|...journal entries were all unfortunately kept and published in his native Canadian French by LaRue and I have not had the opportunity
to have any translated. Taking train from Cape Town LaRue and his fellow Canadians arrived at Belmont on 11 February, 1900. His unit
saw heavy fighting at Paardeberg where LaRue was slightly wounded on 19, February, 1900.
His next diary entry, dated 3 March, 1900 was from the hospital Naauwport. Apparently recovered enough to rejoin his company, he was
at Bloemfontein on 8 April. His last entry from the field is dated 26th April at Bloemfontein and sometime after that he seems to have
contacted enteric fever with his last letter home being written at Wynberg Hospital on 7, June, 1900. In that letter to his father LaRue
states his belief that with General Roberts capture of Johannesburg and Pretoria the war was all but over. He also says that he will soon
be evacuated to Netley Hospital in England. LaRue would never make that trip dying at Wynberg from the effects of that fever on 24
June, 1900. He was buried at Maitland Garden of Remembrance in Cape Town.
LaRue was eulogized in Le livre d'or with the following obituary: “Private L. LaRue, of Quebec, who was wounded at Paardeberg, and
whose death from enteric fever has now been reported, gave his life for his country, and for his Queen, just as completely as though he had
been slain in battle. His name is worthy to be enrolled among the heroes of the nation, for he responded to the call of arms, did a soldier’s duty
and met a soldier’s fate. We who enjoy the privileges and immunities that are purchased at the price of such young, ardent and patriotic lives,
will prize as a precious heritage the memory of the men who have fought and died for the flag we love so well. Quebec has now given three
names to the army of dead heroes – Witty, LaRue and McQueen – though dead, these men still live as an inspiration to noble and patriotic
LaRue is also memorialized on page 22 of Canada’s South African War Book of Remembrance.
LaRue was entitled to the Queen’s South Africa Medal with the clasps “Paardeberg” and “Cape Colony”.
I recently acquired a copy of LaRue's Canadian service papers and these offer a rather different view of the recruit that seen in British
service papers. For instance, the first page dated 25 October, 1899 lists personal characteristics such as "Intelligence, Good",
"Temperament, Bilious" (it seems LaRue may have been a bit ill-tempered), "Hernia, None", and believe it or not "Hemorroids. None".
His papers also contain a copy of a telegram from Sir Alfred Milner to the Governor General of Canada the Earl of Minto at Ottawa
informing him of LaRue's death on 24 June, 1900. This same telegram was wired to LaRue's father Dr. Leonidas LaRue. Was the
sending of such telegrams standard practice for all Canadian Boer War casualties?
Carte de Visite
Deale - Photographer
Bleomfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa
|Above: Private Lucien LaRue of "F' Coy, 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment is shown
standing at right next to a seated and unidentified fellow soldier in this carte de visite taken at
Bloemfontein in April, 1900. An almost idendtical photo of LaRue appeared in the 1901 publication
Le livre d'or (The Golden Book) of the Canadian Contingents in South Africa by Gaston P. Labat
|Above: The French inscription on the reverse of the photograph stating LaRue's death in South Africa on 24 June, 1900.