Paul Sauvé was a Quebec lawyer, WWII veteran and politician. He was the first Quebec Premier to be born in the 20th century.
When Canada entered the Second World War in 1939, Paul Sauvé reported to the Fusiliers Mont-Royal, the regiment to which he belonged as a reserve officer, and served overseas in the Canadian military for the duration of the Second World War, and took part in the Normandy landing. In 1945, he came home from the European front and resumed his official duties with the Quebec government. In 1946, he became the first cabinet minister for Social Welfare and Youth, a ministry just created by the Quebec government.
After the death of Premier and UN leader Maurice Duplessis on September 7, 1959, Sauvé succeeded him in both positions. He also retained and cumulated the position of Minister for Social Welfare and Youth while Premier. Sauvé died in Saint-Eustache while in office on January 2, 1960, of a heart attack after having served as premier for only 112 days.
Paul Sauvé was the one who started what was called later la Révolution tranquille putting Quebec in the modern era.
Sauvé was also one of the many Quebecers who enlisted and go overseas to fight for freedom.
To this day the myth about Quebec participation in WWII still persists.
Someday the true story will emerge.
An estimated 132 000 French Canadians enlisted, some coming from the eastern and western provinces but also from Quebec. 94 000 enlisted in the army, 13 000 in the RCN and 25 000 in the RCAF.
Paul Sauvé and I are related by my mother’s ancestors.