Veteran Stories:
Emmanuel Denis Piette

Army

  • Emmanuel Piette served with the Canadian Railway Troops during the First World War. He was 34 years old when he enlisted. Courtesy of Russ Marchand, Mr. Piette's grandson.

    Emmanuel Piette served with the Canadian Railway Troops during the First World War. He was 34 years old when he enlisted. Courtesy of Russ Marchand, Mr. Piette's grandson.
  • The British War Medal issued to veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the end of the First World War.

    The British War Medal issued to veterans of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the end of the First World War.
  • Emmanuel Piette's Statement of Service detailing his service in the Army from his enlistment in London on May 28, 1918 to his honourable discharge on August 31, 1919 in Halifax.

    Emmanuel Piette's Statement of Service detailing his service in the Army from his enlistment in London on May 28, 1918 to his honourable discharge on August 31, 1919 in Halifax.
  • Emmanuel Piette's attestation paper. Mr. Piette was born in Stony Point, Essex County, Ontario but at the time of enlistment, was living in Detroit, Michigan.

    Emmanuel Piette's attestation paper. Mr. Piette was born in Stony Point, Essex County, Ontario but at the time of enlistment, was living in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Emmanuel Piette's discharge certificate. Mr. Piette was discharged from general service on August 24, 1918 because he was no longer medically fit for active service.

    Emmanuel Piette's discharge certificate. Mr. Piette was discharged from general service on August 24, 1918 because he was no longer medically fit for active service.
  • After the war, Emmanuel Piette married Beatrice Eastwood Millen, widow of Wilfrid Millen. Emmanuel and Beatrice had a daughter Juliette, who married WWII Army veteran LeRoy Marchand. All three veterans' stories are a part of the Digital Archive.

    After the war, Emmanuel Piette married Beatrice Eastwood Millen, widow of Wilfrid Millen. Emmanuel and Beatrice had a daughter Juliette, who married WWII Army veteran LeRoy Marchand. All three veterans' stories are a part of the Digital Archive.
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Joseph Denis Emmanuel Piette, the son of Moise Piette and Louise Desmarais, was born November 4, 1884 at Stoney Point (Pointe-Aux-Roches), Ontario.

In his childhood he suffered from Diphtheria at age 5 and Scarlet Fever at age 8. In 1899 at the age of 15 he was hit in the right eye by a steel spring which resulted in scar tissue on the cornea. Five years later he had an operation to remove a cataract. This injury would later have an effect on his military service.

On April 23, 1910 Emmanuel Piette married Bertha May Cracknell at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan. Bertha was born in 1890 in Detroit, Michigan and was the daughter of Bernardo Cracknell and Maria Ellis.

In the years following, Emmanuel and Bertha had four sons, Henry, Emmanuel, Bernard and Paul, with only Bernard surviving past childhood. During these years Emmanuel Piette was variously employed as a chauffeur, railway man and auto worker/mechanic.

Emmanuel Piette served fro 3 years with the 21st Essex Fusiliers Militia at some point prior to his enlistment in the First World War. On May 28, 1918 he enlisted at London, Ontario with the Railway Construction Corps, Canadian Railway Troops, being 33 years 7 months of age at the time. On the date of enlistment he was Taken on Strength with the 7th Field Company Canadian Engineers as a Sapper (Private). On June 14, 1918 he was sent to the Railway Construction Depot at Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario and was appointed Provisional Corporal on July 9, 1918.

He embarked from Quebec City for overseas duty September 26, 1918 on HMS Huntsend and disembarked as part of the 173rd Draft, at Devonport, England on October 12, 1918. In England he was stationed at Canadian Railway Troop Depot, Purfleet, where he reverted to the rank of Sapper.

On January 19, 1919 he was moved to Rhyl, England and was appointed Acting Corporal. He was Taken on Strength with the Canadian War Graves Detachment (CWGD) at Rhyl on May 16, 1919. He was appointed Acting Sergeant at London, England on May 18, 1919.

He embarked for Canada from Liverpool, England August 16, 1919 on the S.S. Belgic and was discharged at Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 31, 1919 as medically unfit for General Service. He was awarded Service Badge Class "A" No. 303019 for service at the front and the British War Medal for his services in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Having been divorced Sometime during or shortly after his military service he married Beatrice Millen (née Eastwood), widow of Pte. Wilfrid Millen, who died August 10, 1918. She was born September 5, 1896 at Beckenham, England the daughter of George Eastwood and Amy Mowbray Graves. The couple was married at Inspector Street Presbyterian Church in Montreal, Quebec on February 14, 1920.

In the ensuing years they had three daughters, Audrey, Juliette and Norma. Living in Montreal until September 1934, they moved to Windsor, Ontario where Sgt. Piette died on June 28, 1935.

His widow Beatrice married Newell Bruce in the late 1940s and passed away in Windsor, Ontario on June 30, 1956.

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