Frank Desermeau

Sep 11, 1879

Born in Mattawa, Ontario to Joseph and Annie (nee O’Brien) Desermeau


Feb 11, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Number 59257 (temporary number 1235)

Ø  Next of kin given as Joseph Desermeau, father, Mattawa, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Lumberman

o   Later noted as Construction Foreman

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Posted to the battalion’s Base Unit

Frank’s brother, Albert Desermeau attested into the same day  

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


Apr 22, 1916

While in the vicinity of Voormezeele, Belgium, the 21st Battalion came under attack by an artillery barrage and Private Desermeau received a shrapnel wound to his left forearm.  He was evacuated to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance for first aid before being transported to the No. 10 Casualty Clearing Station for treatment.  Because of the severity of the wound, he was quickly loaded onto the No. 15 Ambulance Train for transportation to be admitted to the No. 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne, France


May 6, 1916

Transferred to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot to continue his recovery


May 16, 1916

Discharged to light duties with the base details in Boulogne


May 21, 1916

Transferred to the Canadian Base Depot in the Rouelles Camp, Havre


Jun 8, 1916

After leaving the base depot, Frank Desermeau rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets in Dickebusch, Belgium


Jul 4, 1916

Private Frank Desermeau was buried by the explosion of a nearby artillery shell and was suffering from a concussion when he was dug out.  He was evacuated to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance for first aid then transported to the No. 4 Canadian Field Ambulance.


Jul 8, 1916

Transferred to the 2nd Divisional Rest Station to recover from his concussion


Jul 14, 1916

Transferred to the NMCCS (North Midlands Casualty Clearing Station) at Mont des Cats with a diagnosis that reads Myalgia


Jul 23, 1916

Discharged from the casualty clearing station and rejoined the 21st Battalion in the front line trenches near Verbrande Molen, Belgium


Jan 21, 1917

Granted 10 days leave


Feb 7, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Feb 11, 1917

Awarded the Good Conduct Badge


Apr 29, 1917

Appointed to the rank of Acting Corporal without pay


Sep 12, 1917

Granted 10 days leave


Sep 24, 1917

Rejoined the battalion from leave


Sep 25, 1917

Reverted to the rank of Private


Mar 5, 1918

Reported to be absent from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  It is noteworthy that the battalion was occupying the front line trenches west of Lens, France at the time


Mar 8, 1918

Sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment No. 1 and forfeited his Good Conduct Badge for his absence


May 1, 1918

Admitted to the No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance with a diagnosis that reads Debility.  He was transferred the same day, first to the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance then to the nearby casualty clearing station


May 4, 1918

Transferred to the No. 6 Stationary Hospital


May 7, 1918

Transferred via an ambulance train and admitted to the No. 10 General Hospital in Rouen, France


May 18, 1918

Transferred to the No. 2 Convalescent Depot


May 21, 1918

Discharged to the Base Details


May 24, 1918

Proceeded to the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples


Jul 3, 1918

His medical classification was changed to read B1, meaning that he was not fit for combat duty and he was then transferred to the Canadian Labour Pool


Jul 16, 1918

After leaving the base depot, he joined the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp in Aubin St. Vaast and was transferred to the CASC (Canadian Army Service Corps) Pool


Nov 2, 1918

Transferred to the 2nd Canadian Division Train


Dec 13, 1918

Transferred to the CASCD (Canadian Army Service Corps Depot) in the Bordon Camp, England


Dec 27, 1918

Attached to Military District No. 2 “C” Wing, Kinmel Park, Rhyl, pending return to Canada


Jan 11, 1919

Embarked the SS Olympic in Southampton



Jan 17, 1919

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Toronto, Ontario

Taken On Strength Military District No. 2 Depot, Toronto, Ontario and posted to the Casualty Company


Jan 21, 1919

Granted leave until February 7, 1919


Feb 8, 1919

Medical Report at the Exhibition Camp notes

Ø  Patient complains of restlessness and poor sleeping

Ø  Lacks confidence in himself

Ø  Suffers from poor memory

Ø  Knee jerks very active

Ø  Suffers from Hallux Valgus in both feet causing pain when he walks

Ø  Admits to chronic alcoholism to the extent of mild hallucinations

Ø  Would occasionally drink until all his money is gone

Ø  Suffers from mild Neurasthenia, 10% due to service

Ø  Should improve in 6 months


Feb 14, 1919

Discharged from the CEF in Toronto, Ontario

Ø  Rank on discharge Private

Ø  War Service Badge Class “A” issued

Ø  Proposed residence on discharge Mattawa, Ontario

Following his discharge, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Box 163 Timiskaming, Quebec


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