Guy D’Artois was born in Richmond, Quebec in 1917. He was studying chemistry at the Université de Montréal, but abandoned his education when the Second World War began and enlisted as a soldier. He was a twenty-seven year old officer in the Special Operations Executive when he was parachuted into occupied France at Mont Cortevoix, nine kilometres north of Cluny.

His nom de guerre was "Dieudonné", but the people of Charolais quickly began to call him "Michel le Canadien". His arrival announced D-Day to the members of the French Resistance. He lived among the Maquis, pursued by the Gestapo. By the time his sector was liberated, he had trained over 600 partisans, set up the Maquis operation in Sylla, developed an 800-kilometre telephone network and attacked the enemy several times.

For his exploits, General de Gaulle decorated him with the highest French military distinction of the Second World War, the Croix de Guerre with palm.

The flag of the Sylla Maquis was given to Major D’Artois by members of the Resistance in recognition of his contribution and dedication.

After the war his illu Read More
Guy D’Artois was born in Richmond, Quebec in 1917. He was studying chemistry at the Université de Montréal, but abandoned his education when the Second World War began and enlisted as a soldier. He was a twenty-seven year old officer in the Special Operations Executive when he was parachuted into occupied France at Mont Cortevoix, nine kilometres north of Cluny.

His nom de guerre was "Dieudonné", but the people of Charolais quickly began to call him "Michel le Canadien". His arrival announced D-Day to the members of the French Resistance. He lived among the Maquis, pursued by the Gestapo. By the time his sector was liberated, he had trained over 600 partisans, set up the Maquis operation in Sylla, developed an 800-kilometre telephone network and attacked the enemy several times.

For his exploits, General de Gaulle decorated him with the highest French military distinction of the Second World War, the Croix de Guerre with palm.

The flag of the Sylla Maquis was given to Major D’Artois by members of the Resistance in recognition of his contribution and dedication.

After the war his illustrious exploits continued in the Canadian Far North. His rescue of a Canadian missionary who had been injured in a hunting accident took seven weeks under extremely trying weather conditions. D’Artois’ courage and stubbornness earned him the George Medal.

Japan, and Korea, where he fought with the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, as well as Laos and Vietnam, are only a few of the other missions he completed with the Canadian Armed Forces.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Flag of Sylla Maquis

Flag of Sylla Maquis. 1944. Given by the French Resistance to Maj Guy D’Artois

Musée du Royal 22e Régiment.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Army in the World War II
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in military events during World War II
  • Identify key locations in which Canada’s military operated during World War II

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