Gilbert Dionne signatureOn this day in 1916 Gilbert Dionne died in No. 12 Canadian General Hospital in Bramshott, England nine hours after an operation to repair a perforated duodenal ulcer. He had made an army will five weeks before his death, just before he left Canada, in which he left all his possessions to his wife, Evelyn.

Gilbert Dionne's will, from his service record at Library and Archives Canada

Gilbert Dionne’s will, from his service record at Library and Archives Canada

In addition to his will, Dionne’s service file at Library and Archives Canada also contains a description of his funeral, signed by Lieutenant Vincent James Lynch on behalf of the commanding officer of the 157th Battalion:

Description of the funeral of Gilbert Dionne

Funeral: The funeral of the deceased took place from the Hospital Morgue at 2.00 p.m. the 20th. six of his own friends acted as pall-bearers, firing party from his own platoon, and the whole of “C” Company, Officers and other ranks, and three Staff Officers formed an escort in taking the remains to the Cemetry. He was buried in the corner of a little enclosure of ground about the Convent, near Grayshott.

Two Roman Catholic Chaplains conducted the burial service, and a little white wooden cross with name, rank, number and Battalion marks the grave.

Later, the wooden cross described by Lieutenant Lynch was replaced by a War Graves Commission headstone in the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Grayshott, Hampshire, England.

Photo courtesy of Findagrave.com (uploaded by Don Knibbs)

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