Canada in the Second World War


Adrien Boivin


Adrien BOIVIN (Joseph Marcellin Adrien)
Born March 30, 1923 in Kenogami, Quebec
Son of Marcellin Boivin and Marie-Jeanne Tremblay
Married to Lucille Bilodeau from Quebec
Father of Catherine and Louise

Known Norman origins

Paternal: Pierre Boivin, son of Pierre Boivin, a roofer married to Anne Lecoq, was baptised July 27, 1643 in the parish of Saint-Maclou, Rouen. He left for Canada where he married Étiennette Fafard on November 4, 1664 in Trois Rivières, Quebec.

Maternal: Pierre Tremblay came from Randonnai, Perche (Basse-Normandie). The only family head of this name to come from France, he is the ancestor of all the Tremblays in North America. On October 2, 1657 he married Ozanne Achon, daughter of Jean Achon and Helene Regnaud (or Regourde) from Puyravault in Aunis, France. He was 31 and she was 24. They established a farm on the Beaupré coast, a region which later formed the “Ange Gardien” parish.

In 1944 Adrien Boivin, who belongs to the 10th generation of Pierre Boivin’s descendants, reversed the voyage taken by his ancestors in order to participate in the liberation of his forbearers’ homeland.


Adrien Boivin belonged to a family of eleven children. He stayed in school until grade 9. His education could only be continued outside of his region, and his family did not have the means to finance his studies, so he was self-taught thereafter.

Military Service

Service Number: E-19466
Final rank : caporal

In 1938 at the age of 15, Adrien Boivin enrolled in the Reserve (Régiment du Saguenay), and in 1940 in the active Canadian Army. He arrived in England in 1943 with the Régiment de Maisonneuve (2nd Division). He landed in France at Courseulles-sur-Mer on July 6, 1944, and joined the Régiment de la Chaudière a few weeks later. He was captured by the Germans in October 1944 at Oostburg in the south of Holland. He was held for ten days at Knokke, in the north of Belgium, before being liberated by Canadian troops. Adrien Boivin started as a Private and ended the European campaign as a Corporal.

Adrien Boivin returned to Canada at the end of December 1945, and in 1948 enrolled as a Warrant Officer. During his military career, he achieved all ranks from Private to Lieutenant-Colonel. He commanded the Régiment de Saguenay from 1962 to 1967. In October 2001 he was named Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment, and Honorary Colonel in November 2004.

He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Quebec’s Lieutenant Governors Paul Comtois (1964 to 1966) and Hughes Lapointe (1966 to 1967).

Medals and Decorations

1939-45 Star
France and Germany Star
Defence Medal
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
War Medal (1939-45)
Canadian Centennial Medal
Efficiency Medal

Canadian Forces Decoration

After the War

1946-1951: Alcan – Work methods analyst (Movement studies)
1951-1954: Defence Construction Ltd. Head of Administration for the Construction Surveillance Office at the Bagotville airfield
1954-1969: Société Centrale d’Hypothèques – Head Compliance Inspector
1969-1973: Quebec Ministry of Justice – Director of the Chicoutimi Prison
1973-1976: Correctional Services Regional Director for Saguenay-Lac St. Jean, Côte Nord (4 prisons)
1976-1977: Provincial head for prisoner occupational programmes
1977-1981: Administrative assistant to the Correctional Services Director (Human Resources)
1981: Retired

In 2007, as he was portrayed in the exhibition “There and Back” at the Juno Beach Centre, Adrien Boivin declared:

“In July 1944, aboard the ship bringing us to the Normandy coast, I felt a very strong emotion. I thought of my ancestors who three centuries ago came and built the country which today I call mine. Through a taste for adventure and patriotism, I had come to thank them for leaving us their language, their songs, etc. and to offer in turn my contribution to their liberation from the German yoke.”

Orbec, Calvados, August 24, 1944 Adrien Boivin on the right


Cap Blanc-Nez, Boulogne-sur-Mer region, September 25, 1944. Neutralisation of a German remote controlled tank (Goliath). Adrien Boivin, second from the left.