Honorary Captain R.G.E. Crochietiere 

Rev. George Etienne R. Crochietiere was killed at age 39 while serving with the 22 Bn of the Quebec Regiment. Ordained a priest in 1905 at Nicolet Seminary buried in Bailleulmont Cemetery, France. On the grave is written “aumonier catholique Canadian Francais – priez pour lui”

Quote from Rev O Gorman in his account of the work of R.C. chaplains in the Canadian Army in WWI. ” The bravest men were often those who admitted their shrinking from danger. Soldiers were not all equally equipped with nerves of steel. It is of record, on the testimony of his friend and fellow-chaplain, Father Fortier, that the one Canadian priest who was killed at the front, Father Georges Crochetière, never succeeded in overcoming fear of danger. But Father Fortier added in his letter to the dead chaplain’s Bishop, Mgr. Brunault of Nicolet, “Nevertheless he never flinched, and duty was for him sufficient order to be everywhere.” As chaplain of the 22nd battalion, the one entirely Catholic unit in the Corps, he necessarily accompanied them even to the front line of trenches. The battalion was in the line south of Arras in Easter week, 1918. The chaplain met his death the Tuesday after Easter, while in the support trenches, about a thousand yards from the enemy. While he was lying down in a hut used as a dressing-station after attending to some wounded soldiers, he was instantly killed by a shell that fell in their midst. Father E. J. Macdonald of the 4th brigade was called to him. He describes the scene: “The ambulance men, the men of his own battalion, and in fact any who came in contact with him, spoke of him as a kind and real father. It was a sad sight to witness the cruel work of execution of that German shell, but one realized that here was a priest who had died doing a priest’s work, and no more need be said in his praise. One expression, however, was used by many of his boys, and may serve to show us as priests, how our work is appreciated if done properly. ‘He was a real father to us. He worked for us and we never had to go without Mass and the Sacraments.’” There are two photos of Rev Crochetiere at the Canadian Virtual memorial . One shows him when first enlisted in August 1915, the second a memorial card published in 1918. They bear testament to the toll of life at the front.