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Remembering World War I Yarmouth Connections
Name: Joseph Jeffrey Saulnier Rank: Lance Corporal Service Number: 2731088, 2098307 Service: Lights Section, 1st Fortress Company, Royal Canadian Engineers Date of Birth: March 9, 1886 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: October 14, 1916 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia Age at Enlistment: 30 Address at Enlistment: Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Height: 5 feet, 6 inches Complexion: Fair Hair Colour: Brown Eye Colour: Blue Occupation: Widower Marital Status: Painter Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Bona Saulnier (Father) at enlistment, Willis Saulnier (Son), Halifax, NS Date of Discharge: February 14, 1919 Age: 32 Date of Death: September 29, 1924 Age: 38 Cemetery: Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Joseph Jeffrey Saulnier was the son of Pierre Bonaventure Saulnier (1853-1929) and Marie Vitaline (Comeau) Saulnier (1860-1910), and the brother of Mercy Elizabeth Saulnier (1896-1913), and Joseph Bonaventure Saulnier (1909-1928). Joseph’s date of birth varies based on the source, recorded as June 15th on some records and the year as birth as 1884, 1886, and 1888. His death certificate lists his birth date as March 9, 1886. Joseph married Hattie Ida Veinot (b. 1886- Sept. 4, 1918) on April 27, 1910, and they had three children, Willis James Saulnier, Irene Marion Saulnier (b. 1910), and Marjorie Hattie Saulnier (b. 1911). In 1911 (from the Census), Joseph is working as a laborer at odd jobs. After his wife died of tuberculosis (TB) in 1918, Joseph married Agnes Mae Rogers (1903-1951) of East Brenton in Yarmouth Co. on December 2, 1919, and they had two sons, Carl Arthur Joseph Saulnier (1920- 2009) and Lawrence Douglas Saulnier (1924-2012), and one daughter Margaret Catherine (Saulnier) Jones (1923-2016). Lawrence also served Canada, in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, including service aboard the Gypsum Empress in 1941. When Joseph Jeffrey Saulnier enlisted during the First World War in October 1916, he brought prior experience from his service in the Militia. He had previously served with the 29th Battery of the Field Artillery in Yarmouth and had spent two years and two months with the Royal Canadian Engineers, beginning from August 9, 1914. Joseph spent almost 2 years in Saint Lucia in the British West Indies. In March and April 1915, detachments of the Royal Canadian Artillery and the Canadian Garrison Artillery landed in Saint Lucia, a force of nine officers and 105 other ranks. The contingent manned the artillery installed to protect Castries Harbor, the Castries coaling station, and the Royal Navy Station in the southern Caribbean. Joseph himself joined the Royal Canadian Engineers Saint Lucia Detachment in St. Lucia beginning in September/October 1916, and returning to Canada in July/August 1918. He was admitted to the Camp Hill Military Hospital in Halifax, NS on December 17, 1918, with pulmonary TB which he contracted while in St. Lucia. Discharged from hospital a full year later on February 13th, he was discharged from the military as medically unfit for further service on February 14, 1919, in Halifax. His discharge from hospital notes that at discharge his condition was unimproved, and he was to be transferred to the sanitorium in Kentville, Kings Co., NS. He was in hospital July 10, 1923, until his death on September 29, 1924, in Yarmouth, NS, with the doctor noting that he had been ill for 6 years. Joseph died of illness in Yarmouth, on September 29, 1924, at the age of 38. Medical files and key notes within the documentation record that contracted he contracted TB whilst in service to the country and continued to suffer from it post-war, resulting in his death. His death is attributable to his military service. His ‘Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty), 1914-1948’ record also confirms his death was attributable to service. Joseph Jeffrey Saulnier is interred at the Our Lady of Calvary Roman Catholic Cemetery in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Joseph Jeffrey Saulnier
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Sources: findagrave Library and Archives Canada