Private Henri Richard

A Proud Canadian

Henri and his family just prior to his departure for Europe.
(Click on the photo for a larger version)

Henri was born on his family's homestead near Ste. Genevieve, Manitoba. He was the first born to Henri and Elisabeth Richard. Henri was also the older brother of six siblings, and he was the twin brother of his brother Roger who died at birth.

Henri was conscripted into the Canadian Army on 11 Feb 1943. But, as the government had dictated at the time, he was only conscripted for "home service" unless he volunteered to go overseas. It must have bothered Henri to be one of the soldiers who had not signed up for overseas service. For Henri this must have been very difficult. It was against his family's wishes for him to go overseas, but he was a proud young man.

As part of his "home service" Henri was assigned to the Winnipeg Grenadiers and tasked to go to Kiska, Alaska to fight the Japanese. Once Henri returned from Kiska he was determined to sign up for overseas service. He got his wish in the Spring of 1944 when he was finally dispatched for Europe. On Aug 8th, 1944 he found himself on a battlefield in France.

Back home in Ste. Genevieve, Henri's father was proud of his son, having served in the Canadian Army himself during the First World War. Henri's mother was understandably worried about him. Both parents held out hope though, because the Germans were on the run. Some optimistic reports said that the war would be over before winter.

But the Germans were not yet defeated. Henri was one of the unlucky many who were killed during this war. On Aug 28th, 1944, just 20 days after he arrived in France, Henri was killed in the Foret de la Londe, near Rouen, France.

Henri's family has missed him dearly over the years. To this day they still find many ways to commemorate his devotion to his family and his country. Through this website, visits to his gravesite and most recently a visit to a peninsula named for him by the Manitoba Government, Henri shall live on as a lesson for us all.