Louis Daem - Lest We Forget

Louis Daem was born October 11, 1893 in Revelstoke, the son of Camiel D’Haem (Daem) and Johanna Maria (Goeman) Daem, both born in Belgium. He had nine siblings: Joseph, born 1880, Maria Josephina, who died in infancy, twins Edmond and Philimon, born 1883, Albert, born 1885, Antoinette, born 1887, Amedes, born 1889, Marie Josephine, born 1897, and Charles, who died in infancy. 

 An interesting incident involving the nephew of Louis Daem occurred before his enlistment, as chronicled in the Revelstoke Mail-Herald of January 20, 1915:

“Joris Daem, the three year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Daem, who was in Belgium when the war broke out and of whom all trace was lost, arrived in Revelstoke on Saturday night in charge of his aunt Miss Mary Daem. They were in Alost until two months after the war broke out when they obtained passports and Miss Daem walked from Alost to Holland, a 12 hour tramp, carrying the little boy all the way. From Holland they took a boat to England and came to Canada on the Missanalue.”

Louis Daem signed his enlistment papers January 14, 1916 at Vancouver, B.C. His regimental number was 760929. He was 22 years old, single, 5’ 9” tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He was working as a blacksmith. His religious affiliation was Roman Catholic. 

The Military Service records of Louis Daem show that he was wounded by shrapnel to his thigh on November 3, 1918, just eight days before the end of the war, and died on December 9, 1918, perhaps from infection. He was 25 years old. At the time of his death he was a Private in the 102nd Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario) Regiment. He is buried at the Brockwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, United Kingdom. The Memorial Plaque issued to his family is in the collection of Revelstoke Museum & Archives.

The Revelstoke Review in its December 19, 1918 edition carried this news: “Word was received from the military authorities of the death of a former Revelstoke boy, Private Louis Daem, M.M., who died of wounds during the great advance. Born in Revelstoke 24 years ago and is a brother of Joseph Daem, Revelstoke, and Philip Daem, Arrowhead.”

The name of Louis Daem is inscribed on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques.

Louis Daem’s nephew, Joris Daem, and his niece, Alberta Ditomassi, lived in Revelstoke all of their lives. 

Louis Daem in uniform, 1916.

Louis Daem in uniform, 1916.

Posted on September 28, 2015 .