The Complaisant

Lieutenant Colonel L. H. Archambault
41st (Canadien-Français) BattalionArchambault

The 41st, under Col. Archambault, had more than its share of desertions. The Colonel naturally was uncommunicative, but it was learned on fairly good authority that 150 men drooped away utterly…

(Toronto Daily News, 23 Oct 1915)

Born on 10 October 1879 in Montreal, Louis Henri Archambault was a lawyer, militia officer and Inspector of Cadets. He had served with the 64th Regiment for nearly twenty years. In early 1915, he transferred from the 22nd Battalion to raise the second French Canadian unit from Quebec, the 41st.

Continue reading

The Undead

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Dansereau
69th (Canadien-Français) Battalion

I made Lieutenant Dansereau my acting adjutant. He was my scout master and signalling officer, and when I went into the trenches either he or one of the other young rascals would step up smartly and start a conversation when I was passing a dangerous spot. I noticed that these escorts always got between me and the German lines so that if a bullet came they would get it first. This touched me very deeply but I made them stop it. No commanding officer was ever served more devotedly by his officers than I have been.

(J. A. Currie, The Red Watch, 1916, 176)

Born on 15 November 1890 in Montreal, Joseph Adolphe Dansereau was the son of Clément-Arthur Dansereau (1844—1918), influential Liberal journalist and editor of La Presse. A graduate of the Royal Military College and member of the Corps of Guides, the twenty-five year old Dansereau was one of the youngest CEF colonels when he was appointed to raise the 69th Battalion from Montreal in July 1915.

Continue reading

The Grandson

Lieutenant Colonel J. A. R. de Salaberry
230th (Voltigeurs Canadiens-Français) BattalionDe Salaberry

I thought the name DeSalaberry would thrill the people of Quebec, but let us be frank and tell the story… he was practically assaulted by the parish priest… I thought the grandson of the hero of Chateauguay was entitled to some recognition and he got it. But everywhere there was a hidden hand.

(Sam Hughes, Debates, 8 April 1918, 411)

Joseph Alexandre René de Salaberry was the grandson of Charles de Salaberry, the famous War of 1812 military leader. During the American invasion of Lower Canada in 1813, Colonel de Salaberry led the Canadien militia defence of Montreal. For his victory at Chateauguay, he became a celebrated war hero in the history of Quebec.

Born on 2 July 1870 in Chambly, Quebec, J. A. R. de Salaberry was a graduate of Laval University, a lawyer and advocate with the King’s Counsel. At the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted at Valcartier in the 2nd Battalion. Following frontline service in France, de Salaberry returned to Canada in order to recruit a French Canadian unit.

Continue reading