Message from Reverend Dr Tom Wilson

I am working on a book about the Allied Chaplains killed in NW Europe in World War 2. Revd Joseph RAR Dalcourt was one of them. He died on February 28, 1945. I have lots of information about his military service and his death, but have very little about his life before entering the Canadian Chaplains Service. I do know he was ordained a priest in Trois-Rivieres in July 1937 and served in the parish of the Holy Sacrament in that community. However, beyond his parents, and siblings names, I have not been able to locate anything else. Can you tell me anything about his growing, up, schools attended, call to ordained ministry etc? Many thanks for your help.

Best regards,

Revd Dr Tom Wilson.

I had written about Chaplain Dalcourt on Souvenirs de guerre, the French version of Lest We Forget in 2014 following an email exchange with Mario Allard. He had this picture.

 

Dalcourt_1

Collection Mario Allard

And this…

8 March 1945…

lettre_décès_Dalcourt

Collection Mario Allard

Mario had other information, but he wanted to get the family’s approval before I mentioned it. He never came back to me.

On the other hand, a reader had sent me this.

Aumonier Valcourt

I had been curious and asked her the date of his death.

The Battle of Hollen took place on February 26, 1945. He died the next day, February 27, according to the GESTE DU RÉGIMENT DE LA CHAUDIÈRE, written by the MAJORS ARMAND ROSS AND MICHEL GAUVIN and written before September 3, 1945.

On the Canadian Virtual War Memorial site we find the following….

In memory of the
Honorary Major
Joseph Rémi Archibald Dalcourt
died on February 28, 1945

Military service:

Force: Army

Unit: Canadian Chaplaincy Service

Additional information:

Cemetery :

GROESBEEK CANADIAN WAR CIMETIERE, Netherlands

Information about the burial:

IX. E. 14.

A reader sent me this testimony….

Even though the fighting was still raging, the chaplains had the sad mandate to bury the dead with full military honours. Even then, the activity seemed confusing, with Honorary Major C.W. McCarney of the 3rd Division complaining that too many chaplains were in the cemeteries while the wounded continued to flock to the hospitals. But this was a simple administrative matter, which was promptly resolved. Other situations were more personal, more delicate.

On February 28, “the sad news of the death of Father Dalcourt was heard at 1:00 p. m. As he was collecting the fallen men, the vehicle in which he was standing struck a mine laid by the enemy. The chaplain and his driver died instantly.”

Source (page 21)

Further reading suggested by my reader,

On page 20, we talk about Charles Forbes….

http://www.journaladsum.com/ftp/journaux/VOL_35_NO_11_ADSUM_2006_11_08.pdf

And this, when I won’t know what to read anymore…

Chroniques de guerre
1939 – 1945
du Three Rivers Regiment (Tank)
par Charles Prieur

http://www.12rbc.ca/upload/pdf/news/chroniques-de-guerre-28-02-06.pdf

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