PRIVATE ALBERT LARIVIERE
6TH NOVEMBER 1917 AGE 21
BURIED: TRACK X CEMETERY, ST JAN, BELGIUM
The French translates as, "His death has left a deep wound in our hearts". Sometimes relatives composed inscriptions in French because they wanted local people to be able to understand what they said. Others wrote in French because that was the language they spoke. Albert Lariviere's family were French speakers who came from Sainte Rosa du Lac, a French settlement in Manitoba.
Recruitment figures show that French-speaking Canadians were less likely to volunteer in what they saw as Britain's war than those who spoke English. This despite the fact that parts of France were actually occupied by the Germans. Some French-speaking Canadians had been in the country for more than a century; they were Canadians whose connection to France was in the distant past. The war in Europe was nothing to them - and nor was the British Empire. Many English speakers however were more recent arrivals. To them the Empire was worth fighting for, the motherland was in danger and that danger threatened them all.
Lariviere enlisted and served in the 16th Canadian Infantry Battalion, known as the Canadian Scottish. The war diary described events on 6 November:
In Billets. Working parties of 50 men furnished. No parades. 1st Brigade attacked this morning and carried all objectives. Weather wet. Enemy shelling area occasionally. Casualties: - 3 O.R's killed; 11 wounded; 1 accidentally wounded; 1 missing.
Albert Lariviere is buried in Track X Cemetery with two other members of the 16th Battalion, both also killed on 6 November 1917. Although not mentioned by name, he must have been one of the '3 O.R's killed' mentioned in the diary and perhaps they were part of the working party.