Cocky Quebec Captain creates local area network… in 1940s France

Posted on Nov 11, 2015

Name: Guy d'Artois
Code Name: DECORATOR

Growing up in Quebec, Guy d’Artois was a multi-talented individual, dabbling in hobbies like fencing, canoeing, skiing, wrestling and boxing. A confident, romantic figure, d’Artois considered himself a travelled man, having been to the United States.

He enlisted for the army and was recognized for his abundant skill set by the SOE and recruited into their ranks. He trained in a number of schools in England and eventually became a trainer himself. In one of the training exercises for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, d’Artois met a brash, fearless, and captivating recruit in Sonia Butt. She captured his attention with a wink and he swore he would one day marry her. And he did.

His missions were mainly sabotage: destroying bridges, railways, and communication lines. In an interesting twist of fate, one of d’Artois’ most successful missions, he conceived of and planned a 600 - 900 kilometre network of telephone lines to connect up to 70 hidden switchboards, phones, and points of communication around Lyons. This project, completed in Nazi-occupied territory, allowed the Allies to send vital information on troop movement and numbers.

After the war, Guy d’Artois returned to Canada with his bride, Sonia Butt, and they lived a long life in Montreal.

Canadian Media Fund