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NORWEST, H L - Lance Corporal

Lance Corporal

  • Canadian Fallen Soldier - Lance Corporal HENRY LOUIS NORWEST
  • Lance Corporal

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    8 May 1884
    Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
    2 January 1915 in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, CA
    Cow Puncher (ranch hand)
    Lance Corporal
    Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)
    50th Battalion (Calgary), CEF
    18 August 1918
    Killed in action
    34 years
    A. 30.

  • Lance Corporal HENRY LOUIS NORWEST's Story

  • Born
    8 May 1884 in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
    Worked as a Cow Puncher (ranch hand) prior to enlisting.
    2 January 1915 in Wetaskiwin, Alberta | Age: 30 years
    18 August 1918 - WARVILLERS CHURCHYARD EXTENSION | Age: 34 years
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Interesting Facts

  • Son of Mr & Mrs G. Louie Norwest of Wainwright, AB. Metis - one of the most famous Canadian snipers in WW1. Born on May 8, 1884. In his youth, Norwest was known as incredibly handsome and charming. He enjoyed hunting, which would eventually serve him well overseas. He worked as a ranch hand (or "cowpuncher," as he wrote on his attestation papers) in his hometown of Fort Saskatchewan.

    The first time he enlisted in Wetaskiwin, AB, Norwest used the name "Henry Louie" on his papers. Three months later he was discharged due to alcohol abuse, but upon returning home he immediately travelled south to Calgary and enlisted again under his true name, Henry Norwest. Due to his Metis status, his Aboriginal heritage was not recognized upon attestation or listed in his medical records. While overseas, he spent most of his time either in no man’s land or slipping behind enemy lines for covert one-man operations, under the cover of darkness. Norwest had a tendency to sneak off on his own late at night, returning to camp in the early hours of the morning.

    According to a 2017 article by CBC, Norwest quickly built a reputation that was "feared by the Germans and revered by his comerades." He was awarded the Military Medal and bar for his brave work on “the Pimple,” an almost impenetrable peak on Vimy Ridge conquered by the CAF on April 12, 1917. In the three months leading up the to the battle, he singlehandedly neutralized 59 men from opposing forces. On August 18, 1918, Norwest was killed by an enemy sniper while moving into position for his next assignment and was buried in Somme, France. At the time of his death, Norwest had 115 confirmed kills. The actual number of fatal shots he fired was likely much higher; only hits that had been observed by someone else were officially recorded.

    Survived by his mother and his three daughters, who were living at a residential school in Ermineskin, AB at the time of his death. Norwest's name was added to the First World War cenotaph at the Legion in Fort Saskatchewan, AB, in 2008.


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Fallen Soldiers from Fort Saskatchewan Alberta, Canada

Fallen Comrades of the Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)