Pte Sylvio Emile
He was conscripted in early January 1918 to the First Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment in Kingston. At the time, the family lived in Ottawa and Sylvio was a photographer. He was "taken on strength" with the 21st battalion on August 9, 1918, in the thick of the Amiens campaign.
The documentation tells us that he was wounded on October 13, 1918, while the battalion was billeted in Eswars about 1.5 kilometres to the north-east of Cambrai.
Sylvio Mousseau did not discuss his war experiences much. The family recollection of the events surrounding him earning a Military Medal is somewhat sketchy, as it comes from a then young child overhearing a conversation between her mother and an aunt.
During a German attack on a high ground, Sylvio Mousseau found
himself "alone" in his area. The others where either dead or wounded.
He took over a weapon, probably a machine gun, and subjected the assailants to
intense fire, keeping them from overrunning his position, possibly a machine gun battery.
He was wounded in the leg, ankle and foot by shrapnel and suffered from gas
exposure. It is unknown if the wounds happened before or during his desperate
These recollections are not incompatible with a battle the 21st battalion fought on October 11, 1918, at a crest near Iwuy, two days before the documented date we have for Sylvio being wounded.
He was “struck off strength” from the battalion on the 26 October, 1918.
After the war, he was unable to do strenuous physical work
because of his damaged lungs. He also suffered from lapses of concentration, attributed to
damage suffered from gas exposure. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life.
He initially had various jobs and occasionally lived with family members.
Eventually he became a federal farms inspector and his situation
improved. He lived in a large and nice apartment on Wellington Street in Ottawa,
where he accommodated many nieces and nephews from other villages as they moved to Ottawa.
He introduced them to city life, with concerts and the night life. He chose to never
Speaking to two family members who knew him, he is best described as gentle, kind and soft-spoken. He died in a veteran’s hospital in Ottawa on an unknown date.
Story and photos above submited by Pascal Lanthier
War diary of the 21st Battalion, 2nd Canadian Machine Gun Corps,
4th Canadian Infantry Brigade.
Attestation Papers of Sylvio Mousseau.
Recollection of a niece and a grand-niece of Sylvio Mousseau.
Thanks to Steve Nichol for supplying the dates of frontline service for private Mousseau.
Below is taken from Emile Mousseau's service recored