|Date of Birth||April 26, 1883|
|Place of Birth||Penetanguishene, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Milda (Mathilda) Longlad, mother, Penetanguishene, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||No. 1 Tramways Company|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Thessalon, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 12, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||34|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Decorations and Medals||Military Medal|
|Date of Death||19500424|
|Age at Death||67|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
According to his attestation papers, Joseph Longlad (later spelled as Longlade) was born on 26 April 1883 in Penetanguishene, Ontario although his gravemarker gives the year as 1882. His parents, as found in the 1901 census, Penetanguishene, were likely Joseph and Mathilda, and his siblings Amelda, Havier (Xavier), Willis, and Louisa/Lorine although birth dates do not match with attestations of Joseph and Xavier. In the census father Joseph’s occupation was given as ‘sawmill lumber’. With occupation given as labourer and present residence as Thessalon, Ontario, Joe signed his attestation papers on 12 April 1916 in Thessalon. His next of kin was given as Milda Longlad in Penetanguishene. His father’s name was given as Joseph elsewhere in his service records.
Private Joe Longlad embarked from Halifax with the 119th Battalion on 8 August 1916 aboard the SS Metagama. Based in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario the unit began recruiting in late 1915 in the Algoma district and on Manitoulin Island. The following May he proceeded overseas to France and was taken on strength in the field with the 124th Battalion. Transferred to the 4th Canadian Entrenching Battalion in June, in mid September he was sent to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp.
On 24 November 1917 Joe was transferred to the Canadian Light Railway Operation Company, name of unit changed to 1st Tramways Company, Canadian Engineers on 22 February 1918. Along with the 2nd Tramways Company, they built, maintained, and operated light railways in forward areas. Tramways carried ammunition to artillery batteries, engineering supplies, troops, rations, gas, and other comparatively light loads. They also ran hospital trains to carry wounded to field ambulance stations (Library and Archives Canada). Joe was given a fourteen day Christmas leave to the UK, returning to the unit 30 December 1917. In August of 1918, Joe was promoted to Corporal and on 15 October 1918, he was awarded the Military Medal, details unknown.
Promoted to Sergeant in November, he was granted a fourteen day leave to Paris. Sergeant Joseph Longlad embarked from England aboard the Empress of Britain on 23 March 1919; he was on his way back home to Penetanguishene.
Details of Joe’s life back in Canada after the war are unknown. His parents were found on the 1921 census for Penetanguishene along with Mathilda’s mother and a grandchild. Joe died on 24 April 1950 in his home in Melick Township just outside of Kenora, Ontario. He had just been released from the Vet’s Rest Home in Winnipeg a few days earlier. His Veteran Death Card listed his sister Mrs Mildred Longlade of Penatang, Ontario as his next of kin. Joseph Longlad(e) is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora. His gravemarker was replaced in 2015.
Francois Xavier Longlad enlisted in Penetanguishene on 10 February 1916, listing his mother Mathilda as next of kin. Also serving with the Canadian Engineers (Sapper, 9th Battalion), he was killed in action on 10 August 1918. He is interred in the Beaucourt British Cemetery, Somme, France.
by Judy Stockham
Canada Military Honours and Awards Citation card: Library and Archives Canada
Veteran Death card: Library and Archives Canada
Obituary: Kenora Miner and News 24 August 1950