Individual Report: H6526 Joseph OUELETTE

1st Bn The Winnipeg Grenadiers

Red River Métis

General Information

Rank: First Name: Second Name:
Private Joseph P. Alfred
From: Enlistment Region: Date of Birth (y-m-d):
Winnipeg MB Manitoba 1915-09-05
Appointment: Company: Platoon:
A

Transportation - Home Base to Hong Kong

Members of 'C' Force from the East travelled across Canada by CNR troop train, picking up reinforcements enroute. Stops included Valcartier, Montreal, Ottawa, Armstrong ON, Capreol ON, Winnipeg, Melville SK, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, and Vancouver, arriving in Vancouver on Oct 27 at 0800 hrs.

The Winnipeg Grenadiers and the local soldiers that were with Brigade Headquarters from Winnipeg to BC travelled on a CPR train to Vancouver.

All members embarked from Vancouver on the ships AWATEA and PRINCE ROBERT. AWATEA was a New Zealand Liner and the PRINCE ROBERT was a converted cruiser. "C" Company of the Rifles was assigned to the PRINCE ROBERT, everyone else boarded the AWATEA. The ships sailed from Vancouver on Oct 27th and arrived in Hong Kong on November 16th, having made brief stops enroute at Honolulu and Manila.

Equipment earmarked for 'C' Force use was loaded on the ship DON JOSE, but would never reach Hong Kong as it was rerouted to Manila when hostilities commenced.

On arrival, all troops were quartered at Nanking Barracks, Sham Shui Po Camp, in Kowloon.


Battle Information

We do not have specific battle information for this soldier in our online database. For a detailed description of the battle from a Canadian perspective, visit Canadian Participation in the Defense of Hong Kong (published by the Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters).

Wounded Information

No wounds recorded.

Commemorative Feature

View a map showing all commemorative features on Google Earth (a Hope Hinchey project).

Site Description Location Province Map Reference Lat/Long Date
Ouelette LakeRed Cross Lake, Manitoba, northwest ofManitoba53 N/0255 11' 04"; 92 33' 48"1995

Death and Cemetery Information

Date of Death (y-m-d) Cause of Death Death Class Death Ref
1941-12-25Killed In Action
Cemetery LocationCemeteryGrave NumberGravestone Marker
Stanley Village Hong Kong ChinaStanley Military Cemetery5. B. Coll. grave 1-4.NA

Gravestone Image

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Obituary / Life Story

Mrs. Patricia M. Ouellette 119- 7th St. South Kenora Ontario August 12th, 1943

To: M. Nirth (sp?), Lt. Col.

Dear Sir:

Received your letter this morning regarding my husband Pte. Alfred JP- H6526 Oullette estate and wish to thank you kindly. I was wondering if you could possibly let me know about his personal belongings, if they have them. Do you think it is possible for me to get them back as I would like to keep them for his two boys as they miss him dreadfully.

And I have to tell them something also I would like to have them myself. I know he would wish it. There won't be very much. But he has a wrist watch and pen which I gave him when he went over. So kindly let me know what I could do to receive them.

Mrs Patricia Oullette Pte. AJP wife and family

The money will be used for clothing for the children for school

Links

There may be more information on this individual available elsewhere on our web sites - please use the search tool found in the upper right corner of this page to view sources.

General Comments

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Sent to Pamela Heinrichs by Robert Alan May 2022

Like many other Metis people, I grew up with more questions than answers about who I was (am I Metis?) and what was my family's history. I knew nothing of my family because nothing was ever spoken about. If I had questions regarding the family, answers if given at all were generally vague. I heard that I had a grandfather in the war. I didn't know what war or any other information.

Years later in my life as an adult I started to investigate my family through Ancestry and through DNA. I finally found out that I did have a grandfather that fought in WWII. Joseph Alfred Philias Ouellette. I was so happy to finally know something about my history. During this time I also found out that I was indeed Metis and that my Metis ancestry followed my father's paternal line. My grandfather Joseph Ouellette was Metis. I can't tell you the pride I felt to find out this information. I not only new he was a veteran of WWII, was a Winnipeg Grenadier, died in Hong Kong on Christmas day 1941 but he was Metis! I can't help but wonder what my life would have been if I had known about him at an earlier age. I am so proud to be a Metis Canadian and I am very happy to have my grandfather Joseph Alfred Philias Ouellette listed as an Indigenous Veteran on the HKVCA website.


Excerpt from the Canadian Virtual Wall Memorial

Enlistment:September 21, 1939 Winnipeg, Manitoba

His name is Joseph Philias Alfred Ouellette. He signed Ouelette.

Son of François Xavier Ouellette (alias Frank Ouelette) and Marguerite McIvor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Husband of Patricia Mary Atkinson of McKenzie Island, Ontario. Father of William Frank, Shirley Ann, Margaret and Allan Gordon Ouelette.

Half-brother of Private Frank W. Ouellette, regimental number H-6500, who fought in Europe, and brother-in-law of Private John Stephens, regimental number H-6138, 1st Battalion Winnipeg Grenadiers, who was a prisoner of war in Hong Kong and Japan. They survived the war. He served with the 2nd Battalion, Winnipeg Grenadiers - NPAM - from 1938 to 1939, then with the 1st Battalion in Manitoba, Jamaica with Y Force, Hong Kong with C Force. He had 827 days of service, including 59 overseas.

To commemorate his sacrifice, the Manitoba government named Ouelette Lake located northwest of Red Cross Lake in his honor in 1995.


End of Report.

Report generated: 30 Sep 2022.


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Additional Notes

(These will not be visible on the printed copy)

  1. Service numbers for officers are locally generated for reporting only. During World War II officers were not allocated service numbers until 1945.
  2. 'C' Force soldiers who died overseas are memorialized in the Second World War Book of Remembrance and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, both sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada. Please use the search utility at VAC to assist you.
  3. Some birthdates and deathdates display as follows: 1918-00-00. In general, this indicates that we know the year but not the month or day.
  4. Our POW camp links along with our References link (near the bottom of the 'C' Force home page) are designed to give you a starting point for your research. There were many camps with many name changes. The best resource for all POW camps in Japan is the Roger Mansell Center for Research site.
  5. In most cases the rank displayed was the rank held before hostilities. Some veterans were promoted at some point prior to eventual post-war release from the army back in Canada. When notified of these changes we'll update the individual's record.
  6. Images displayed on the web page are small, but in many cases the actual image is larger. Hover over any image and you will see a popup if a larger version is available. You can also right-click on some images and select the option to view the image separately. Not all images have larger versions. Contact us to confirm whether a large copy of an image in which you are interested exists.
  7. Related documentation for information published in this report may be available. Researchers have added significant content on some 'C' Force members in the public group "Hong Kong Veterans Tribute" on Facebook, which you can search by using the member's service number.
  8. Our librarians have collected thousands of documents from Facebook and other resources. When requested, we will provide any additional information we have on an individual in the form of a zip (compressed) file and make it accessible from the Individual Report. Use the Contact Us form to request an offline search.
  9. We have done our best to avoid errors and omissions, but if you find any issues with this report, either in accuracy, completeness or layout, please contact us using the link at the top of this page.
  10. Photos are welcome! If a photo exists for a 'C' Force member that we have not included, or if you have a higher quality copy, please let us know by using the Contact Us link at the top of this page. We will then reply, providing instructions on submitting it.