Cpl Jean 'Johnny' Donat Laloge, MM, MiD, (Ret'd)

    • Cpl Jean 'Johnny' D. Laloge, MM, MiD, (Ret'd)
    • RCE GVIR
    • Cpl Jean 'Johnny' D. Laloge, MM, MiD

    We regret to advise of the death of Corporal Jean Donat "Johnny" Laloge, MM, MiD of Pouce Coupé BC on 11 May 2007 in Vancouver BC at the age of 92 years.

    Born to French immigrant parents in Edmonton, AB, Jean joined the Royal Canadian Engineers in Dawson Creek in July 1940. After basic training in Calgary, Lethbridge, and Petawawa he was posted overseas to England with the 10th Field Squadron. He arrived in Aldershot in November 1941 and, after two years of training in England, Johnny's unit was committed to the Italian Campaign.

    Johnny arrived in Naples on 8 November 1943 with 4th Armoured Division. He was involved in many of the major battles in Italy and was finally wounded in the Battle of the Liri River Valley. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field during this action. On the morning of 26 May 1944, Cpl Laloge was in command of a party of Engineers advancing towards Ceprano when a road crater was encountered that the tanks were unable to negotiate. There was no way around due to the extensive mines and the difficult nature of the ground. Johnny immediately went ahead and, with his two sappers, laid charges against the steep banks of the obstacle to create a diversion route. His initiative and prompt action was of material assistance to the forward drive of the Irish Regiment of Canada at this stage of the battle.

    On 20 January 1945, Cpl Laloge was awarded a Mention in Despatches for an act of bravery at Orsogna when he helped several of the wounded after a shell hit a tree and killed five soldiers and wounded six others.

    At the end of the Italian Campaign, 10th Field Squadron moved to Northwest Europe and advanced through France and Belgium and finally entered Holland, where he stayed until the war ended.

    When Johnny returned to Canada he joined the Permanent Force and was sent to Whitehorse to work on the highway construction and maintenance of the Northwest Highway System. When he left the army he remained in the Pouce Coupé area for many years. He worked as a bridgeman and worked all over the province on many large bridge projects before moving south for retirement.

    A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, 17 May 2007 at 2:00 pm at St. Jude's Catholic Parish, 3078 Renfrew Street, Vancouver. Burial to take place in Pouce Coupe, BC at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to Doctors without Borders would be appreciated by the family. {dcMay16kh}