Master Warrant Officer Joseph Laurent (Larry) Lagace

Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers (1952–1975)

At the start of the Korean War (1950), Larry Lagace enlisted under age as many before him from the Maritimes did during WWII. However this time his mother heard of the enlisting and went into the recruitment centre and demanded his file be denied.

In 1952, Larry re-attended as he reached the age of consent and successfully was accepted into the Canadian Armed Forces as an Army Combat Engineer. He soon left after basic training and found himself part of the United Nations Emergency Forces stationed in Korea guarding a vital supply bridge at the age of 19. Indeed, it could have been a short tour as the torrent river caught the young French-Canadian and he was being swept away while guarding it during the very early morning hours. For the sake of a rope, unable to swim, he was able to pull himself in.

After redeploying back to Canada he completed many of his specialist courses as a plumbing non-commissioned soldier. In 1956, Larry was sent to Chilliwack, BC—the training home of the Royal Canadian Engineers, where he met his wife, Bernadette. They married and was posted to Shilo and started their military life together. They grew their family with four children—Lawrence, Michael, Denise and Murray. In 1966, Larry spent a full year away from his family during the Suez Canal crisis. Upon his return back to Canada he completed his career with a move to Montreal and finally Winnipeg.

Upon retirement in 1975, Larry and Bernadette bought their first home in Charleswood where they remained, raised their family and watched them grow. Two of his sons joined the military (Michael and Murray) to follow his footsteps.

Bernadette passed way in 2004 and Larry passed at the age of 90.

Decorations: United Nations Service Medal, United Nations Emergency Forces Medal, Special Services Medal, Canadian Forces Decoration and clasp

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