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PVT Alexander Decoteau

PVT Alexander Decoteau

Birth
Battleford, Battleford Census Division, Saskatchewan, Canada
Death 30 Oct 1917 (aged 29)
Passchendaele, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Burial Zonnebeke, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Plot XI. A. 28.
Memorial ID 12100032 · View Source
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Olympic Athlete. A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, he was known as 'The Champion Runner of Alberta.' Born of Aboriginal descent he was considered one of Canada's best distance runners of his time, becoming an Olympic athlete, first police officer in the Province of Alberta, and a War Hero all before his 30th birthday. At a very young age he turned to sports, and excelled mainly in running while attending school. He later moved to Alberta to live with his sister and her husband, a Northwest Mounted Police Officer. After moving to Alberta in 1909 he became more involved in running, and in 1911 he joined the Edmonton Police Force. After joining the police force he began to compete nationally and won almost every race he entered including both middle and long-distance events. On Dominion Day in 1910 he won a total of four different races including provincial championships in Lethbridge, Alberta, and one in Lloydminister, Saskatchewan, in which he set a Western Canadian record of 28 minutes. He also entered the five mile race in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Edmonton Exhibition and beat an Olympic Athlete. In 1912 he became the only Albertan on the Canadian team at the Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, but due to severe leg cramps he only came in eighth place. After the Olympics he continued to compete professionally as well as continuing his police career. He went onto become the first motorcycle cop in Canada. In 1914 he was promoted to sergeant and put in charge of the No.4 Police Station. In 1916 during World War I, he enlisted with the 202nd Edmonton Sportsmen's Battalion, but then transferred to the 49th Battalion (later the Loyal Edmonton Regiment). He later served in England, and again began competing, when he was presented with a trophy, but unfortunenately the trophy was lost, and he was presented with a gold pocket watch instead by King George V. In 1917 he joined the 3rd Canadian Divison and fought in France and Flanders, and later in Belgium. On October 17, 1917, while fighting in the Battle of Passchendale, in Ypres, Belgium, he was shot and killed by a sniper. Remembered as a true hero in Alberta, he was honoured by the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame, Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
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Service No: 231462
Age: 28
Regiment/Service: Canadian Infantry, 49th Bn.

Son of Peter and Mary Decoteau, of Battleford, Saskatchewan.

Bio by: Peterborough K


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 19 Oct 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12100032
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Alexander Decoteau (19 Nov 1887–30 Oct 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12100032, citing Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium ; Maintained by Find A Grave .