Alliet, Odiel

Rank Private
Service # BC1643
Unit # Belgian Paratroopers

He enlisted in 1940 in the Belgian Army, trained in Cornwall, ON. and Jollette, PQ. Before going overseas in June of 1941. When in England he transferred to the Paratroop unit of the Belgian Army, a unit of approximately 120 all ranks. It was while training with the paratroops at Manchester, England that he sustained a head injury, on his 13th jump, that left him with a sever loss of vision. After six month in hospital recuperating he was discharged and spent the remainder of the war with his wife Jean before they returned to Canada in 1945.

It was reported that in 1945 he experiencing difficulty finding housing accommodation in Chatham and had been helped with a cheque for $100 dollars donated by a G. G. Wood and Co. of Toronto. He travelled to Toronto attend a school at Baker Hall for the blind under the sponsorship of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). CDN 19/10/45. Becoming affiliated with the CNIB Odiel operated the “Stand for the Blind” beside the Centre Theatre at 4th and King St. West in Chatham. He operated this business until 1949.

Odiel then struck out on his own after gaining that experience in Chatham, he purcheased a service station and store, three miles east of Blenheim on No. 3 Highway which would open on Canada Day 1949 and was called “Pinedale”. The walk-in store carried “a complete line of tobaccos, ice creams and confections.” His operation of the refreshment stand in Chatham, “has set an example for other battle-scarred veterans by now branching out on his own, hampered perhaps, but never discourged by his handicap.” CDN 30/06/49.

In 1956 Odiel moved his fanily to the farm Guiles, Harwich Twsp. Where he and Jean (2012) lived until his passing 2 February, 2013. He was interned at St. Ignatius Cemetery, Bothwell, ON.

Odiel married Jean (Goodingham) of Malvern, England and brought her to Canada as his ‘war bride’. They had six children Mary, Ronald, Art, Ken, Raymond and Albert. Odiel and Jean were married for 70 years. Jean passed away 16/03/2012 at the Village on the Ridge, Ridgetown, ON., internment at St. Ignatius Cemetery, Bothwell, ON. RIN 21/03/12, phone interview with Odiel Alliet 9/12/12 (at the time he was living on the Turin Line, JRH, in C-K, 519-678-3357, sadly Odiel passed away 2/02/2013 at the age of 94 years, before we could complete our intevew CDN-Obit 4/02/13, RIN 6/02/13(P). 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Sources CDN (19-10-1945), CDN (30-06-1949)
Supplemental Information Born 22/04/1918 in Wygham, Belgium. He had six sisters and four frothers. Husband of Jean (nee Davis) father of Mary, Ronald, Arthur, Ken, Raymond and Albert (1958) It was reported in the CDN 19/10/45 that Odiel moved to Chatham with his parents in 1921 and he grew up in the city.

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