The People

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These are the stories of Kenora participants in the First World War.

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  • Lacasse, William Image
  • Lacasse, William

  • Born on 2 December 1892 in Keewatin, Ontario, William Lacasse was a middle son of Anselme (more commonly known as Samuel) and Wilhemina Melina (née Desmarais) Lacasse, parents being French Canadian, originally from the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

    Samuel and Melina married on 27 April 1885 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Melina’s family having moved to the area to open a saw mill. At some point Melina and perhaps Samuel went back to Gatineau Pointe, as their first two children, twins Joseph and Napoleon, were born there on 28 February 1886. Returning after the births, subsequent children born in Keewatin were Oscar, William, Charles, Bertha, and Eugene.

    For the 1891 census the family was living in Keewatin South, father Samuel’s occupation given as mill labourer. Living next door were Melina’s birth family, father Eusebe Desmarais, his second wife, and children from both marriages. In 1901 the family was still in Keewatin but by then his father’s occupation had changed to farmer. For the 1911 census William’s parents and three of his siblings, Charles, Bertha and Eugene were living on River Street in Keewatin.

    William Lacasse enlisted 3 May 1916 in Kenora, Ontario, occupation given as lumberman. Joining the 141st Battalion, he left by train for training in Port Arthur, Ontario on 2 August 1916. It was reported in the 21 April 1917 edition of the Kenora Miner and News that the battalion had recently left for the east and likely overseas. On 29 April the 141st Battalion embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic.

    Once overseas, Private William Lacasse was transferred first to the 18th Reserve Battalion and then to the 44th Battalion. He was promoted to Corporal on 1 December 1917, and then to Sergeant on 1 January 1918. In the beginning of March he was granted a 14 day leave to Paris, returning 17 March. Just over a month later, on 28 April 1918, Sergeant William Lacasse was reported as killed In action. According to the CEF Burial registers, at only age 26, Sergeant William Lacasse was killed in action in the trenches near Oppy. He is interred in the Roclincourt Cemetery, Pas de Calais, 2 miles north of Arras, France.

    William’s brother Oscar Lacasse served during World War 1 as well, also reported as killed in action on 1 September 1918 while serving with the 5th Battalion. By 1921 William’s parents and siblings Bertha and Eugene were living in Vancouver but later that year moved south of the border to Washington. William’s father Samuel died on 6 July 1927 and his mother Melina on 16 December 1949. Both are interred in Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolly, Washington. It is unlikely that any of the family remained in the Kenora/Keewatin area.

    Sergeant William Lacasse is commemorated on page 444 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Keewatin Cenotaph in Beatty Park in Keewatin, Ontario, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour Plaque housed in the Keewatin Legion, on the R Douglas Fraser Roll of Honour Plaque, and on the Municipality of Keewatin plaque.

    In August of 1919, The Municipality of Keewatin honoured their lads who had served with medals and badges, with next of kin receiving for the fallen.

    by Judy Stockham

    gravemarker photo: International Wargraves Photography Project as found on findagrave.com
    newspaper clippings: Kenora Miner and News

    KMN 13 May 1916

    KMN 13 May 1916

    KMN 12 July 1916

    KMN 12 July 1916

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 1

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 1

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 2

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 2

    KMN 21 April 1917

    KMN 21 April 1917

    KMN 18 May 1918

    KMN 18 May 1918

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 1

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 1

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 2

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 2

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour

    For King and Country

    For King and Country

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

  • Regimental Number:
  • 820692
  • Service Record:
  • Link to Service Record
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Battalion:
  • 44th Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Next of Kin:
  • Samuel Lacasse, father, Keewatin, Ontario
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • December 2, 1892
  • Trade or Calling:
  • lumberman
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • May 3, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 23
  • Religion:
  • Roman Catholic
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 28, 1918
  • Age at Death:
  • 25
  • Buried at:
  • Roclincourt Military Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • Vl. C. 8.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Born on 2 December 1892 in Keewatin, Ontario, William Lacasse was a middle son of Anselme (more commonly known as Samuel) and Wilhemina Melina (née Desmarais) Lacasse, parents being French Canadian, originally from the Ottawa/Gatineau area.

    Samuel and Melina married on 27 April 1885 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Melina’s family having moved to the area to open a saw mill. At some point Melina and perhaps Samuel went back to Gatineau Pointe, as their first two children, twins Joseph and Napoleon, were born there on 28 February 1886. Returning after the births, subsequent children born in Keewatin were Oscar, William, Charles, Bertha, and Eugene.

    For the 1891 census the family was living in Keewatin South, father Samuel’s occupation given as mill labourer. Living next door were Melina’s birth family, father Eusebe Desmarais, his second wife, and children from both marriages. In 1901 the family was still in Keewatin but by then his father’s occupation had changed to farmer. For the 1911 census William’s parents and three of his siblings, Charles, Bertha and Eugene were living on River Street in Keewatin.

    William Lacasse enlisted 3 May 1916 in Kenora, Ontario, occupation given as lumberman. Joining the 141st Battalion, he left by train for training in Port Arthur, Ontario on 2 August 1916. It was reported in the 21 April 1917 edition of the Kenora Miner and News that the battalion had recently left for the east and likely overseas. On 29 April the 141st Battalion embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic.

    Once overseas, Private William Lacasse was transferred first to the 18th Reserve Battalion and then to the 44th Battalion. He was promoted to Corporal on 1 December 1917, and then to Sergeant on 1 January 1918. In the beginning of March he was granted a 14 day leave to Paris, returning 17 March. Just over a month later, on 28 April 1918, Sergeant William Lacasse was reported as killed In action. According to the CEF Burial registers, at only age 26, Sergeant William Lacasse was killed in action in the trenches near Oppy. He is interred in the Roclincourt Cemetery, Pas de Calais, 2 miles north of Arras, France.

    William’s brother Oscar Lacasse served during World War 1 as well, also reported as killed in action on 1 September 1918 while serving with the 5th Battalion. By 1921 William’s parents and siblings Bertha and Eugene were living in Vancouver but later that year moved south of the border to Washington. William’s father Samuel died on 6 July 1927 and his mother Melina on 16 December 1949. Both are interred in Union Cemetery in Sedro-Woolly, Washington. It is unlikely that any of the family remained in the Kenora/Keewatin area.

    Sergeant William Lacasse is commemorated on page 444 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in Ottawa, on the Keewatin Cenotaph in Beatty Park in Keewatin, Ontario, on the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour Plaque housed in the Keewatin Legion, on the R Douglas Fraser Roll of Honour Plaque, and on the Municipality of Keewatin plaque.

    In August of 1919, The Municipality of Keewatin honoured their lads who had served with medals and badges, with next of kin receiving for the fallen.

    by Judy Stockham

    gravemarker photo: International Wargraves Photography Project as found on findagrave.com
    newspaper clippings: Kenora Miner and News

    KMN 13 May 1916

    KMN 13 May 1916

    KMN 12 July 1916

    KMN 12 July 1916

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 1

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 1

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 2

    KMN 2 August 1916 part 2

    KMN 21 April 1917

    KMN 21 April 1917

    KMN 18 May 1918

    KMN 18 May 1918

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 1

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 1

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 2

    KMN 9 August 1919 part 2

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour

    Lake of the Woods Milling Company Roll of Honour

    For King and Country

    For King and Country

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

    Keewatin Cenotaph

  • « Return to all stories
  • Lacasse, William Image
  • Regimental Number:
  • 820692
  • Force:
  • Army
  • Battalion:
  • 44th Battalion
  • Place of Birth:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Next of Kin:
  • Samuel Lacasse, father, Keewatin, Ontario
  • Date of Birth:
  • December 2, 1892
  • Survived War:
  • No
  • Branch:
  • Canadian Infantry
  • Country:
  • Canada
  • Address at Enlistment:
  • Keewatin, Ontario
  • Trade or Calling:
  • lumberman
  • Marital Status:
  • Single
  • Place of Enlistment:
  • Kenora, Ontario
  • Date of Enlistment:
  • May 3, 1916
  • Age at Enlistment:
  • 23
  • Religion:
  • Roman Catholic
  • Enlisted or Conscripted:
  • Enlisted
  • Saw Service In:
  • Europe
  • Date of Death:
  • April 28, 1918
  • Age at Death:
  • 25
  • Buried at:
  • Roclincourt Military Cemetery, France
  • Plot:
  • Vl. C. 8.
  • Prisoner of War:
  • No
  • Lacasse, William

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