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Finding information about driver for Canadian Forestry Corps


Simon Keable Elliott
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I am trying to find out information about my grandmother who drove for the Canadian Forestry Corps in 1917 and 1918. Her name was Jolie Buck. All I know is that she drove officers around London in 1916 and then at some stage travelled to France to drive for the Forestry Corps. I have the photograph attached and know she met my grandfather, Robert Keable in France. Robert Keable was a chaplain with the South African Native Labour Corps originally posted in Rouen and later Le Havre which is where they would have met. 

What I don't know is how she joined the Forestry Corps, the dates she was in France, where she was based, when she left the Corps and whether there are any records mentioning her. Can anyone help?

Jolie 1917 002.jpg

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I can't find a Jolie Buck in the attestation papers and service records for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Did she serve as Jolie Buck, or was the surname a result of a post-war marriage? Did she come from Canada? Even if she was born in Britain, she might still have emigrated to Canada before the war, as so many people did.

 

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Hi thanks for this. Her full name was Grace Eileen Jolie Beresford Buck but she was definitely living in London in 1916 (when she was just17) and started driving around town officers based at the Hotel Cecil. What I can't work out is how she then joined the Forestry Corps.

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From the Internet I see that she was the daughter of William Tenant Buck, a member of a prominent British family, and that she was a nurse, though when she met Keable she was driving "trucks for the Canadian Lumber Corps [sic]". 

I looked again at the Canadian attestation papers, and also the British Red Cross list of workers in the Great War, but without luck. (I'm a little out of my depth with this sort of research, so someone might like to double-check the latter.)

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The nurse reference is wrong. The mistake came because Robert Keable's novel Simon Called Peter - based on an affair between Keable and Jolie - was about an affair between a priest and a nurse and some have mistakenly assumed Jolie was a nurse. She was a daughter of a military man, William Buck who fought in the Boer War but he died in 1911.

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Simon,

  There is a very slim chance that Jolie is mentioned in one of the Canadian Forestry Corps War Diaries. These can be downloaded free from The Natiional Archives, once you register. The Corps was divided into Districts in France, perhaps a forum member knows which district includes Le Havre?

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_col=200&_p=1900&_hb=tna&_q=WO+95%2F+CANADIAN+FORESTRY+CORPS

As Jolie served abroad she should be on a medal roll. She doesn't appear on British rolls, so is probably on a Canadian one. Not sure if Canadian medal rolls are online.

Regards,

Alf McM

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Thanks so much, that is a great link, I will go hunting.

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Simon,

   This online book includes a map on page 37which shows the various Districts in France. The Canadian Forestry Corps; its inception, development and achievements. Prepared by request of Sir Albert H. Stanley. By C.W. Bird and J.B. Davies : Bird, Charles Wesley, 1906- : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

  I would suggest you read the 'Headquarters' war diary as well as the one for the district including Havre.

Regards,

Alf McM

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Perfect, thanks. I have downloaded the diaries and it seems unlikely drivers will be mentioned - unless she did anything wrong - but I will work slowly through them. Thanks again 

I am also intrigued as to how she went from driving officers in London to lorries in France. I wonder how many British women were recruited.

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17 hours ago, alf mcm said:

...As Jolie served abroad she should be on a medal roll. She doesn't appear on British rolls, so is probably on a Canadian one. Not sure if Canadian medal rolls are online...

I  couldn't find her here, but anyone else is welcome to check. For many of the medal cards there is "no digital object".

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An interesting topic.  In her portrait, she wears collar dogs of a CFC unit.  This does not mean she was a "member" of the CFC, nor of the CEF.

There are no attestation papers for a Grace Buck or a Jolie Buck.  So, no service records, no medals.

The only women/females to join the CEF were nurses. 

You need to track down which organizations in Britain would have supplied female drivers to CEF units.

 

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Thanks. I fear that would be the Women's League and most of their records are lost. Still I will keep searching

 

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