Boyer, Louis

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Louis Boyer was a Metis born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November 13, 1885.

In 1916, Boyer, now aged 30, lived with his wife Sarah in Stonewall, Manitoba, where he was working as a labourer. On March 18th of that year, he decided to enlist with the 107th Battalion (Winnipeg), an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force which had been authorized on November 4th, 1915. The battalion recruited in, and was mobilized at Winnipeg, and embarked for Britain on September 19, 1916. The battalion served in France and Flanders as the 107th Pioneer Battalion. For his part, Boyer served as a sapper at Ypres, Vimy and Passchendaele. He was honourably discharged in May 1919, in Winnipeg.

Though, at the time, Status Indians were banned from Legions because they served alcohol, Boyer eventually worked as a bartender at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Stonewall. This legion is a not-for-profit organisation self-funded by its members for the good of Canada’s veterans and communities.

His children would sometimes ask him why his nose was crooked and his answer was that “A bullet bounced off his nose and killed the man standing beside him.” Not everyone believed that story, though. He also told his family that his feet were never dry in the trenches and that he carried a cross around in the trenches and that it had saved his life.

In September 1942, Boyer enlisted once again with the Veterans Guard of Canada. He was now 58 years old. He first served as a guard at a prisoner-of-war camp located in Seebe, Alberta. This camp operated from September 29, 1939 to January 28, 1946 and had a capacity of 200 prisoners. He also seems to have served as a guard at a German prisoner-of-war camp in British Columbia. Boyer died in 1974.

Three of his sons also served during the Second World War, one of which was made a prisoner by the Germans. At the age of 20, his eldest son, John, enlisted in an armored car regiment in 1941 and was later transferred to the No. 1 Garrison Battalion. A second son, Albert, also enlisted in an armored car regiment in September 1943 and was stationed in Brampton, Ontario. He was 18 year when he enlisted. Finally, Arthur, the youngest at age 16, jointed the reserved army in 1943. All returned home safely after the war.

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Biographical Record
Full Name Boyer, Louis
Heritage Métis
Band Location Stonewall, MB (also Winnipeg)
Birth Date 1885-11-13
Birthplace Winnipeg, MB
Next of Kin Wife: Sarah Boyer
Married before Enlistment Married
Occupation before Enlistment Labourer
Religion Roman Catholic
Conflict WWI
Service Number 718825
Service Files http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=58952
CEF Unit 107th Bn
Date of Enlistment 1916-03-18
Location of Enlistment Winnipeg, MB
Age at Enlistment 31
Identifier 6335