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  1. #1
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    Rosalie, 22nd battalion French Canadian

    Rosalie, 22nd battalion Frenchicon Canadianicon

    Henri Lecorre, a French immigrant joined the 22nd Bn on April 14th 1915 with the service number 61835. When he received his service weapon he christened it Rosalie. Rosalie was a popular song that was sung by the folks back in France.The song pertained to women (Marraines de Guerre) who became pen pals to the soldiers at that time.

    Lecorre started decorating his rifle by carving "Rosalie" along it's stock. For having defaced the Kings property he was fined and jailed. The weapon was confiscated and sent to be destroyed. The rifle was recovered from a pile of scrap material that was destined for dispoal. Lecorre ended up by regaining posession of his cherished weapon and carried it with him until it was stolen.

    At that point Lecorre went to a French Tavern where he knew the rifle was kept. By posing as a military policeman he was able to "convince" the owner of the tavern to hand over the stolen property.

    The rifle followed Lecorre from one battle to another. Each battlefield "Rosalie" visited was carved to the inside of the stock. Lecorre was very careful to ensure that "Rosalie" was not discovered by his superior officers. At one point the Commanding Officer discovered what was going on and was infuriated. Once again the rifle was ordered to be destroyed. And again, Lecorre with the help of a few friends was able to save his precious item. That night he carved the stock of another weapon and had the imposter thrown into the scrap heap.



    Sometime later he was seriously wounded by rifle fire while trying to help two wounded buddies. We woke up in a hospital without "Rosalie".

    After the Great War, "Rosalie" was found on the battlefield and taken to the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, Englandicon. In 1943 "Rosalie" was presented to General Andrew McNaughton. The inscription "22nd Infantry Battalion French Canadians" aroused his curiousity. He returned the weapon to the Royal 22nd Regiment where she belonged.

    In 1956 Lecorre visited a military exhibit and recognized "Rosalie". He was overcome with emotion and recounted the amazing story. Lecorre passed away on January 20th 1963.

    His son Tex, a well known singer in Quebec wrote a song called "Frigidaire" in which the name "Rosalie" is mentionned.

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    Rosalie

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    Great story. Of course he would have been issued a Ross MkIII until the Ross was withdrawn in 1916. Since "Vimy" is carved on the stock, the work must have been done after that battle in April 1917. The rifle would have been impounded for refurbishment, not destruction. It might have been a rifle he salvaged from a casualty rather than his issue rifle. If it has no C Broad Arrow stamps that might be the case: a rifle from a Britishicon casualty. From the condition it's hard to believe that rifle was found on the battlefield after the war. More likely one of his comrades saved it, or perhaps at some point while at Enfield a new barreled action was fitted to the stock.

    Amazing story anyway, thanks.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    I'm surprised that I didn't see this rifle when I attended the R22ER museum. It should have jumped out at me. I went through with a fine tooth comb and even discover, by myself, the North American 1911 on display. The Van Doos knew nothing of it's history or value. I've heard stories like this before...lovely story.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Baal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    From the condition it's hard to believe that rifle was found on the battlefield after the war.
    Arras is the last battle listed. And it occurred during the Hundred Days when the front was pushing east daily. So the rifle would likely have been gathered up along with hundreds of others within days of the fighting. Not lying rusting in No Man's Land for weeks or months.

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