Warrant Officer Napoleon Barre

Warrant Officer Napoleon Barre served in the 4th battalion – Canadian Expeditionary Force during WW1. He also served with the Regiment de Hull between WW1 and WW2 and during WW2. He is entitled to the British War Medal, the Victory Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (no clasp), the War Medal 1939-1945 and Canadian Efficiency Medal (with two clasps) :

Born on March 28, 1899 in Hull, Quebec

Religion : Roman Catholic      Weight 130 lbs.

Height : 5′ 7″                              Eyes : blue            Hair : brown

1911 Canadian census information taken in Wrightville, Hull county, Québec

Father : David                 Mother : Marie Louise Anctil

Sister : Bernadette         Brother : Philippe

FIRST WORLD WAR  # 814027 4th battalion C.E.F. – rank Private

Trade : Labourer     Status : Single     Address : 270 Saint – Redempteur (living with his parents)

He worked three years for J.R. Booth Lumber Mill operating a buttom-saw before enlisting

February 15th, 1916 : Enlisted in Ottawa in the 139th battalion (Northumberland Battalion).

October 6th :Sailed from Canada onboard the SS Southland. He was then transferred to the 34th battalion which was disbanded. November 27th. Transferred to the 4th battalion (Hamilton).

September 29th, 1917 : Trialed for Desertion and sentenced to death, Using insubordinate language to his superior and Conduct to the prejudice of order and military discipline. After receiving the order to go to the trenches he was absent without permission from 18:00 September 11th to 11:00 September 14th . He left 45 minutes before his battalion relieved the 1st  battalion in the trenches (information obtained from the battalion log book). When he got back with the regiment he refused to obey the order to join the battalion on the front line.

When he enlisted he lied about his age, he was only 17 years 11 months old. On enlistment, he told the recruiting officer that his birth date was March 28th, 1898, that’s probably what saved him of being shot by a firing squad.

October 7th : His sentence was commuted in 5 years penal servitude and was returned to his battalion on October 8th.

Excerpt from the book Only this : A war retrospect from James H. Pedley “I remember however, the advent of young current, a rosy-cheeked bit of a boy, and how we detailed him to a listening post manned by one Skin Hale, an old soldier. Halle had a French-Canadian named Barre for companion in this listening-post, but Barre finding it too hot, had gone sick and been sent down the line, followed by curses of the rest of the platoons. This post was not a sinecure. It consisted of a little sap, or blind trench, leading out about ten yards toward fritz, and ending in a deep shell hole. The occupants were supposed to stay in the shell-hole whenever possible and to retire into the trench when the mortars were coming too fast.”

Wounded by a shrapnel (Cambrai Red Line Deligny Mill area) at one of his finger with permanent damage. Hospitalised from September 29th to October 4th 1918. In his medical report, the doctor thought about amputating his finger.

August 16th : Sailed to Canada

August 26th, 1919 : Demobilised in Kingston. WW1 War service badge class “A” 214059

His father died on April 2nd, 1918 and he became the sole family revenu, his sister Bernadette got married on July 8th, 1918, his brother Philippe was 15, Meralda 12 (got married on January 31st, 1928), Jeanette 9, David 6, Alfred 3 and Yvette 3 month. He served with the Cameron Highlander in Ottawa (1920-21) and with the Regiment de Hull from (1921-39)

SECOND WORLD WAR   C – 41535  Régiment de Hull – Warrant Officer

October 21st, 1939 : Enlisted in the Regiment de Hull in Hull, Quebec. He was part of the Canadian Army Service Corps. Promoted acting company sergeant major

Trade : carpenter (unemployed when he enlisted) Address : 74 a Saint – Laurent

December : He injured his knee while he was running after spy

September 6th, 1940 : Taken on strength at the No 4 District Depot (Saint-Jerôme, Quebec).

November 4th : His wife moved to St-Jerome

March 1st, 1942 : Posted with the Regiment de Hull in Valcartier, Quebec.

May 15th : Hospitalised . He injured his left knee. Discharged on May 29th, 1942

July 7th : Transferred to Regiment de Hull in Nanaimo, British Columbia at Connaught camp

August 5th : Admitted to Rideau Hospital

May 13th, 1943 : Qualified for driver class III

August 13th : Received his Efficiency medal with the two clasps (G.O. 323). Warrant Officer Napoleon Barre is probably one of very few men who was sentenced to death in the army, stayed and received a Long Service and Good COnduct Medal afterward. It would be difficult to estimate a number of men like him but I am sure you cant count those on two hands.

September 15th : Confirmed in the rank of Company Sergeant Major

1920-1950 Regiment de Hull cap badge

Demobilised on March 17th, 1944 service no longer required on return to civil employment. He served in the army for 29 years. He requested to be transferred to the Veteran Guard of Canada. WW II general service badge : 082309 (first) and 666295 (second)

April 21st, 1950: Received his War medal

Died on July 28th, 1983 at the National Defence Medical Center in Ottawa (bladder tumour). Buried in lot 111 – O in Jardin du Souvenir cemetery on Fournier boul. in Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec. His last address was 111 Saint-Louis street in Gatineau, Quebec. He was married to Bernadette Cousineau. He had two children Simone and Lucien and 12 grand – children.

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography

Napoleon Barre gravestone in Jardin du Souvenir cemetery Gatineau (Hull), Quebec

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