For friends and family who have followed my genealogy hunt across the Web (and from across the Atlantic ocean too), my first *big* research post on a member of my family was about Louis-Philippe Dulac, my grand-uncle, the watchmaker turned military in WW1. Don’t confuse him with his father though (they have the same name!). It’s been more than two years since I have researched him and, incredibly, a few months ago I had an email from his son who told me that all the information I had found on his father was true*, there was even a couple of events that were unknown to him. By corresponding, Louis-Philippe’s son sent me choice pictures about his father and his military background.
He was, in fact, part of the Black Watch or the 5th regiment of Highlanders at the grand age of… 15! His son later revealed to me that when he enlisted in WW1 in 1917, he lied about his age, like many did at the time.
He was also, to my surprise, sent to Europe, probably in 1918 at the Witley training facility (aka: Witley Camp) in Surrey, England where I think this picture was taken:
He was affiliated with the 79th Canadian Battery but I learned from his Canadian Pay Book that his unit was integrated in the 8th army on the field. I learned a while ago the 79th Battery was considered to be a depot, as such it was not supposed to have left Canada… but in fact it did!
I’m still unsure whether Louis-Philippe *actively* participated in the course of the war when he got to Europe, even his son did not tell me much about that yet, but when I look at this particular picture and I see his faraway gaze, I have no doubt that my grand uncle saw the horrors of warfare in Europe. I will know more when Library & Archives Canada have digitised his service file.
Luckily, Louis-Philippe did not stay put, he left to find work in Waltham, Massachusetts and Detroit, Michigan. He came back to Montreal around 1932 and found his smile again when he met his future wife Antonia Belanger. He worked as a jeweler and watchmaker, until 1965, on Christophe-Colomb street.
He died on June 24th, 1970 in Montreal and was buried, with honours, in the Veteran cemetery in Pointe-Claire, Montreal. I never knew him as I was born a few years later but I am grateful that my passion for family history gave me the chance to discover his unique story and learn more about him through his children. I am proud to have this industrious, talented and courageous man as my grand-uncle.
*A nod of the head to my fellow online genealogist John Brugleria who follows similar lines when it comes to researching online.
- Louis-Philippe Dulac – From Military to Watchmaker Original post (marylenelittlecorner.wordpress.com)