#100DaysofVimy – January 23, 2017

Each Monday, we will share a brief biography of a soldier of the First World War with a Vimy connection. Today we honour Joseph Kaeble.

Joseph Kaeble, VC, MM, was born on May 5, 1892 in St. Moïse, Matane County Quebec. A mechanic in civilian life, Kaeble enlisted with the 22e Battalion (the “Van Doos” of Quebec) in 1916 and was made a machine gunner. During fighting near Mercatel, France (near Arras) on June 8, 1918, Kaeble single-handedly held off the advance of 50 Germans with his Lewis gun. Fatally wounded during this action his last words were “Keep it up boys; do not let them get through! We must stop them!”  For his actions that day, Kaeble was phosthumously awarded both the Military Medal and the Victoria Cross (VC). Joseph Kaeble, VC, MM, was the first French Canadian to be awarded the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth’s highest medal for gallantry.

View his service files here from Library and Archives Canada.

Joseph Kaeble, VC, MM. A bust of Kaeble stands at the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa. Photo: Canada, Department of National Defence
Joseph Kaeble, VC, MM. A bust of Kaeble stands at the Valiants Memorial in Ottawa. Photo: Canada, Department of National Defence