Henry Norwest, born May 1, 1884 in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta and killed in action on August 18, 1918 at Fouquescourt, Somme, France, was one of the most decorated soldiers in the Canadian army in World War 1.
Nicknamed Ducky, Henry Norwest was Métis of Cree/French origins from the Hobbema reserve in Alberta. A former ranch-hand and rodeo performer, he served for a short time with the Northwest Mounted Police until September of 1915 when he joined the Canadian army. In his nearly three years of service with the 50th Canadian Infantry Battalion, the lance-corporal achieved a documented sniping record of 115 fatal shots. While Norwest was an outstanding marksman, the thing that set him apart from others was his superb stealth tactics. A camouflage expert, as a result of his exceptional abilities his superiors frequently sent him on reconnaissance missions into “No Man’s Land” or behind enemy lines.
In 1917, Norwest earned the Military Medal during the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the following year he was awarded the bar to his Military Medal. Only three months before the war ended, Norwest was on a mission to find a German sniper’s lair when he was killed by enemy fire.
Henry Norwest, married and the father of three children, is buried in the Warvillers Churchyard Extension Cemetery, Warvillers, Somme, France.