Alexander Gladu was just 16 years old when he enlisted in the Canadian military in Edmonton in 1916. The young Métis boy signed up during a very turbulent time — it was only 30 years after Louis Riel`s military resistance to colonial rule.

Trevor Teed is Gladu’s nephew, and a long-time northerner living in Yellowknife. He says Gladu’s dad didn’t want him to join the military, “probably because of his safety, but also because of the history.”

“When you turn and take a peek at a 16-year-old who came out of that environment, then deciding to put his life on the line for Canada... it says a lot for the land he lived in,” Teed says. 

Alexander Gladu

Alexander Gladu signed up for the Canadian Military in 1916 at age 16. He died in the battle of Vimy Ridge. (facebook)

Teed says his great uncle fought at Vimy Ridge, and was killed in action the day before he would have turned 17 years old. His name is inscribed in the Vimy Memorial along with 11,000 other Canadian soldiers listed as ‘missing, presumed dead’ in France. Gladu is also remembered in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

“I just can`t imagine what was in his mind in the time he served overseas,” Teed says. “And to die in one of the biggest battles in history and then not to be recovered, that had a lasting impact on his dad, and on his brothers and sisters.”

Teed says he thinks about his great uncle every Remembrance Day and honours his memory by sharing his story.