Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Alexander Decoteau

In memory of
Private
Alexander Decoteau
October 30, 1917

Military Service:

Service Number:
231462
Age:
29
Force:
Army
Unit:
Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)
Division:
49th Battalion

Additional Information:

Born:
November 19, 1887
Enlistment:
April 24, 1916 Edmonton, Alberta

Son of Peter and Mary Decoteau, of Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Commemorated on Page 226 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information:

Cemetery:
PASSCHENDALE NEW BRITISH CEMETERY , Belgium
Grave Reference:
XI. A. 28.
Location:
Passchendaele (Passendale) New British Cemetery lies 10.5 Kms north-east of Ieper town centre on the S'Graventafelstraat, a road leading from St Jan to Passendale. Two roads connect Ieper town centre onto the Zonnebeekseweg; the Torhoutstraat leads from the market square onto a small roundabout. At the roundabout the first right turn is Basculestraat. At the end of Basculestraat, there is a crossroads and Zonnebeekseweg is the turning to the left. 7 Kms along the Zonnebeekseweg, in the village of Zonnebeke, lies the left hand turning onto the Langemarkstraat (further on this street name changes to Zonnebekestraat). 2 Kms along this road, and after passing Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, lies the right hand turning onto the 'S Graventafelstraat. 4 Kms along the 'S Graventafelstraat, and after passing the New Zealand Memorial, lies the cemetery on the left hand side of the road.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Photo of Alexander Decoteau – When Alex Decoteau joined the Edmonton Police department in 1911, he became the first Native police officer in Canada. Although he would eventually rise to the rank of sergeant, and also hold the distinction of being the country's first motorcycle policeman, Decoteau is probably remembered less for his law enforcement career than for his athletic prowess.  Decoteau was a distance runner who won local [Edmonton] races with such regularity, some organizers thought it simpler to award him their trophies permanently. He was the provincial champion in the half-mile, one-mile, two-mile, three-mile, five-mile, and ten-mile events, once winning four of them in a single day. And at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Decoteau stood out as the only Albertan chosen for Canada's Olympic team. In April of 1916, Alex Decoteau enlisted in the Canadian Army. Eighteen months later, he was killed in action at the battle of Passchendaele. He was not yet thirty years old.  In 1967, Alex Decoteau was named to the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame.
Jo-Anne Christensen and Dennis Shappka. An Edmonton Album: Glimpses of the Way We Were. Toronto: Hounslow Press, 1999, p. 54
  • Photo 2 of Alexander Decoteau – Alexander Decoteau in his Shamrock Athletic Club vest (c. 1912)
  • Attestation paper
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • Grave Marker – Photo of grave marker
courtesy of Wilf Schofield, England.
  • Grave Marker – Passchendaele New British Cemetery … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Entrance – Passchendaele New British Cemetery … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Cemetery – Passchendaele New British Cemetery … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Essay (Page 1)
  • Essay (Page 2)
  • Presentation in front of grave on April 10, 2017
  • Presentation in front of grave on November 12, 2017 – Teghan Angulalik making a presentation at Alex Decoteau's grave at a special ceremony at Passchendaele New British Cemetery on Sunday, November 12, 2017.
Credit:
VAC photo

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