Patrick Riel

Patrick Riel (1876–1916) was a 39-year-old widower who attested in the 8th Battalion in August 1914. He was given Regimental No. 1295, which shows that he was one of the very first people to join up at the outbreak of the war. We can tell that he was illiterate because instead of signing his name on his attestation paper, he marked it with an “X.” Riel was a member of a First Nation in Canada. He came from Maniwaki, Quebec, a town on the Gatineau River north of Ottawa, which adjoins the lands of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, an Algonquin band. Riel was a highly successful sniper on the Western Front before dying in January 1916 from wounds sustained in an artillery attack. He left two daughters. Riel was among the many First Nations people who contributed significantly to Canada's war effort, despite facing discrimination at home. In this respect, Private Riel was doubly significant, being a descendant of the iconic Métis leader Louis Riel, who had been hanged for treason in 1885.

Service Record Details

Attestation paper 1

Date of Birth: March 17, 1876

Date of Attestation: August 27, 1914

Age at Enlistment: 38 years

Prior Military Service: None

Height: 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches


Description: Dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair

Home Address: Maniwaki, Quebec

Trade: None

Married: Widower

Next of Kin: Catherine Riel

Theatre of War: Europe

Casualties/Medical History


Interesting Details from the Service Record

Riel's service record contains his will.

The London Gazette

No mentions found.

Military Medals, Honours and Awards (1812–1969)

No mentions found.

Census Records

No records located.

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