Dr. Paul Poisson was born on the 26th of July, 1887 in Belle River (Essex County), Ontario. He was the 4th of 8 children born to Damase Poisson and the former Hélène Diesbourg. At the time of his birth, Dr. Poisson’s father was a carpenter and his siblings were; Alfred Damase Poisson, Cyrille “Edmond” Poisson, Joseph “William” Poisson, Adelard Louis Poisson, Théodore “René” Poisson, Hélène “Sarah” Poisson and Jerome “Isidore” Poisson.
Dr. Poisson attended a local school in Belle River prior to attending Paterson Collegiate Institute in Windsor, Ontario. When he was 17 years old he joined the militia in Windsor.
Dr. Poisson graduated M.D. with honours from the University of Western Ontario in 1909. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 30th of September, 1910. Dr. Poisson set up his medical practice in Tecumseh (Essex County).
Dr. Poisson married Mary “Gertrude” Connor on the 11th of January, 1911 in Waterloo. Mrs. Poisson was born on the 6th of November, 1884. She was the 3rd of 7 children born to Michael Edward Connor and the former Mary Aldous. Her father was a station manager for the Grand Trunk Railway and her siblings were; Edward Lawrence Connor, Ethelyn Connor, Albert “John” Connor (who died at the age of 12 hours), Mildred Ann Connor (who died at the age of 1 year and 9 months), Joseph Thomas Connor and Martha Genevieve Connor. Mrs. Poisson trained as a nurse.
An article appeared in the April 3rd, 1914 edition of the Chatham Daily Planet, titled “Dr. Poisson The New Doctor”, announcing that Dr. Poisson had purchased the medical practice of Dr. Henry James Sullivan. (Dr. Sullivan had died on the 18th of March 1914). Dr. and Mrs. Poisson moved to Chatham with their 3 year old son Gerald and they resided at the corner of King Street and Third Street. Dr. Poisson’s name appears on birth and death records in the spring of 1914, prior to his departure overseas.
Dr. Poisson enlisted on the 25th of September, 1914. GOH – PHOTO “Captain Paul Poisson left Chatham August 18th, 1914 with the Ambulance Corps, for Toronto and he joined the Engineers as a Medical Officer. He went overseas October 1st, 1914 and remained at Salisbury Plains until February 15th, 1915 when he went to France. While serving in France he was gassed, burned and suffered from shell shock in the second battle of Ypres and he was admitted to Hospital in France. After he convalesced he returned to the front and he was wounded for a second time on the 17th of September, 1916 during the third battle of Ypre. He was shot in his right hand, for which he was presented with the Military Cross.
Dr. Poisson was invalided back to Canada in November 1916. Dr. Poisson returned to England on the 25th of March, 1917, where he was decorated by King George V at Buckingham Palace and received the promotion to the rank of Major. Dr. Poisson again crossed to France and was attached to the staff of No 8 Canadian General Hospital. He remained there until Feb 1919. From there he was transferred to the D.D. No 1 Military hospital in England. Dr. Poisson was discharged at London (England) on the 29th of March, 1919 due to demobilization.”
While Dr. Poisson was away overseas, Mrs. Poisson and their son Gerald moved back to Tecumseh. After he was discharged Dr. Poisson joined his wife and son in Tecumseh and resumed practicing medicine.
Dr. and Mrs. Poisson had 8 children; Gerald Paul Poisson was born on the 2nd of December, 1911, George Ferdinand Poisson was born on the 29th of May, 1921, Pauline Marie Eulalie Poisson was born on the 16th of July 1922, Mary Helene Poisson was born on the 20th of August 1924, Geraldine Gertrude Poisson was born on the 12th of March 1926, Paul James Poisson was born on the 25th of July 1927, John Robert Poisson was born on the 14th of July 1929 and Theresa Anne Poisson was born on the 5th of June, 1932.
Dr. Poisson was the first mayor of Tecumseh (Ontario), serving from 1921 until 1925. In 1926, Dr. Poisson was the representative for the riding of Essex North at Queen’s Park. He served as a minister without portfolio in the cabinet of Premier George Henry from 1931 until 1934.
During WWII, Dr. Poisson again served his country coordinating care for injured soldiers returning from active duty through the office of the Medical Board.
Mrs. Poisson died on the 23rd of March,1970. Dr. Poisson died on the 3rd of December, 1981 in Windsor. Dr. and Mrs. Poisson were buried at Sainte Anne Cemetery in Tecumseh.
In the Town of Tecumseh, the Legion is known as the Royal Canadian Legion Col. Paul Poisson Branch 261.
*Dr. Poisson’s brother Dr. Adelard Louis Poisson graduated M.D. in 1915 from the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Adelard Poisson served with the Canadian Army Medical Corp during WWI, enlisting on the 16th of September, 1916. After the war he had a medical practice in Windsor. Dr. Adelard Poisson died on the 10th of February, 1964.
**Dr. Henry James Sullivan also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.
***Dr. Poisson also appears on the Gathering Our Heroes website. The webmaster is grateful to Jerry Hind for his research assistance in regards to Dr. Poisson’s service in WWI.