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.
Joseph B. DesRoches
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – Joseph DesRoches, son of Jean M. (John) and Marguerite DesRoches of Palmer Road, was baptized Jean Benoit following his birth on March 18, 1898.
His father was married twice, the children of the second marriage being Joseph Eric, Mary Barbara, Mary Magdalen, Lucy Ann, Mary Obeline, Edward, Victorine, and Joseph, who was the youngest.
From his home in Alma, he attended a recruitment rally in Alberton in January 1916 and volunteered for service along with four others from the area. He went overseas with his regiment and served in the 26th Battalion in France, receiving lacerations to his left leg from barbed wire while in Arras in March 1918.
In the fall of that year he was lucky to recover from severe influenza, which in 1918 was known as the Spanish Flu and became a worldwide pandemic.
Pte. DesRoches returned to Canada in January 1919 via the ship Olympic to Halifax.
In 1921, the census records him as a private in the army in Halifax, N.S.
He may have returned to P.E.I. later because one source indicates he married in Tignish in 1954. There are variations in the spelling of his surname and he may have used the given name Benoit.