Frank Aurelien (Adrien) Desautels

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Jul 10, 1888

Born at Montreal Quebec to Alphones and Almire Desautels


Aug 8, 1915

Attested into the 59th Battalion at the Barriefield Camp, Kingston Ontario 

Ø      Number 455230

Ø      Next of kin given as Alphones Desautels, father, of Nort Viau, Laval des Rapides, Montreal Quebec

Ø      Previous occupation given as Labourer

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø      Assigned to “B” Company 

The Battalion trained at the Barriefield Camp, Kingston


Oct 19, 1915

Admitted to the Barriefield Camp Hospital diagnosed with a Hernia


Oct 22, 1915

Transferred to the Kingston Military Hospital


Nov 4, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days detention and forfeits 5 days pay.  The reason for this is not recorded in the file


Nov 18, 1915

Transferred to the Queen St Military Hospital, Kingston 

The file is unclear as to whether he served his detention in hospital or not.  It is also not recorded when he was discharged from hospital


Feb 28, 1916

Awarded a fine of 5 days pay.  The reason for this is not recorded in the file


Mar 28, 1916

Fined $6.00 for Drunkenness


Apr 1, 1916

Embarked the RMS Olympic at Halifax Nova Scotia


Apr 11, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to the Caesar’s Camp


Apr 12, 1916

Awarded 14 days CB (Confined to Barracks) for using abusive language to an NCO


Apr 13, 1916

Sentenced to 14 days CB (Confined to Barracks) for using obscene language


Apr 16, 1916

Absent from the Defaulter’s Roll Call and was discovered drunk in the barracks.  For this he was awarded 3 days Field Punishment #2


Jun 19, 1916

Placed under arrest for “striking his Superior Officer in the execution of his duties” at the Caesars Camp. 


Jul 3, 1916

Sentenced to 112 days in Detention With Hard Labour by District Court Martial


Jul 6, 1916

Pte Desautels was absorbed into the 39th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling, near Hythe, Kent


Jul 7, 1916

The sentence was promulgated and he was taken to the Detention Centre


Sep 10, 1916

Posted to the 21st Battalion and released from Detention in order to proceed to France


Sep 11, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre as part of a reinforcement draft of 48 Other Ranks and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Oct 1, 1916

Left the CBD for the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Oct 4, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at Hersin


Oct 5, 1916

Left the 2nd Entrenching Battalion with 45 other reinforcements destined for the 21st Battalion


Oct 6, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion who had just moved into billets at Bouzencourt 

The “Superior Officer” that Pte Desautels assaulted in June was Lance Corporal William Gordon 454640, who joined the 21st Battalion in September.  Imagine his surprise when Pte Desautels showed up in the Battalion in October!


Nov 25, 1916

Found to be drunk on duty at 3.00 pm


Nov 26, 1916

Sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment #1 for being drunk the previous day


Apr 9, 1917

Pte Desautels was killed during the advance on Vimy Ridge  

Because his body was either never found, or if so, was never identified, he is commemorated on the Vimy Ridge Memorial

Post war, the following were sent to his mother, Mrs E Desautels, at Laval Quebec 

British War Medal

Victory Medal

Memorial Cross 

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Mr A Desautels, at the same address 

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