Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Veterans' Week 2012: Relatives Who Served In WW I and WW II

Veterans' Week November 5 to 11. A young boy placing a poppy on a grave.

I'm participating in the remembrance challenge for Veterans' Week as seen at Veterans' Affairs Canada website. This article is the second in a series I've prepared for my blog as a way of honouring the memory of my relatives and those who served Canada in times of war and peace.

Relatives Who Served in WW I and WW II

The following list features some of my relatives who served in World War I and World War II. Other, more distant relatives also served in both Wars. As far as I know, none of my ancestors (my parents, my grandparents and great-grandparents) served in either War. The only people in this list that I personally knew were my great-uncles Jean-Marie and Jean-Paul Beauvais and my father's cousin-in-law Joseph Saucier.

World War I

Name: Ovide Desgroseilliers (1884-1959)
Relationship: Ovide was my mother Jacqueline's great-uncle. He was the youngest son of Pierre and Flavie (Lepage) Desgroseilliers. Ovide married Anna Maurice in 1913 and lived in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario.
Rank / Branch: Sergeant / 163rd (Canadien-Français) Battalion.
Note: Ovide also served three years in the 97th Regiment (Algonquin Rifles) during the South African War.

Name: William Vanasse (1893-1955)
Relationship: William was my father's maternal uncle. He was a younger son of Olivier and Elisabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse.
Rank / Branch: Private / Canadian Forestry Corps.
Note: I wrote about some of William's war experience here.

Name: Joseph Vanasse (1898-1973)
Relationship: Joseph was my father's maternal uncle. He was a younger son of Olivier and Elisabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse.
Rank / Branch: Private / Canadian Forestry Corps.
Note: Joseph was awarded the British War Medal.

World War II

Names: Jean-Marie Beauvais (1921-2010) and Jean-Paul Beauvais (1921-2003)
Relationship: Jean-Marie and his twin brother Jean-Paul were my mother Jacqueline's maternal uncles. They were the youngest children of Joseph and Olivine (Hotte) Beauvais.
Rank / Branch: [unknown to me]
Note: I don't believe that either Jean-Marie or Jean-Paul went overseas during World War II. Jean-Marie was posted at CFB Chilliwack, British Columbia for a time.

Jean-Marie and Jean-Paul Beauvais
Jean-Marie (left) and Jean-Paul Beauvais.

Name: Ernest Belair (1919-1944)
Relationship: Ernest was a second cousin of my father Maurice Belair. He was the son of Cléoplas and Anna (Favreau) Belair, who lived in Kenora, Ontario.
Rank / Branch: Private / Lake Superior Regiment (Motor), RCIC.
Note: Ernest was killed in action on 13 October 1944 in Belgium. He is buried in the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Maldegem, Belgium.

Name: Marvel Milks (1925-2012)
Relationship: Marvel was my father Maurice's first cousin. She was a daughter of Frank and Cora (Vanasse) Milks, of Ottawa, Ontario.
Rank / Branch: Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service (WRCNS).
Note: I don't believe that Marvel served overseas during World War II.

Maurice Belair with his cousins Lucille Potvin and Marvel Milks.
Maurice Belair with his cousins Lucille Potvin (left) and Marvel Milks (right).

Name: Joseph Saucier (1922-1993)
Relationship: Joe was the husband of Lucille (Lou) Potvin, a first cousin of my father Maurice. Joe was the son of Victor and Rosanna (Beaupré) Saucier.
Rank / Branch: Sergeant.
Note: Joe also served in the Korean War.

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. Lovely work here, so much information! Very nice job. One question still has yet to be answered for me- how did they keep those hats on?

  2. Thank you for commenting, Karen! I haven't figured out how my great-uncles kept those darn caps on, but they sure managed well, didn't they?

  3. Hi Yvonne- we have been in contact before regarding the Belairs. Ernest was my father in law's brother. I have a picture of him in uniform if you would like it. My email is janebelair@yahoo.ca

  4. Thank you for posting the World War I information for my grandfather, Ovide.