Lionel Guy D’Artois was born on 9 April 1917 in Richmond, Quebec. The son of a lawyer, Guy studied chemistry at the Université de Montréal. When war broke out in 1939, he left university and enrolled as a private in the Canadian army, rising to officer status in 1942.
In 1943, Guy volunteered for the SOE and became one of several French-Canadians attached to F-Section. After training, in April 1944 he parachuted into Mont Cortevaix, France, nine kilometres north of Cluny.
Guy arrived under the code name “Dieudonné”, but to the Resistance he was known as “Michel le Canadien”. Pursued by the Gestapo, Guy lived amongst the Resistance where he trained over six hundred partisans, established a Maquis in Sylla, developed a telephone network, and attacked the enemy on numerous occasions.
While training for the SOE, Guy met fellow trainee Sonya Butt and the couple fell in love. Love affairs, although not encouraged by the SOE, were commonplace. Some met tragic ends, others faultered after the intensity of serving in France faded, while others blossomed into life-long relationships. Guy and Sonya’s love belonged to the latter category. After serving successfully in different networks in France, the couple returned to Britain where, in October 1944, they promptly married. Sonya accompanied Guy to Canada and the couple raised six children.
After the Second World War, Guy served in the Far East. He died in March 1999, in the Veterans Hospital in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec.
At the Liberation, members of the Resistance gave Guy the flag of the Sylla Maquis in recognition of his contribution and dedication along with the following citation: “Major D’Artois is the embodiment of nobility in figure, strength and stature, but more importantly, nobility in simplicity and kindness.”