Come Laliberté

Portrait of Côme Laliberté
 

Côme Laliberté (1893-1916) was born on March 24, 1893, in Lotbinière County, Québec. He was living in Montreal when he enlisted with the 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion on March 6, 1915. On March 3, 1915, while still in Quebec, he was disciplined due to drunkenness and transferred to a reserve battalion. After arriving in England, he committed further breaches of military discipline, including drunkenness and being absent without leave. Then at the front in Étaples, France, on October 30, 1915, he received a gunshot wound to the head and was hospitalized for six weeks. After rejoining his battalion in January 1916, he again disappeared without permission. This time the punishment was more severe. He was court martialed and found guilty of desertion. In keeping with military discipline at the time, Laliberté was sentenced to death. He was executed on August 4, 1916, and buried in Poperinghe New Military Cometary in Belgium.

Service Record Details

Attestation Papers
 

Date of Birth: March 24, 1893

Date of Attestation: March 6, 1915

Age at Enlistment: 21 years, 11 months

Prior Military Service: Three years with 65th Regiment

Height: 5 feet, 4 1/2 inches

Weight: Not indicated

Description: Medium complexion, brown eyes, black hair. Roman Catholic. Two vaccinations right arm, one birth mark under left breast.

Home Address: Not indicated

Trade: Labourer

Married: No

Details of Family: Father, Luger, and mother, Eugenie, living at 2272 Notre Dame West, Montreal, Quebec.

Next of Kin: Mrs. E. Laliberté—Mother

Theatre of War: England, France

Casualties / Medical History

  • August 23, 1915 – Laliberté is given an anti-typhoid inoculation. (Page 21)
  • October to December 1915 – On October 30, 1915, he receives a gunshot wound to the left side of his head and is diagnosed with a concussion. He is treated for shock at the No. 1 Canadian Field Ambulance and subsequently admitted to the No. 23 General Hospital, where he remains until December 12. (Pages 22–24)
  • August 4, 1916 – He is shot and killed for desertion. (Pages 31 and 46)
Attestation Papers
 

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • January to February 1915 – He is given several fines totalling $14. (Page 32)
  • March 3, 1915 – He is disciplined due to drunkenness in St. Johns, Quebec. (Page 10)
  • June to August 1915 – On June 29, 1915, at Shorncliffe Army Camp in England, he is fined $1 and confined to his barracks for 14 days due for drunkenness. In August he forfeits several days’ pay. His pay is then withheld for three months. (Page 8)
  • January 15, 1916 – He is given seven days’ Field Punishment No. 1 for “Being out of Bounds” and “Being in town without a pass.” (Page 13)
  • August 3, 1916 – In a handwritten will he bequeaths all of his property and effects to his mother, Madame Eugenie Laliberté of 220 Rue Therien in Montreal. (Page 5)
  • August 12, 1916 – There is a note that he was killed in action on August 4, 1916. A later note corrects that error: “Entry of ‘Killed in Action’ cancelled. Sentenced to death + shot for Deserting his Majesty’s Service.” (Page 9)
  • August 10, 1916 – A lengthy note documents his confinement while awaiting trial for desertion. It mentions that “The Court recommends the accused to mercy on account of ‘Previous good record in the trenches.’” (Page 15)

The London Gazette

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Military Medals Honours and Awards

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Census Records

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