’s brother, Severe Villeneuve and his wife Georgianna Sicotte and one son were also living nearby where Severe was farming. Severe’s in-laws, the Sicottes, were also farming there. On the 1906 census, Napoleon was still in the St. Pierre area, age 23, occupation servant. He was living with the L’Heureue family.
On November 24, 1913 Napoleon married Victoria Vezina in St. Boniface Manitoba. Victoria was the widow of Josephat Mondor. In February 1916, Napoleon enlisted and gave his address as Prairie Grove Manitoba and claimed to have had military experience with the 18th Battery. A few months later on the 1916 census, Napoleon age 34, Victoria age 45, and Napoleon’s stepchildren Isai Mondor age 11 and Yvonne Mondor age 18 along with a lodger were living at 571 or 591 Tache, St. Boniface, Manitoba and next door was another Mondor family. Napoleon gave his occupation as a soldier in the military in Canada. In December 1916, Napoleon had re-enlisted giving his new address as St. Boniface Manitoba. The attestation notes imply that he had just moved therefore had to re-enroll.
Napoleon’s service file shows he was first recruited to the 90th Regiment Reinforcement Draft for the 8th Overseas Battalion and then after 5 months in May 1917, he was transferred to the French Canadian Recruiting Depot. The service file contains a form on which Napoleon stated that his wife Victoria and two boys Edmond age 13 and Isaie age 11 were dependent on him and that both of his own parents were no longer alive. The document is stamped ‘Orderly Room, French Canadian Recruiting Dept, M. D. 10’. Napoleon was examined on August 10, 1917 at the Mobilization Centre, Montreal Quebec and was declared “E – unfit for service in Categories A, B, or C” due to bronchial asthma. Napoleon was able to sign his name on the form. He was discharged on August 25, 1917. The service file also shows that Napoleon’s family changed addresses often but mostly stayed in St. Boniface MB. By December 1919, the family was at 80 Aubert St., when a War Service Gratuity was sent out. In 1921, Napoleon age 39 and Victoria were living at 699 Tache St., St. Boniface along with a John Mondor, described as a son-in-law, but more likely John was a step son. Next door to Napoleon and Victoria was Rosario Mondor and his family. Rosario was another of Victoria’s sons.
Napoleon moved to British Columbia in the spring of 1940 according to his death certificate. At the time of his death, on August 21, 1950, he was a widower, and was living at 1054 Alderson Avenue in Coquitlam. He had last worked in 1948 as a maintenance man in a lumber camp. Napoleon died in the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and he’s buried in Fraser Cemetery (New C of E Section). The informant on the death registration was George Villeneuve (son of Severe), his nephew.
By Rhonda Glofcheski