On The War Memorial Trail…..A Face For Joseph Hennebery!

May 31, 2020.  Last year, a request was made for photos and information on PEI soldiers from WW2 who were buried in The Netherlands.  (See Photos and Info Requested For WW2 Soldiers From PEI Buried In The Netherlands)  One of these soldiers, buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, was Joseph ‘Joe’ Edmund HENNEBERY. 

He was born in Morell on July 7, 1919, the son of Edmund Joseph and Mary ‘May’ Hennebery, and was a sapper with the Royal Canadian Engineers – 33rd Field Company, and served in the UK, France, and The Netherlands.  He died in The Netherlands on April 20, 1945, aged 25, along with two other men, Pte L. A. CROSS, a cook in the platoon, and Sapper A. COLVIN, following an accident on April 18 while off duty.

When we were in The Netherlands last fall, Pieter placed flags at his grave.  “It’s always much more meaningful when I’m standing at a grave and have an idea what the person looked like.”  After our return, a chance encounter with Hennebery’s niece, Teresa Hennebery, resulted in a photo of her uncle, finally giving a face to the name listed on the grave.  “He looks exactly like my father” Teresa explained. “Joe is my father’s brother.

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Joseph ‘Joe’ E. Henneberry.  (Photo courtesy Hennebery Family Collection.  Photo restoration and colourization by Pieter Valkenburg)

The Hennebery Family from Morell Rear (now called Green Meadows) was very committed to the World War II war effort.  At one point seven of the twelve children in the family were serving in the Canadian Army or Air Force.  Sadly, Joe was the only one of the Hennebery siblings that did not come home.

In 2000, Teresa visited his grave with family members.  “…That was the first time anyone from the Hennebery family visited Joe Hennebery’s grave.  It was a very emotional and impactful trip…

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In 2000, Joe Hennebery’s sister-in-law Mary visited his grave, and posed for a photo with her sisters. Left to right: Laura Brazel, Mary Hennebery, Evelyn McAliney.  (Photo courtesy Hennebery Family Collection)

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Teresa and Mary Hennebery at Joe Hennebery’s grave in 2000.  (Photo courtesy Hennebery Family Collection)

On behalf of the Hennebery family, Teresa wrote that “The family appreciates the efforts of the Dutch people to commemorate and remember those Islanders and Canadians who gave their lives for our freedom. ‘Dying for freedom is not the worst thing that could happen; being forgotten is.’…

Joe Hennebery is not the only family member buried in a Dutch cemetery.  Michael Joseph ‘Joe’ MCKENNA, the brother of Teresa’s mother Mary, is buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. “My mother and I were in Holland in May 2000 for a commemoration ceremony for her brother (also named Joe) who was killed in Rha a couple of weeks before my other Uncle Joe died.  It was so beautiful and the people of Rha treated us like Royalty...

Thank you to Teresa Hennebery for sharing her family photos, which will be forwarded by Pieter to the researchers at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.  If you have information to share about Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg


The Young WW2 Soldier Who Lost His Life On The Operating Table

May 23, 2020.  In uncovering the stories of the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, it’s been an eye-opener on how being based in Canada during wartime was no guarantee of safety! Accidents and illnesses took their share of lives, a fate that befell WW2 soldier Harold “Lloyd” LEFURGEY, who was born on June 9, 1926 in North Bedeque.

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Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey in November 1944. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

The son of Harold Lefurgey and Mary Todd, Lloyd lived in North Bedeque with his family until 1942, when the family moved to Saint John, New Brunswick.

Lefurgey Family, Behind Their House, Saint John NB, Harold, Mary, Alex, Muriel, Bill & Lloyd

The Lefurgey family behind their house in Saint John, NB.  Standing top, Harold and Mary Lefurgey.  Children, middle row: Alex and Muriel.  Children, front row: Bill and Lloyd. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

Employed as a marine coppersmith’s helper at the St. John Drydocks in Saint John, he enlisted in the Canadian Army on February 16, 1945 in Fredericton.  A note on his enlistment record noted that he was “underage for overseas until June 9, 1945.”

Mildred Allen & Lloyd Lefurgey, Saint John

Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey with Mildred Allen at a time when Mildred’s brother was dating Lloyd’s sister. (Photo courtesy of Johnson Duplessis)

A few weeks later, while undergoing basic infantry training at No 70 Canadian Infantry (Basic) Training Centre in Fredericton, he fell ill. He was taken to Fredericton Military Hospital, New Brunswick and was about to be operated on for acute appendicitis.

The Casualty Report records that “On the night of the 16th March 1945 Pte Lefurgey was quite sick in bed, but seemed to recover the next morning.  When asked to go on sick parade, he replied that he preferred to go on Physical Training Parade.  He took sick again at about 0900 hours 17th March 1945 and was immediately taken to the Medical Inspection Room, from where he was at once taken by ambulance to Fredericton Military Hospital.  He was about to be operated on for acute appendicitis, and he died before the operation could actually be started, while under anesthetic.  Cause of death:  cardiac syncope.”  He was only 18 years old. (Note: Syncope is the medical term for ‘fainting’.  “Cardiac syncope occurs when the source of one’s loss of consciousness stems from a problem in the heart that prevents it from supplying enough nutrients and oxygen to the brain.”…. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526027/)

Anna Lefurgey Cornish wrote that “His parents were living in St. John. A member of the armed forces came to the house to inform them of their son’s passing.  His remains were taken home to Cape Traverse and a funeral held in The Free Church of Scotland and then interred in the cemetery there.


Grave of Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey at Cape Traverse Free Church of Scotland Cemetery.  (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

Thank you to Johnson Duplessis and Anna Lefurgey Cornish for providing photos and information on Harold “Lloyd” Lefurgey.  If you have an anecdote or photo to share, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

The Halifax L9561 Crew Remembered In Wons

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May 15, 2020.  On October 12, 2019 a memorial panel to honour the crew of Halifax L9561 was placed in Wons, near the crash site where Flight Sgt Elmer Bagnall MUTTART lost his life. (See On The War Memorial Trail…..The Memorial Panel In Wons Is Unveiled!)

IMG_0655 Oct 12 2019 unveiling of memorial panel in Wons

The memorial panel to honour the crew of Halifax L9561 in Wons was unveiled on October 12, 2019. (Photo courtesy of http://www.dorpwons.nl)

On May 4, 2020, the village of Wons remembered the victims of WW2 in their community.  Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions on social gatherings, it was not a public ceremony.

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Memorial panel in Wons on May 4, 2020. (Photo credit: Dooitze van den Berg)

Bottje Tilstra, the village secretary, was kind enough to send a video taken of the memorial ceremony in Wons.  You can watch the ceremony by the memorial panel at this link:  http://www.dorpwons.nl/assets/img/gallerij/2020/VID-20200513-WA0000.mp4. People in the video are:

  • Knilles Elgersma (presenting bouquet), Chair of the village council
  • Bugler is Boukje Elgersma, 1st trumpeter of the village music ensemble Hosanna
  • Dirk Stoffels (with beard) – member of the May 4 Committee
  • Dooitze van den Berg – photographer
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May 4, 2020 ceremony at the memorial panel in Wons. Left to right: Dirk Stoffels, Knilles Elgersma, Boukje Elgersma. (Photo credit: Dooitze van den Berg)

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May 4, 2020. Memorial panel overlooks the site of the plane crash on October 12, 1941. (Photo credit: Dooitze van den Berg)

How wonderful that the village included the Halifax L9561 memorial panel in their annual May 4 Remembrance of the War Dead ceremonies! (For more information on this annual event in The Netherlands see   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_the_Dead.)

If you haven’t seen our video about Halifax L9561, “He Died That We Might Live“, you can watch it here:

Pieter is still busy with researching Canadian soldiers.  If you have photos or information to share, please contact him at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

Commemorative Coins From West Nova Scotia Regimental Association

May 12, 2020.  Two names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion were in the West Nova Scotia Regiment during WW2:  Ernest Murray NORTON and Arnold Dudley TAYLOR.  Both lost their lives in Italy.  Norton’s story has been previously told in this blog (See The Last Valentine From A WWII Soldier), Taylor’s is still being researched.

Left: Ernest Murray Norton (Photo courtesy Harry Norton family collection) Right: Arnold Dudley Taylor (Photo courtesy Barbara Simester family collection)

Recently, Ron Stonier, President of the West Nova Scotia Regimental Association, let us know about a commemorative coin produced “for each of the 359 West Nova soldiers killed overseas. When someone joins the Regimental Association and pays their annual dues, we give one of our coins as a symbol of membership. On the front is our cap badge, and on the back is an image of our monument in Camp Aldershot, NS, flanked by the badges of the two regiments which were amalgamated in 1936 to form the West Nova Scotia Regiment. Below the monument is the name, rank, serial number, date of death, and age at death if available.

Stonier went to note that “We attempt to find the families of the soldiers who died to give them the coin representing their loved one. So far, we have been able to connect 40 coins with family members, and it’s a very satisfying feeling to do so.  We have fewer than 100 coins left, but we do have one for each of for Lt Taylor and Pte Norton.”  He kindly sent images of the coins.

Lt AD Taylor

Commemorative coin for Arnold Dudley Taylor.  (Photo courtesy West Nova Scotia Regimental Association)

Pte EM Norton

Commemorative coin for Ernest Murray Norton.  (Photo courtesy West Nova Scotia Regimental Association)

We have contacted the families of Norton and Taylor to let them know about the coins.  If you have a relative who was in the West Nova Scotia Regiment, and would like more information on the commemorative coin or joining the association, please visit their website at https://www.wnsr.ca/ra.

We’re delighted to hear from various archives and regimental associations, and thank Ron Stonier for letting us know about the commemorative coins. Pieter continues to research Islanders who served in WW1 and WW2. If you have photos or information to share on Ernest Murray Norton or Arnold Dudley Taylor, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

A Taste Of The Netherlands In A Cookie

CIMG3185 Sep 30 2019 Leeuwarden with Pieter Daria Douwe Alexander

Enjoying a Frisian cookie and  coffee in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands! Left to right: Alexander Tuinhout, Pieter and Daria Valkenburg, Douwe Drijver.

May 11, 2020.  Note:  This posting has NOTHING to do with military research, but as we are still at home due to Covid-19, I thought you might find it of interest. 

Last fall, while in The Netherlands, we were in a restaurant in the province of Friesland with two men from the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation.  In The Netherlands, when you order a cup of coffee or tea, it ALWAYS comes accompanied with a cookie.  In this restaurant it came with a traditional Frisian cookie.  After I raved about it, we went to a bakery near the restaurant, and the cookies were pointed out to me.  Naturally I bought a bag.

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Once we came home, Pieter found a recipe, made these delicious treats, and translated the recipe into English.  In honour of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of The Netherlands, here is the recipe, which you may wish to try for yourselves:

Fryse Dumkes

  • 250 grams (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) golden yellow sugar
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) finely chopped hazelnuts (not ground)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • ¾ tsp anise seed
  • Pinch of salt

Mix together flour, sugar, hazelnuts, spices, and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add the butter and egg.

Mix thoroughly until you get a ball of dough.

Cover dough with plastic or a plate and refrigerate for ½ hour.

After ½ hour, sprinkle some flour on a surface and roll out dough into a rectangular shape that is 1 cm (slightly less than ½ inch) thick.

Cut out shapes about the size of your thumb (such as in little sticks).

Prepare cookie tin with parchment paper and place cookies on tin.  Makes about 35 cookies.

Bake in a preheated 320oF (160oC) oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Let cool, and then enjoy!  If any cookies are left, store in a tin.

Happy Baking!

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Fryske Dumkes ready to be enjoyed.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Rest assured….Pieter is still busy with researching Canadian soldiers, so if you have information to share, please contact him at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg


3 Short Videos About The Liberation Of The Netherlands

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May 6, 2020.  In the last blog posting, photos about the tulips that were placed in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek were featured.  (See Tulips Placed At Each Grave At The Canadian War Cemetery In Groesbeek)

Alice van Bekkum, Chair of Faces To Graves, sent us a short YouTube video “Er zijn duizenden tulpen op de Canadese Erebegraafplaats geplaatst” (“Thousands of tulips have been placed in the Canadian War Cemetery”) that shows tulips being placed on the graves at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek by volunteers.  You can watch it here:

Historica Canada has produced a short video,  “Liberation of The Netherlands in their Heritage Minutes series.


Think Like A Historian, another Historica Canada production, also has a YouTube video on the Liberation of The Netherlands.


Happy Viewing!  If you have information to share about Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

Tulips Placed At Each Grave At The Canadian War Cemetery In Groesbeek

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May 5, 2020.  While events planned for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of The Netherlands were cancelled due to social distancing to prevent further outbreaks of coronavirus, organizations and individuals have found ways to mark the occasion.  One group from BC, the Dutch Canadian Liberation 2020 Society, planned many commemorative events.  (See https://www.dutchcanada2020.com/about-us/ )

When these had to be cancelled, the Society decided to pay for tulips to be placed at the graves at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.  Most of the soldiers buried in this cemetery fell during the fighting on the Lower Rhine between February 8 and March 26, 1945.  In addition, the names of 1,103 soldiers reported missing between August 1944 and May 1945 are listed on the Groesbeek Memorial, with only a few found since the memorial was put up.  The rest are still listed as MIA (Missing In Action).

The Cemetery was closed on the first two days in May while volunteers placed tulips in vases beside each grave.

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Tulips arrive at the Cemetery on May 1.  (Photo credit: Piet Spanjers)

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Each grave had a vase of tulips placed by volunteers.  (Photo credit: Piet Spanjers)

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Vases of tulips line the bench along the Memorial Wall.  (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)


Grave of L/Cpl Ralph Schurman BOULTER, North Nova Scotia Highlanders, from West Point. (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)

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Grave of PEI soldier Sapper Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY, Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers, from Morrell. (Photo credit: Scheepers family)


Grave of L/Cpl Frank Edward MCGOVERN, North Shore Regiment, born in Chipman. (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)

Our thanks to Ad and Noor Scheepers for taking photos, including those of the graves of:

  • Ralph Schurman BOULTER, who came from West Point, PEI
  • Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY, who came from Morrell, PEI
  • Frank Edward MCGOVERN, born in Chipman, NB

You can read (or re-read!) about our 2019 and 2017 War Memorial tour visits to the cemetery here:

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/on-the-war-memorial-trail-our-2019-visit-to-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/on-the-war-memorial-trail-pei-soldiers-buried-in-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/on-the-war-memorial-trail-at-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

In an unrelated commemorative gesture, a group of Dutch farmers used tractors to spell out ’75 Jaar Vrijheid’ (75 Years of Freedom) in the shape of a torch. They were given a citation by Dutch authorities for not respecting social distancing rules! (Watch them make this tribute in a 42 second video at https://www.nu.nl/280619/video/boeren-vormen-fakkel-met-trekkers-in-wei-en-ontsteken-vrijheidsvuur.html?jwsource=em)

No photos have yet been found for Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY and Frank Edward MCGOVERN. Can you help? If you have information to share about any Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

New Website On Canadian Scottish Regiment During WW2

   speldje bevrijdingMay 4, 2020.  As the Dutch remember the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of The Netherlands, this year without any public gatherings and events cancelled due to social distancing to prevent further outbreaks of coronavirus, Edwin van der Wolf of Hattem, The Netherlands, notified us about a website he’s begun.  This labour of love is about the 394 fallen soldiers of the Canadian Scottish Regiment during WW 2, a regiment from Victoria, BC.

The website is in Dutch and English, and includes maps, war diaries, a brief history of the regiment, photos, brief biographies of the fallen soldiers, and the cemeteries they are buried in. You can access the website at https://www.csri.nl/.

We first met Edwin on our 2017 War Memorial Tour, when we visited the graves and monuments of most of the names listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  In addition to his research into the Canadian Scottish Regiment, Edwin is an active researcher at the Holten Information Centre based at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/on-the-war-memorial-trail-at-the-information-centre-at-holten-canadian-war-cemetery/ for an account of our visit there.)

Back in 2017, we asked him about his interest in Canadian soldiers and he told us that he feels a special bond with Canada.  He explained that his grandfather lived in an area of Deventer that was liberated by Canadians. “My grandfather lived in a house in a corner of the street, and he could see a hospital fence 100 metres away.  Canadian soldiers climbed the iron gate and, in a crouching position, walked past a couple of Germans who were on the roof and firing at the Canadians who’d climbed over the gate.  The Germans withdrew as the Canadians advanced.  Grandfather told this story every Sunday!”  This story captured a young Edwin’s imagination.  “So many Canadians came from thousands of kms away to help liberate the Dutch!

CIMG9320 Edwin van der Wolf and Pieter in Schalkhaar

Edwin van der Wolf (left) with Pieter in Schalkhaar beside a panel commemorating Lt. Clayton Leroy MITCHELL of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, who lost his life on April 10, 1945.  The panel was placed at Edwin’s initiative.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

One of the places where the Canadian Scottish Regiment fought was in Schalkhaar, near Deventer.  Edwin took us on a tour of the village and told us one story about what happened there on April 10, 1945…

The Canadians were in a villa in Schalkhaar and saw Germans coming up the road, crawling through ditches.  After the Canadians shot at them from the villa, about 25 Germans came with a white flag and surrendered themselves as prisoners of war.  The Canadians thought that was the end of the incident, but then three tanks of Germans came and shot at them right through the villa.  Corporal Frank Arthur CHERRY was killed in that villa.

You can find more about Lt Mitchell and Cpl Cherry on the website, along with 392 more soldiers.  Both men were killed during the Battle of Deventer and are buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. Kudos to Edwin for this initiative!

If you have information to share about any Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg