|Date of Birth||About 1900|
|Place of Birth||Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Bushman|
|Regimental Number||1012413; 857163; 2499479|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||North Bay and Parry Sound, Ontario|
|Age at Enlistment||About 16|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 9, 1938|
|Age at Death||About 38|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Sapper Emile Leyoux enlisted three times using three different names (Emile Leyou/Leyoux, Emile Gosselin and Emil Gosling). He served in Canada, Great Britain and France for about 18 months and returned to Canada in March 1919.
Emile probably grew up in the district of Nipissing, Ontario but nothing has been found yet about his early life. The first time he enlisted was on 7 July 1916 in Hull, Quebec (reg. no. 1012413). He gave his address as North Bay, Ontario and his birth date as 10 March 1898 but he was probably only 16 years old at the time. Emile claimed he didn’t know where he was born and next of kin was an uncle, O. Labrecque, in Chiswick, Ontario. He joined the 230th Battalion (Voltigeurs Canadiens-Français), which was being recruited in the Hull area and eastern Ontario. A Court of Enquiry declared Emile to be an absentee and he was struck off strength on 15 August 1916 in Ottawa.
Five months later Emile enlisted a second time, signing up on 8 January 1917 in Parry Sound, Ontario and joining the 178th Battalion (Canadien-Français). He used the name Emile Gosselin and he was assigned reg. no. 857163. He said he was living in Parry Sound, he had worked in a munitions factory, he was born in May 1898 in Bonfield, Ontario, his parents were both deceased and next of kin was an uncle L. Labrecque in Bonfield. Emile trained with his unit for about two months but when they headed overseas in March he wasn’t with them. A medical report dated 10 March in St. John, New Brunswick gave his age as 16 years and 11 months, making his birth date around April 1900. He was discharged on 11 April due to being a minor.
Emile enlisted again in Toronto on 24 November 1917. He used the name Emil Gosling and he was assigned reg. no. 2499479 in the Railway Construction Troops Draft. He said he was living in North Bay, Ontario and he was born on 1 July 1898 in Arnprior, Ontario. His occupation was bushman and next of kin was an uncle Hector Lebric/Lebrick in Bonfield, Ontario. Two other uncles named in his service file were Goodjos Lebrick in Bonfield and Arthur Lebrick in Timmins.
Emile embarked for England on 27 January 1918 on the SS Scotian, sailing from St. John, New Brunswick and arriving in Liverpool about ten days later. He was transferred to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot at Purfleet. At the end of the February he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Purfleet then transferred on 5 March to the Canadian Special Hospital at Witley. He received treatment for vd for the next three months and was discharged to duty on 27 May. Two weeks later, on 11 June, he was sent to France and assigned to the 8th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. Emile arrived at the Canadian Base Depot on 13 June and two days later he was admitted to No. 51 General Hospital in Etaples due to his continuing vd. Another three and a half months of treatment followed and it was the end of September when he joined his unit in the field.
In November the Armistice ended hostilities on the Western Front but the Canadian troops remained in France and Belgium and the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions took part in the occupation of Germany. The railway troops were kept busy for several more months. In December Emile declared his true name to be Emile Leyoux and his service documents were changed to reflect that. His discharge certificate and final pay records have his full name as Emile Arthur Leyoux. He returned to England at the end of January 1919 and embarked for Canada on the SS Minnekahda on 19 March, arriving about ten days later. He was discharged on demobilization on 29 March in Ottawa. His intended residence was North Bay and he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
Emile’s service file noted that he was in Sault Ste. Marie in 1920. By the late 1930s he was living in the Kenora area in northwestern Ontario where he worked for the Keewatin Lumber Company. He passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kenora on 9 August 1938, the cause of death being acute alcoholism. His funeral was held three days later. His obituary mentioned that he was a war veteran with no known relatives and his funeral was attended by members of the local Canadian Legion and employees from the lumber company. Emile is buried in an unmarked grave in the Roman Catholic Section of Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Becky Johnson
Emile’s grave marker was installed in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in 2018 by the Last Post Fund.