Col. Landry

Colonel Joseph Philippe Landry
2nd Training Brigade


Hon. Mr. W.H. SHARPE: May I ask the honourable gentleman a question?

Hon. Mr. LANDRY: Certainly.

Hon. Mr. SHARPE: At the present time the honourable gentleman’s own son is at the front fighting the battles of Canada and the Empire. I would like to ask him how he is going to meet that son when he returns to Canada?

Hon. Mr. LANDRY: That is a question of sentiment, not one of reason. My son has his ideas and I have mine.

(Senate Debates, 3 Aug 1917, 424)

Joseph Philippe Landry was son of Conservative Senator Auguste Charles Philippe Robert Landry (1846—1919), a strong francophone advocate and opponent of conscription. The younger Landry was born on 27 June 1870 in St. Pierre, Quebec. At the age of thirteen, he joined his father’s 61st (Montmagny) Rifles as a bugler. He became commanding officer of the 61st in 1901. In May 1915, Landry took command of the 5th Infantry Brigade in the CEF, but was replaced before it deployment to the field.

His influential father, Senator Landry was a militia officer with nearly forty years of political experience in Ottawa. He was first elected Conservative MP for Montmagny in 1878. In 1892, he was appointed to the Senate. With the election of Robert Borden’s Government in 1911, Landry became Speaker of the upper chamber.

A long time proponent of francophone rights, Senator Landry had severed his Tory party connections and resigned the Speakership in June 1916. He also vocally opposed the adoption of conscription. He believed that mandatory military service would set a dangerous precedent by compelling Canadians to fight in foreign wars.

When Senator William Henry Sharpe, former commander of the 184th Battalion, pointed out that Landry’s own son was serving overseas, the Quebec nationalist responded:

I put my country above all, and I think it is the duty of every public man to put his country before his family ties. It has been said that when Great Britain is at war Canada is at war. I deny the truthfulness of such a statement.

After being replaced in command of the 5th Brigade by David Watson, Colonel Landry was promoted to brigadier general in charge of training and reserve brigades at Brighton, Shoreham, East Sandling. Landry was also briefly engaged on the front in France during 1916.

He returned to Canada in 1917 to take command of the military district at Quebec City, where he organized drafts of recruits under the military service act that his father had denounced. Landry remained involved in military affairs until his death on 12 July 1926.

Militia personnel file:


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