George De Briere

Jul 12, 1895

Born at Copenhagen, Denmark


Mar 27, 1918

Drafted under the MSA and attested at Kingston Ontario into the 4th Draft of the 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment 

Ø      Number 3057565
Ø      Next of kin given as Frederick DeBriere (father) of 65 Montgomery St., Montreal Quebec
Ø      Occupation given as “Electrician”
Ø      Religion given as “Roman Catholic”


Mar 27, 1918

Will made out leaving entire estate to Mrs Louise DeBriere (mother) of 65 Montgomery St., Montreal Quebec


Apr 17, 1918

Embarked HMT Toloa  


Apr 28, 1918

Disembarked the SS Telia in England and TOS the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


May 1, 1918

Pay assignment of $15 per month given to Mrs. Louise DeBriere, mother


Sep 12, 1918

Posted to the 21st Battalion and TOS in the field


Sep 13, 1918

Admitted to No 25 Canadian General Hospital, Hardelot, with Scabies


Oct 18, 1918

Transferred to 1st Convalescent Hospital at Boulogne


Nov 17, 1918

Discharged to Base


Nov 18, 1918

Arrived at Canadian Infantry Base Detail


Nov 23, 1918

Sent to Canadian Corps Rein Camp


Jan 10, 1919

On command of Canadian Concentration Camp (CCC) at CC Rein C


Apr 3, 1919

SOS 21st Battalion and sent to Canadian Records List at Canadian Embarkation Camp


May 11, 1919

Taken into custody and held for Court Martial

(see Court Martial File below)

May 12, 1919

Admitted to No 2 General Hospital, Havre, with a gun shot wound to right arm – termed accidental


May 16, 1919

Transferred to No 40 Stationary Hospital, Harfleur


May 27, 1919

Discharged from hospital


Jun 27, 1919

Court Martial held

sentenced to 35 days Field Punishment No 2


Jul 11, 1919

Proceeded to Witley England


Jul 22, 1919

Embarked RMS Scotian at Liverpool England


Jul 23, 1919

TOS Quebec Depot Clearing Services Command


Jul 26, 1919

SOS to Canada


Aug 1, 1919

Pay assignment stopped


Aug 3, 1919

Disembarked in Canada


Aug 4, 1919

SOS on being discharged at Quebec city, Quebec

Proposed address on discharge

515 Delormier Ave, Montreal Quebec



There is a medals card in the file but there was no entry in the record of his medals being sent to him.  There is no mention of any medals being forfeited. 

It is also of note that he only spent a matter of hours with the battalion in the field.  According to the War Diary, a draft of replacements was received on September 12, 1918 and he was sent to hospital the next day, September 13, 1918. 

Also of note, there is no number recorded for a “War Service Badge”, although one page of the file has the stamp for the Class “A” badge, but no number is attached to it.







Library and Archives Canada reference 


De Briere, G.

Regimental Number:





21st Bn






RG150 - Ministry of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, Series 8, File 1064-30-56-112, Microfilm Reel Number T-8695, file access code 90, Finding Aid Number 150-5

 NOTE: The service number recorded in the reference is in error.  The correct service number is 3057565

 The Court Martial was delayed for the reasons listed in a letter to Base Headquarters, Havre, France: 

Ø      Offences were committed on May 11, 1919 and the accused was admitted to hospital
Ø      He was discharged from hospital to custody May 27, 1919
Ø      Case was heard and recommended for Court Martial June 2, 1919
Ø      All witnesses were warned to be at the court at 1000 hours, June 4, 1919
Ø      Summary of evidence was taken June 4th with exception of 3 French civilians, who did not attend
Ø      Two of those witnesses had gone to sea, while the third (a servant) refused to attend
Ø      On June 15, the prosecutor attended at proprietor’s café to obtain a statement from the servant
Ø      Court convened on June 20, 1919
Ø      The case was not disposed of by noon and the French witnesses refused to return in the afternoon
Ø      The witnesses did appear in the court on June 27th after being pressured by the French authorities and the trial resumed

President of the proceedings

            Major WR Elliston, Suffolk Regiment 

Court Members

            Major PAW Laye, King’s Royal Rifle Corps

            Capt SG Carson MC, Saskatchewan Regiment 

1st Charge:

 Ø      When on active service committing an offence against the property of  an inhabitant of the country (at Havre, on 11.5.19 broke a window value 30 francs) 


o       Not Guilty 


o       Not Guilty 

2nd Charge: 

Ø      When on active service committing an offence against the person of an inhabitant of the country (at Havre on 11.5.19 pointed a revolver at Mons. Jouan) 


o       Not Guilty 


o       Guilty 


o       35 Days Field Punishment Number 2 

3rd Charge 

Ø      When on active service committing a civil offence that is to say, shooting with intent to resist arrest (at Havre, on 11-5-19 when being pursued by French Policemen, shot at Mons Tillier, Gardien de la paix) 


o       Not Guilty 


o       Not Guilty


First Prosecution Witness 

Oscar Tillier, Gardien de la Paix (French policeman) 

He testified that on May 11, 1919, while on duty in Havre, he heard shouts of “stop him” and saw an English soldier running away from a crowd.  He recognized the accused as that soldier.  He tried to arrest him and he ran away.  At one point the accused turned and fired a revolver at him, then proceeded to run again. 

After a further chase of a few moments, the accused stopped and shot at him again.  This time he returned fire, along with other police officer.   He then ran a short distance further, where he was found leaning against a wall, wounded.  A civilian said that he had seen the soldier throw his revolver away. 

On Cross Examination 

He testified that the accused is the same man he saw wounded leaning against the wall.   He also stated that one of the bullets that the accused fired had grazed his cap, but he did not bring that cap to court.

He also testified that he had lost sight of the accused once or twice during the chase.

Second Prosecution Witness 

E. Coltot, Gardien de la Paix (French policeman) 

He testified that on May 5, 1919, he was on duty with Mons. Tillier and heard shouts of “arrest him”, and he saw a crowd running after a soldier.  He stated that he recognized the accused as that soldier.  He tried to arrest him but he ran away.

At one point he stopped, turned and fired a revolver at his comrade, Mons Tillier, and ran away again.  He stopped a second time and fired at us.  Tillier and I fired our revolvers at that time. 

On Cross Examination

 I lost sight of him for a few seconds before we found him leaning against a wall, wounded.  He had no revolver on him.  He did not see the accused get rid of it.  He returned at dawn to search for it, but did not find it.  He also stated that there were no English police involved in the chase.


Third Prosecution Witness 

Maurice Jouan, 9 rue Billot

On Sunday, May 11, 1919, he stated he was having a meal with some of his customers and his servant, in his café, which was closed.  He saw 2 British soldiers attempting to come in and he told his servant to close and lock the door.  The accused pushed the door in my servant’s face.

 He attempted to help the servant lock the door, when the accused broke the glass in the window with his elbow, and tried to get inside again.   He pushed him out again when the accused drew a revolver and pointed it at him.  His friend finally got him to leave and they walked towards the number 2 bridge.  He tried to catch them, but was out of breath and shouted “arrest them”.  He heard 5 or 6 revolver shots, but did not see who fired them.   

He had his window replaced and it cost him 30 Francs.

On Cross Examination

He stated he did not strike the accused, but handled him roughly.  He also stated that the accused drew the revolver from his right side, but could not say whether from a coat or pants pocket.

 He stated he was about 60 yards behind the accused in the chase, and never saw the French police until they were holding the accused.  He also stated that he did not see any other British soldier, nor did he see the police strike the accused.


Fourth Prosecution Witness 

(Name not decipherable from document but was identified as the servant of the café owner) 

He stated that he was having dinner with Mons. Jouan in his café on the evening of May 11, 1919.  He repeated the testimony of the café owner, and identified the accused as one of the two soldiers involved in the incident. 

On Cross Examination

 He confirmed that the accused pointed a revolver at them, but did not fire it.  He also stated that it was the accused who broke the window with his elbow, not the other soldier.

 The Prosecution Closed


For the defence 

The Accused Took The Stand 

He stated that on May 11, 1919, he went out to meet a friend at a café, but he was not there, his wife was with him.  She left and he met a soldier that he did not know.

 They decided to have a drink and came to a café with the door open and they entered.  The proprietor told us to get out in a rough manner.  The accused stated that he asked the proprietor to calm down and he slammed the door shut causing the window to break, at which point he stated he walked away. 

The proprietor came out and started chasing them.  As he was running away, he heard shots fired but did not know which direction they came from.  I heard shouts of “murder”, and when he looked around, his friend had disappeared.  The firing kept up and he states he was hit in the shoulder. 

At that point he states he was arrested.  He states that he did not point a revolver at anyone because he had no revolver in his possession. 

On Cross Examination 

He stated that the door of the café was open when he first arrived there.  He also stated that he saw no one with a revolver.

He also stated that he was sober on that evening and that he did not know the other soldier, and did not know if he had a revolver or not.  He ran away because he was afraid of being shot.


Second Witness for the Defence

Guerin Germaine 

The witness stated that she had known the accused for about a year, and that she was with him earlier in the day of May 11, 1919, and they had a few drinks together in the afternoon.

She stated that the accused did not have a revolver when they were together.  She also stated that they were to be married as soon as he is able.


 She was not cross examined.


Third Witness for the Defence


Pte P Bowe, No 43910, 17th Wore. (?)


He stated that on May 11, 1919 he saw the accused running towards him.  There were several people running after him, with 2 Gendarmes. I also saw a civilian fire a revolver.  That civilian was Mons Jouan.

He heard about 20 rounds being fired.  It kept up until the accused was wounded. He stated that he stopped a French soldier from hitting the accused, and when he tried to see if the accused had anything in his hands, he had nothing. 

On Cross Examination 

He stated that the chase passed him at a distance of about 100 yards and he caught up to them when they stopped.   

In Mitigation 

            The accused stated that he joined the military in Canada at age of 22 and came to France 16 months earlier.  He asked the court for mercy as he wishes to marry the French girl who is going to have his child as soon as he can.  He also stated that he has been under close arrest for 48 days.

A statement was entered into evidence showing that the accused has had no previous crimes recorded to date. 


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