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Remembering World War II
Name: Alfred Hubert Lorenzo Poirier Rank: Lieutenant Service Number: Officer Service: Royal Canadian Regiment, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps Awards: 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Defense Medal, War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CSSM) & Clasp Date of Birth: March 27, 1918 Place of Birth: West Arichat, Richmond County, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: September 5, 1942 Place of Enlistment: Valcartier, Quebec (Active Service) Age at Enlistment: 24 Address at Enlistment: Halifax, Nova Scotia Height: 5 feet, 7 ½ inches Complexion: Dark Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Black, brown Marital Status: Single Next of Kin: Joseph Hubert Poirier (Father) Occupation: Barrister / lawyer Date of Death: October 17, 1944 Age: 26 Cemetery: Cesena War Cemetery, Italy Grave: Plot 3, Row B, Grave 1 Commemorated on Page 418 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on September 5th Alfred Hubert Lorenzo Poirier was the son of Sabine Rose (Leblanc) Poirier (1885-1967) and Joseph Hubert Poirier (1884-1947). His parents were married in Mulgrave, Guysborough Co., NS on November 21, 1915. Alfred’s father was a retail merchant, and later a sheriff in West Arichat. His mother was a teacher. Alfred’s uncle (his father’s brother) served Canada in the First World War. Clifford (Cleophas) Poirier (1897-1974) enlisted June 6, 1918, (Service No. 3188033), and served with the 1st Depot Battalion of the Nova Scotia Regiment, and the 6th Battalion of Canadian Garrison Regiment until February 27, 1919. Alfred was the second oldest child of his family of seven children - Jean ‘John’ Alexis Poirier (1916-1918), Rita Poirier (1919-), Estelle Marie (Poirier) Robb (1921-2012), Laure Marie (Poirier) Langley (1923-1984), Germaine Marie (Poirier) Madden (1927-2010), and Marie Aline Jeanette Poirier (1925-1927). After the 11th Grade, Alfred attended Collège Saint Anne (now Université Sainte-Anne) in Church Point (Pointe-de-l’Église) in Clare, Digby County, NS, for a year and then Dalhousie University in Halifax, studying to be a lawyer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees prior to enlisting for active service in the Second World War. Prior to Active Service enlistment in September 1942, Alfred had previous enlisted pre-war in the Non- Permanent Active Militia (NPAM) on October 11, 1938 in Halifax, NS, with the Dalhousie Canadian Officer’s Training Corps – C.O.T.C. (and previously in 1937 as a Cadet with the St. Francis Xavier C.O.T.C.). Alfred completed officer training at the Officer Training Centre in Brockville, Ontario from August 1 to October 24, 1941. Alfred worked for a year as an article clerk in Lower Courts at Halifax, was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar May 14, 1942. It was noted at enlistment that his hobbies included literacy, public speaking and debating societies, and hockey. Later in the war, Alfred also had a cribbage board among his possessions in Italy. He initially enlisted with the Royal 22nd Regiment before transferring to the Royal Canadian Regiment. Alfred was given embarkation leave August 6 to 13, 1943, prior to transferring to Europe. He departed Canada on August 25, 1943, and disembarked in the United Kingdom on September 1, 1943. Prior to Alfred’s arrival in the European theatre of war, on September 3, 1943, the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. The RCR fought in several battles of the Italian campaign, including key engagements in the Moro River valley near Ortona in Dec 1943. During 1944, the regiment took part the Battle of Monte Cassino in attacks on German defensive lines called the Hitler Line and later the Gothic Line. Alfred embarked in the UK May 3 and disembarked May 16, 1944 in the Mediterranean Theatre. Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Apennine mountains, the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the Autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector. Because some Allied divisions were transferred to support the new offensive in France, the Germans dug in on a number of key defensive positions and the advance stalled as winter set in. Alfred was assigned to the Royal Canadian Regiment September 10, 1944, and was killed in action at the age of 26 on October 17, 1944, in Italy during the advance from Rimini to Forli and beyond in September- November 1944, an advance across one flooded river after another in atrocious autumn weather. Lieutenant Alfred Hubert Lorenzo Poirier was interred at the Cesena War Cemetery in the Cesena Commune, Forli Province, in Italy. He rests in Plot 3, Row B, Grave 1. Cesena was established in November 1944, and burials were brought in from the surrounding battlefields. Most of those buried in this cemetery died during the advance from Rimini to Forli and beyond in September- November 1944. There are 773 soldiers buried there from Canada and other Commonwealth countries.
Alfred Hubert Lorenze Poirier
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