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Whatever happened to C Company soldiers Boyle, Provost and Gallants

The men of C Company, 105th Battalion. (From MacNaught History Centre & Archives)
The men of C Company, 105th Battalion. (From MacNaught History Centre & Archives) - Submitted

C Company Project – Newspaper series seeking final resting places of soldiers

EDITOR’S NOTE: MacNaught History Centre & Archives is close to completing the profiles of the men of C Company, 105th Battalion. The 2016 project has extended into 2017 and there are only a few of the soldiers on the C Company list who have eluded the research efforts of staff and key volunteer, Louise Morris. Anyone who might have information on the date and place of death of the men featured in this series is urged to contact the MacNaught History Centre at 75 Spring St., Summerside.

William Herbert Boyle

William Herbert Boyle enlisted as a private in C Company on April 12, 1916. He was just about to turn 17 and, like many others, adjusted his birthdate to make himself 18.

Born in Elmsdale to Bertram Boyle and Jenny MacEwen, he had seven siblings: Minnie May, Ambrose Edmund, Susannah, Sarah (Sadie), Hazel, Jessie Georgina, and Bessie Bertha Ella.

William was discharged from military service on April 30, 1918 and, sometime shortly thereafter, went to the United States, where about 25 per cent of the C Company men settled after the war. He was one of the fortunate ones to have returned from the war with no physical wounds.

In 1926 he married Mary Gertrude Campbell of Rumford Falls, Maine. The couple lived in Maine until at least 1940 and then moved to the Boston area.  Their children were Theresa, James Joseph, Maurice Lawrence and William Herbert, Jr.

William Boyle was listed in a Boston City directory in 1962 with an address in Dorchester, Mass. After that date, we have no information concerning his death and burial. His wife, Mary, died in Quincy, Mass. in 1983. Any help in providing a date and place of death would be appreciated.

George Provost

George Provost, born July 10, 1894, in Tignish, was baptized as George Qubit, the son of J. Frederic Qubit and Philomene/Minnie Provost. His brother, Ernest, was baptized with the surname Cubat, and other derivatives of the name of their father, who was from England, include Kubat, Kubit, Cubit, and Qubat.

Their mother’s father was described in census records as African, making George one of three men of African descent who served in C Company of the 105th Battalion, the other two being his cousins, John and Joseph Provost, also born in Tignish.

George enlisted as George Cubit Provost on June 21, 1916, at Summerside, giving his place of residence as East Bideford, P.E.I. He went through the training in Summerside, but when he reached Valcartier, Que., he was found to be medically unfit due to a tumor on his upper right leg and was discharged on June 21, 1916.

In the 1921 Census, he was living in East Bideford with his mother and grandmother, Bella, all three of them under the name Provost. We have no record of him after that date, so it is not known whether he married and had children or when or where he died.

Peter Gallant and James Gallant

Peter Gallant and his son James Gallant, both born in Tignish, enlisted in the 105th Battalion in the spring of 1916, each using Grigg as a middle name, presumably to differentiate themselves as son and grandson of Gregory (or Gregoire) Gallant.

Peter (born in 1869) was married to Mary Arsenault and together they had five children in this order: James (born in 1895), Joseph Andrew, Mary Catherine, Mary Eliza, and Edward (born in 1907).

He would have been one of the oldest men to enlist in the 105th Battalion and was found medically unfit to remain in service, being discharged June 21, 1916.

The 1921 Census indicates that he and his wife, and youngest son Edward, moved to Nelson, N.B.

His son, James Gallant, served overseas until Aug. 17, 1919. A note in his military service file states he was “illegally absent” on that date. He was officially struck off strength on Dec. 31, 1919.

An online record shows a man of his name marrying a woman named Pollie Stevens in London in 1936. It is possible he spent the rest of his life in England.

The death dates and places of burial for these men are being sought for the completion of their profiles.

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