Léon Pilon
Nile River Voyageur

The Ottawa Contingent of Voyageurs Pose Before Leaving Ottawa
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3
On September 13 1884, 159 Ottawa Valley lumbermen assembled to begin their journey to Egypt to aid in rescuing General Charles "Chinese" Gordon who, along with Egyptian troops, was besieged in the Sudanese city of Khartoum.  Of the total of 386 so-called Canadian voyageurs (92 were from Manitoba, 56 from Kahnawake and the rest from elsewhere in Ontario, Québec and 1 from Nova Scotia) who would undertake the demanding and dangerous assignment, 16 would not return, including Léon Pilon of Ottawa.

The three small images above, all in the collections of the National Archives of Canada, can be enlarged by cliking on them.  In one of these photographs is Léon Pilon.  Can you see a familiar face?

Voyageurs and soldiers sharing a meal

beginning the Nile odessey

Easy going