Corporal JOSEPH THOMAS KAEBLE – died 9 June 1918
Service Number 889958
Unit 22nd Canadian Infantry
Awards VC, MM
Buried at WANQUETIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
Citation “For most conspicuous bravery and extraordinary devotion to duty when in charge of a Lewis gun section in the front line trenches, in which a strong enemy raid was attempted. During an intense bombardment Corporal Kaeble remained at the parapet with his Lewis gun shouldered ready for action, the field of fire being very short. As soon as the barrage lifted from the front line, about fifty of the enemy advanced towards his post. By this time the whole of his section except one had become casualties. Corporal Kaeble jumped over the parapet, and holding his Lewis gun at the hip, emptied one magazine after another into the advancing enemy, and although wounded several times by fragments of shells and bombs, he continued to fire and entirely blocked the enemy by his determined stand. Finally, firing all the time, he fell backwards into the trench mortally wounded. While lying on his back in the trench he fired his last cartridges over the parapet at the retreating Germans, and before losing consciousness shouted to the wounded about him: Keep it up, boys; do not let them get through! We must stop them !” The complete repulse of the enemy attack at this point was due to the remarkable personal bravery and self-sacrifice of this gallant non-commissioned officer, who died of his wounds shortly afterwards.”
Joseph Thomas Keable, VC, MM was the first French Canadian soldier to be decorated with the VC and Military Medal. He was born on 5 May 1892 in Saint-Moïse, Quebec. He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in March 1916. He was mortally wounded whilst doing so and died the next day.