July 28, 2017. On July 27, 2017, CBC PEI ran a radio interview on Island Morning, where Pieter talked about the cenotaph research project and the story of Elmer Muttart. The radio interview was accompanied by a web article, and a clip on the local news program Compass.
The transcript of the web article follows the links to each of the interviews:
CBC Radio interview: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1011225155824
TV CBC Compass: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1011600963888 . The clip with Pieter starts at 11:52.
CBC Web article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-borden-soldier-1.4223247
Transcript of web article:
‘This needs to be done’: Historian pays tribute to Borden-Carleton veterans
Pieter Valkenburg is researching and fundraising to honour the soldiers named on the Borden-Carleton cenotaph
By Cody MacKay, CBC News
A P.E.I. historian is working along with a local historical society to put together profiles and other tributes for the 48 veterans named on the Borden-Carleton cenotaph.
“I’m going to find out who these people are and give a face to every name,” Pieter Valkenburg said. “For me it’s a way to say thank you, Canada.”
Valkenburg is a historian and member of the Tryon and Area Historical Society.
He’s originally from the Netherlands and says he and his wife are taking on the project out of respect for the country he now calls home
“If it wasn’t for the Canadians, I might not have been sitting here.”
Learning the story
Valkenburg said so far, he’s found information on all but one of the men.
Photo: Elmer Bagnall Muttart sacrificed his life to save a Dutch village. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)
“My wife has written about five or six articles — that is mainly for trying to get more information. We are also going to do presentations on them.”
Valkenburg is planning on publishing two books with all the information he’s gathered, which will be available at the Borden-Carleton Legion for visitors to read.
Of all the research Valkenburg has done, one story has struck him the most: that of Elmer Bagnall Muttart.
‘This should have been recognized a long time ago’
Photo: Valkenburg has binders full of research on the 48 soldiers named on the Borden-Carleton cenotaph. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)
‘I think he sacrificed his life to save the village’ — Pieter Valkenburg
Muttart was a 23-year-old man from Cape Traverse, P.E.I., who Valkenburg says flew a bomber for the Canadians during World War II.
According to Valkenburg’s research, Muttart flew 21 missions and was killed on his last flight during a bombing run over Bremen, Germany.
Valkenburg said Muttart was intercepted by a German night fighter that shot the bomber to pieces, forcing the pilot to change course in his final moments away from a village down below.
“The main reason why he did that was he realized the plane was probably going to crash,” Valkenburg suggested. “But he wanted to give his crew a chance to parachute out.”
Seven British crew members were on board, according to Valkenburg, and all escaped safely while Muttart steered the burning plane away from a Dutch village, dying when the plane crashed into a field.
“I think he sacrificed his life to save the village,” he said. “He made sure his whole crew was saved.”
“This should have been recognized a long time ago.”
To recognize Muttart, Valkenburg is raising money for a memorial plaque near the location where he died. He said some funding is even being provided by the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation in the Netherlands.
‘I feel that this needs to be done’
Valkenburg plans to travel to Europe and visit the grave site of all the soldiers from the Borden cenotaph, along with Vimy Ridge and the Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium.
“I feel that this needs to be done,” he said. “It feels good for me to do it — I feel a lot of gratitude to what was done.”
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© Daria Valkenburg
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