May 31, 2023. Whenever Pieter visits the grave of a soldier he has researched, he always hopes to have a photo that puts a face to a name. Sometimes, that’s not possible, as was the case when we visited Ligny St. Flochel British Cemetery in France where WWI soldier Joseph ‘Arthur’ DESROCHES is buried. (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2017/09/23/paying-our-respects-to-private-joseph-arthur-desroches/)
The On The War Memorial Trail research project began when Pieter first started researching the 48 names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion in 2015. His goal? To put a face and story to each name. Over the years we’ve told the story of each one in the County Line Courier newspaper, plus shared our visits made to their graves or memorials.
The Cenotaph Wall of Remembrance in the Borden-Carleton Legion displays photos of the men listed on the Cenotaph, with empty frames for those photos still waiting to be found. Pieter has never given up on finding a photo, reaching out to the media to help publicize the photo search of soldiers, including Arthur Desroches.
…The media helped publicize the search for a photo of Arthur Desroches…
In 2020 he did a radio interview on CBC Radio-Canada Acadie with Anne-Marie Parenteau, ‘La quête d’un homme de l’Î.-P.-É. pour retrouver des photos d’un soldat acadien’. (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2020/11/15/the-continuing-search-for-a-photo-of-ww1-soldier-joseph-arthur-desroches/)
In 2021 Pieter wrote a Letter To The Editor in Prince Edward Island’s newspaper The Guardian:
…A photo of Arthur Desroches is found…
Now, thanks to Louis and Janet Arsenault of Summerside, there is one less empty frame! “…Arthur was my great-uncle…” Janet explained. “…My grandfather Anthony was Arthur’s brother and my mother Margaret was his niece…”
In going through a box that had belonged to her mother, Janet and Louis found a photo that they believe must be Arthur. “…No one else in the family served in WWI, and he looks similar to my grandfather…”
Pieter noted that the uniform was from the 105th Battalion, C Company, where Arthur had enlisted on March 9, 1916 in Summerside, and the photo was in a protective mat from a Summerside photo studio.
Born August 8, 1891 in Miscouche, Joseph ‘Arthur’ DESROCHES was the son of Zephirim Desroches and Priscilla Gaudet. Unlike many WWI soldiers, he was married, to Mary Ann Wedge (Aucoin), and the father of four children.
Before enlisting, Arthur worked as a farmer for Howard McFarlane of Fernwood. After completing basic training, Arthur was on his way to the United Kingdom, leaving Halifax on July 15, 1916 aboard the S.S. Empress of Britain. He arrived in Liverpool, England 10 days later. On December 17, 1916 he was on the front line in France.
While serving with the 14th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, Arthur was severely wounded on September 2, 1918 by a gunshot wound to his head. Arthur died on September 4, 1918 at No.7 Casualty Clearing Station at Ligny-St. Flochel, aged 27.
The 8 year photo search has been successfully concluded! The photo of Arthur Desroches is now on the Legion’s Cenotaph Wall of Remembrance.
…8 photos still being sought for the Cenotaph Wall of Remembrance…
Pieter hopes that more of the empty frames will be filled over the coming year. “…Unfortunately, photos for 7 from WWI and 1 from WWII have yet to be found….” he said. Can YOU help with this photo wish list?
Names still without faces from WWI
- Leigh Hunt CAMERON, born in Albany
- James Lymon CAMERON, born in Victoria
- William Galen CAMPBELL, born in Wellington
- Bazil CORMIER, born in Tignish
- Charles LOWTHER, born in North Carleton
- Arthur Clinton ROBINSON, born in Tryon
- Harry ROBINSON, born in Augustine Cove
Names still without faces from WWII
- Ernest Ramey GALLANT, born in Borden
Thank you to Louis and Janet Arsenault for sharing a photo. Thank you also to CBC Radio-Canada Acadie and The Guardian for helping to publicize the photo search.
If you can help with the photo search request or have a story to tell, Pieter encourages you to email him at email@example.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.
…Want to follow our research?…
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Daria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats. Net proceeds of book sales help support research costs and the cost of maintaining this blog. For more information see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/
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© Daria Valkenburg