October 17, 2020. One of the many characteristics I admire about Pieter is his commitment to find a photo and family for every WW1 and WW2 soldier he researches. He refuses to believe that there is a Canadian soldier lying in an overseas cemetery who has been completely forgotten.
When he exhausts his research leads, he asks for help from the media. Today’s posting will mention some of the searches through the media and provide an update on what he’s learned as of today.
WW1 Soldier Bazil Cormier
The story of WW1 soldier Bazil CORMIER, whose name is listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, was told when we visited his grave in Rouen, France in 2017. (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/on-the-road-to-rouen/)
In addition to the blog posting, an article was published in the Country Line Courier newspaper. (See CLC Dec 6 2017 p17 Bazil Cormier Rouen France)
Up to now, no family or photo has been found, so we wondered if we would have any success if an appeal was made in the French language media. Jacinthe LaForest interviewed Pieter for the La Voix Acadienne newspaper. (You can read the article here, which is in French: LaVoix14oct2020_06_10 Bazil Cormier ) So far, no one has come forward.
WW1 soldier James Cairns
Another WW1 soldier whose name is listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion is James CAIRNS. He’s buried in Caix, France, which we visited in 2017. (For his story, see https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/the-search-for-manitoba-cemetery/)
In addition to the blog posting, an article was published in the Country Line Courier newspaper. (See CLC Oct 18 2017 p23 Manitoba Cemetery in France)
Before war broke out, he had moved to Manitoba and lived in the community of Cartwright. With no luck on the Island to find family or a photo, Pieter contacted the Southern Manitoba Review newspaper and his letter was published earlier this month. The editor, Vicki Wallace, is a history buff and dug into the story, giving Pieter more information about the family. However, up to now, no one has responded and a photo has not yet been found.
WW2 soldier John Clifford Rogers
For the Faces To Grave project, which is trying to find photos of WW2 soldiers in The Netherlands, Pieter was unsuccessful in finding a photo for John Clifford ROGERS, whose grave at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands we’d visited in 2019. (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/on-the-war-memorial-trail-our-2019-visit-to-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/)
In addition to the blog posting, an article was published in the Country Line Courier newspaper. (See CLC Jan 29 2020 p26 2019 Visit To Groesbeek)
In an attempt to find family and a photo, Pieter contacted The Guardian newspaper, and his letter was published last week. (See https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/opinion/local-perspectives/letter-seeking-photo-of-soldier-from-second-world-war-508864/) Although he received some inquiries about his letter, to date no family or photo has been found.
WW2 soldier Vernon James Nixon
In another Faces To Grave project search, Pieter contacted The Saint Croix Courier in St. Stephen, New Brunswick about WW2 soldier Vernon James NIXON, who is buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands. We didn’t receive a copy of this letter from editor Kristi Marples, but a few people did contact Pieter.
Kent Caldwell of the local Legion branch mentioned that an old scrapbook had been found several years ago, and an old newspaper photo submitted for the New Brunswick Military Recognition Booklet. The Royal Canadian Legion’s New Brunswick Command subsequently mailed Pieter the entry from the booklet.
Then Pieter was contacted by a family member, who had visited the grave. Hopefully, a photo will be provided.
WW2 soldier Philip Hubert Long
In another Faces To Graves project search, Pieter was interviewed by David Pate of CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon about Philip Hubert LONG of New Brunswick, who is also buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands. (You can listen to the interview here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R07RkSjTeshJA_-UO_W68fsY3FHCSLPB/view?usp=sharing)
Within two hours of the broadcast, Pieter received a call from a family member, and hopefully a photo will be provided.
More photos of soldiers are still to be found
For a list of more soldiers from PEI that Pieter is hoping to find photos of, see here: List of photos needed
Our thanks go to the media for helping us to tell these stories: CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon, County Line Courier, La Voix Acadienne, Southern Manitoba Review, The Guardian, and The Saint Croix Courier. If you can help with providing information on James Cairns, Bazil Cormier, Philip Hubert Long, Vernon James Nixon, or John Clifford Rogers, please email Pieter at email@example.com or comment on the blog.
© Daria Valkenburg