With the Great War in full swing, the 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion was stationed in and undergoing training at, Bramshott, a small Hampshire village.
The Commanding Officer , the Assistant Regimental Adjutant named Lieut Georges Coderre and other officers were billeted with their batmen, at Hindhead Chase, Crossways Road, Grayshott, the next village away. Lieut Coderre was a very erratic individual and had already earned the nicknamed of ‘Fou’ or ‘Fool’. His Commanding Officer decided that Coderre would not accompany the regiment to France, but would remain in Grayshott and manage the regimental canteen funds. Previously this task had fallen to 37-year-old Sgt Ozanne.
However, after Coderre had taken possession of the canteen funds, he stole some and asked Sgt Ozanne to help him hide the theft, but his request was refused. Under the pretext of discussing the matter, Coderre invited Sgt Ozanne to Hindhead Chase.The men argued and, using a leather-covered rod of lead called a trench stick, Coderre beat Sgt Ozanne to death. Coderre then proceeded to stab Sgt Ozanne’s body several times, after which he ordered his batman to help remove the body to one of the stables at the bottom of the garden. When the batman reported the killing to his Commanding Officer, Coderre was arrested and taken to Whitehill Police Station where he was charged with murder.
At the trial held at Winchester Assizes, Coderre was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Later, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment owing to Coderre’s insanity.
Following his incarceration in an English prison, Coderre was transferred back to Canada, where he was confined in a prison for the criminally insane.
Sgt Ozanne was afforded a full military funeral, his coffin being escorted by his family, his Regiment and the Regimental Band. Along the route at Crossways Road, the procession was halted to enable the trumpeters to play The Last Post.
Grave reference: 1180
Memorial is erected by his regiment