Saturday, July 6, 2024

Joseph-Amable Dubé

Joseph-Amable Dubé was one of 27 children growing up near Montréal at the end of the Great Depression. His family was struggling to get by, and his dad was working only one day a week. As Canada was being pulled into the Second World War, he decided to enlist.

At 14 years old he was too young to serve, but determined to serve he managed to alter his baptism certificate with some blotting paper. Before he knew it, he was a member of the Royal 22nd Regiment — the famed Van Doos — at Valcartier.

In September 1943, he was deployed to Italy to participate in the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Italian Campaign.

Due to his short stature and young age, Pte. Dubé earned the nickname “ti-cul” from his comrades. He fought for 24 days at Monte Cassino and witnessed his brothers get crushed by a massive 12-foot wall. He was ordered to help retrieve the injured and killed men with no tools ­— just his rifle. He used it to lift the rubble off the men.

After the war, he was personally thanked by Queen Elizabeth II before returning home to Montréal.

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