Honouring The Lives Of Soldiers From the Anglican Church in Crapaud

July 15, 2018.  On July 12, Pieter was invited to give a presentation about the Cenotaph Research Project at St. John the Evangelist Church in Crapaud.  As the families of a number of the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion had been members of this church, we made sure that they were featured in the presentation.

These included:

  • Arthur Leigh COLLETT (WW1)
  • Henry Warburton STEWART (WW1)
  • Ernest Murray NORTON (WW2)
  • William Douglas SHERREN (WW2)

Reverend Margaret Collins introduced Pieter, tying in Pieter’s research to remembrance. Among the audience members were several families of the names on the Cenotaph, which made the event very special. Many brought photos and letters, which will increase our knowledge of the lives of these men.  Families in attendance represented the following men:

  • Arthur Leigh COLLETT  (WW1)
  • Elmer Allister MABEY (WW2)
  • Joseph Charles MCIVER (WW2)
  • Ernest Murray NORTON (WW2)
  • Arthur Clinton ROBINSON  (WW1)
  • William Douglas SHERREN (WW2)
  • George Preston SMITH (WW2)
  • John Lyman WOOD  (WW1)
CIMG1010 Jul 12 2018 Pieter at podium Presentation at Anglican Church in Crapaud

Pieter at the podium at St John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Crapaud. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The presentation was well received, with refreshments provided by the Church afterwards, where people could speak with Pieter and each other. Hazel Robinson of the Tryon & Area Historical Society accepted donations to the “Muttart Memorial Fund”.

One person who attended commented afterwards that “I was there to hear more info on Lyman Wood, an ancestor. So pleased to see an interest, amazing to me to see someone speak of him 100 years on. Wood family is very proud of him. I did get to Vimy Ridge in 2007 for 90th, and found his name as well, pretty awesome.  I love Canadian military history, just love the stories, good and bad. Really enjoyed your presentation.  Thanks for all the amazing work that you have done!

CIMG1016 Jul 12 2018 With George Preston Smith family Presentation at Anglican Church in Crapaud

Pieter with the family of WW2 soldier George Preston Smith. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG1022 Jul 12 2018 With Reid & Bruce Norton Presentation at Anglican Church in Crapaud

Pieter with Reid (left) and Bruce (right) Norton, nephews of WW2 soldier Ernest Murray Norton. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG1023 Jul 12 2018 With Charlie Sherren Presentation at Anglican Church in Crapaud

Pieter with Charlie Sherren, nephew of WW2 soldier William Douglas Sherren. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Our thanks to Reverend Margaret Collins and Connie MacKinnon of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church for inviting Pieter to speak, and for their warm hospitality in making this event the success it was.

If you would like Pieter to come and speak about the Cenotaph Research Project, he is open to receiving invitations.  Email him at dariadv@yahoo.ca.

Photos are still needed for many of the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, so please dig out those old albums and take a look.  You can share your photos, comments, or stories by emailing us at dariadv@yahoo.ca or by commenting on this blog.

Donations are still being collected towards the ‘Muttart Memorial Fund’ for a memorial panel in Wons, The Netherlands.  If you would like to donate, cheques may be written out to TAHS and mailed to Tryon & Area Historical Society (TAHS), PO Box 38, Crapaud PE C0A 1J0.  In the subject line, identify your cheque as being for the “Muttart Memorial Fund”.  A charitable donation receipt will be sent to all donors. 

If you wish to donate and you live in Europe:  Bank transfers may be made to Stichting Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation, Bank Account # (IBAN) NL35ABNA0569579856, and state in the subject line “Attn D.S. Drijver for Halifax L9561”.

 © Daria Valkenburg

Good News Bad News

July 12, 2018.  When doing research on something that happened a long time ago, one expects setbacks and successes.  Sometimes the setbacks are greater than the successes, and sometimes the other way around.

On July 30, this blog will be a year old, and the Cenotaph Research Project two years old.   A lot has happened since it began.  Many families have participated in this project, as have universities where some of the soldiers studied.  We thank them for their help in remembering their heroes.

We’re still missing a number of photos, as per the list provided in the previous blog entry.  (See Upcoming Presentation in Crapaud).  In some cases, we have not been able to find family members of the soldiers on the Cenotaph.  Occasionally we found family, only to be told they never heard of the person.  One woman was quite interested to hear about her WW1 soldier relative, but after talking to her mother to see if any photo survived, reported back that the response was “it happened too long ago.”  That was the end of that story!

Most of the time, however, the family was aware of the person, but no photo survived, let alone other documents such as letters or postcards.  This happened to the family of another WW1 soldier, who searched diligently for information and a photo, with no success.  We’ve now placed an ad in ‘Legion‘ magazine, in the hope that someone outside the island will be able to help.

In another instance, we were able to get a photo of one WW1 soldier who died in Belgium, but a photo of his brother, who fought in France, has yet to be found.

So those are some of the setbacks regarding photos and personal stories.  Another recent setback was that we have learned from the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation in The Netherlands that the memorial plaque in Wons, The Netherlands to honour WWII pilot Elmer Muttart and the crew of Halifax L9561, which was planned to be unveiled in October 2018 has been postponed to 2019.  While the postponement of this important ceremony is a disappointment, it’s an opportunity to continue raising funds for this project.

CIMG0984 Jul 9 2018 Pieter and Angela Walker of CBC Mainstreet

Pieter with Angela Walker of CBC’s Mainstreet in the CBC studio in Charlottetown. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Ok, now for some positive news.  Angela Walker of CBC Mainstreet interviewed Pieter earlier this week.  If you missed the radio interview, here is the link:  https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/mainstreet-pei/segment/15556040 and the brief write-up on the CBC website:  Finding the heroic stories behind the names on a local cenotaph. Pieter Valkenburg is a Dutch Canadian who wanted to learn more about the names on the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph. So he started a research project to find the stories behind these fallen soldiers.’

Shane Ross posted a story on the CBC website based on what was discussed in the interview, and you can read that article here:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-pieter-valkenburg-soldiers-holland-netherlands-1.4740888

We are grateful to CBC PEI for taking an interest in the Cenotaph Research Project, and also to the County Line Courier newspaper, which has been publishing our stories since the project began.

A reminder that if you have a relative who was a WWII soldier and is buried in The Netherlands, please consider participating in a project to collect photos and stories for each soldier.  You can email your photos and info to Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca and he will forward the information on your behalf to the project team in The Netherlands.

© Daria Valkenburg


Upcoming Presentation in Crapaud

July 9, 2018.  Everyone is invited to attend the upcoming presentation about the Cenotaph Research Project at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Crapaud on Thursday, July 12, 2018.  Below, please see poster and a list of photos of soldiers we are still looking for.  Can you help???

Poster Cenotaph Research Project presentation

Names still without faces from WWI

  • James CAIRNS, born in Kinkora
  • Leigh Hunt CAMERON, born in Albany
  • James Lymon CAMERON, born in Victoria
  • William Galen CAMPBELL, born in Wellington
  • Bazil CORMIER, born in Tignish
  • Joseph Arthur DESROCHES, born in Miscouche
  • James Graham FARROW, born in Argyle Shore
  • Charles LOWTHER, born in North Carleton
  • Arthur Clinton ROBINSON, born in Tryon
  • Harry ROBINSON, born in Augustine Cove

Names still without faces from WWII

  • Leonard Stephen AVERY, born in Bedeque
  • John Daniel FERGUSON, born in Borden
  • Ernest Ramey GALLANT, born in Borden
  • Singleton Charles JEFFERY, born in Bayfield, New Brunswick

The Cenotaph also lists an F. ARSENAULT.  No information at all has been found for someone of this name from this area.

As a separate project, Pieter is helping researchers in The Netherlands who are looking for photos and information on Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands If you have a relative with a grave in The Netherlands and would like to participate, you can email your photos and info to Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca and he will forward the information on your behalf.  Or you can drop off your photos on Thursday and after being scanned they will be returned to you.

© Daria Valkenburg