On The War Memorial Trail….. The Search For A Photo Of Austin Havelock Munroe Is On YouTube

November 29, 2022. Sometimes uncovering a photo of a soldier leads to a much larger investigation. That’s what happened when Pieter looked into the service file of Charles Marshall CARSON of Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, one of the names on the photo wish list from the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.

…Pieter was astonished to learn that 39 North Novies lost their lives on his 1st birthday….

…He died on my birthday! I was just one year old!…” Pieter exclaimed.  When he learned that Carson died during the Battle of Bienen in Germany on March 25, 1945, he wondered if there were more Canadian soldiers who had lost their lives that day.

Pieter contacted Alice van Bekkum, Chair of the Groesbeek Cemetery Faces To Graves project and asked if there were more casualties.  To his surprise, Alice sent a list of 38 more soldiers from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment.  12 of these soldiers were on the cemetery’s photo wish list.

Over the past months, Pieter managed to find families of 11 of these soldiers, and has already received photos of 10.  One family is in the process of preparing a copy of a treasured photo.  In March 2023 a special series on several of these soldiers will be featured on this blog, in the lead up to March 25.

…One soldier’s photo still has not been found…

One soldier’s photo is still outstanding – Austin Havelock MUNROE.  Austin was born on December 2, 1919 in Little Dover, Nova Scotia, the son of Edward and Minnie Munroe.  He was married to Anna Elizabeth Munroe, nee Barry.

In the hope of reaching as many people as possible, Pieter sat down to help feature this photo quest on our YouTube Channel.  You can watch Photo Search-WW2 Soldier Austin Havelock Munroe (S3E2) here:

Pieters saying

…Pieter’s interview on CTV Atlantic News At 5 was successful….

In addition to the YouTube video, on Monday, November 7, 2022, Pieter was interviewed by Ceilidh Millar of CTV Atlantic News At 5 about the search for 4 soldiers of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment who died during the Battle of Bienen on March 25, 2022.

You can read the article and watch the video.  See P.E.I. man identifying Canadian soldiers in the Netherlands | CTV News https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/maritime-man-appealing-to-public-for-help-identifying-lost-canadian-soldiers-1.6143236

Following this interview, family of one soldier immediately came forward with a photo.  Families of two other soldiers subsequently got in contact.

Thank you to post-production editor Wendy Nattress, who made this YouTube video a reality.  Thank you also to Ceilidh Millar, Jayson Baxter, Maria Panopalis, and CTV Atlantic News At 5 for publicizing the photo search of soldiers killed in Bienen, Germany.

If you have photos or information to share about Austin Havelock Munroe – or any of the soldiers killed during the Battle of Bienen -, please let Pieter know. You can email him at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.

….The 38 Other North Novies Buried in Groesbeek….

  • Clifford BATEMAN of La Poile, Newfoundland
  • Vilhelm Kruuse BOGGILD of Lockeport, Nova Scotia
  • John Joseph BOHON (BOHONKO) of Montreal, Quebec
  • Ralph Schurman BOULTER of West Point, Prince Edward Island
  • Herbert Malcolm BRANNEN of Stony Island, Nova Scotia
  • Lawrence William BULGER of Foxley River, Prince Edward Island
  • Charles Marshall CARSON of Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick
  • Hugh Patterson CHRISTIE of English Town, Nova Scotia
  • Walter George COLEBOURNE of Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Roy Williams COLLINS of North Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • George Mitchell DASH of Sable River West, Nova Scotia
  • Harry William DOUCETTE of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
  • Charles Benjamin HAGERTY of Port Williams, Nova Scotia
  • Marven Glenroy HARVEY of North Noel Road, Nova Scotia
  • Granville Murray HEARABOUT of Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Gordon HENRY of North Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Harold Charles JAMES of Springhill, Nova Scotia
  • Harold Lawrence KEDDY of Port Williams, Nova Scotia
  • Kitchener LANGILLE of North Glasgow, Nova Scotia
  • Stewart Rindress MACDONALD of Cape Dauphin, Nova Scotia
  • Norbert James MACINTYRE of Reserve Mines, Nova Scotia
  • Donald John MACKINNON of Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Leo Joseph MACMULLAN of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
  • Robert Bruce MACNEILL of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • Marvin William MCGREGOR of West Jeddore, Nova Scotia
  • Gordon Robert MCLEOD of Toronto, Ontario
  • Harland Evender MITCHELL of East Jeddore, Nova Scotia
  • Edward John MUNRO of Quebec City, Quebec
  • Austin Havelock MUNROE of Little Dover, Nova Scotia
  • Laurie Douglas PAGE of Rawdon, Nova Scotia
  • Wilfred Joseph POWER of New Westminster, British Columbia
  • Wesley Levi ROBINSON of South Maitland, Nova Scotia
  • Louis Allan SEXTON of Saint-Jules, Quebec
  • Norman Alexander SHAW of Lochside, Nova Scotia
  • Edison Alexander SMITH of West Point, Prince Edward Island
  • William THOMPSON of Campbelltown, New Brunswick
  • Eric Herman THOMSON of Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • John Lewis WALLACE of Canning, Nova Scotia
  • Theodore George WARNELL of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

NOTE: These are not the only casualties from the Battle of Bienen, only the ones identified as being in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment.

…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Front cover OnTheWarMememorialTrailinEuropeDaria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats.  Net proceeds of book sales help support research costs and the cost of maintaining this blog. For more information on the book, please see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. Remembrance Day On The Island

RemembranceDayHeader

November 13, 2022. Remembrance Week is always busy at our place. This year was a bit different as we gave a presentation featuring a few of the names listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, at the Legion’s Remembrance Day indoor service – prior to the placing of wreaths and crosses at the Cenotaph.

RCL Nov 11 2022 Presentation They Arent Just Names On A Cenotaph

This was the title of our presentation.

…11 photos are still to be found for the names on the Cenotaph….

There are 48 names from WWI and WWII listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  Unfortunately, photos for 9 from WWI and 2 from WWII have not been found.  The story of each one has been told in previous postings on this blog.

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
  • 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
  • Ernest Ramey GALLANT, born in Borden

 … We attend Remembrance Day ceremonies in Borden-Carleton and Kinkora…..

November 11, 2022 was a cool day for the Remembrance Day service at the Legion in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island.

CIMG6027 Nov 11 2022 Borden Carleton Legion Ceremony Pieter and Danny Bernard

Pieter and Danny Bernard walk to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Borden-Carleton on behalf of the Government of Canada. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG6028 Nov 11 2022 Borden Carleton Legion Ceremony Pieter lays wreath

Pieter placed the wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada at the Cenotaph in Borden-Carleton. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG6035 Nov 11 2022 Cenotaph at Borden Carleton Legion

Flag bearers Arthur Ranahan (left) and George Palmer (right) are flanked by representatives from the Fire Brigade and RCMP at the Cenotaph in Borden-Carleton. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

In the afternoon, members of the Legion attended the Remembrance Day ceremony in Kinkora.

CIMG6039 Nov 11 2022 Kinkora Pieter and Heath MacDonald

Pieter Valkenburg with The Honourable Heath MacDonald, MP for Malpeque after laying a wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada in Kinkora.

…Remembrance Day didn’t end with the two ceremonies!…

After we returned home in the late afternoon, cold and tired, we learned that CTV News wanted to interview Pieter during a live broadcast.  So, after a short rest, Pieter was interviewed by Todd van der Heyden of CTV news.  You can watch Military researcher identifies 200 fallen soldiers | CTV News at https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2561931

Remembrance Day may be over for another year, but Pieter’s research work continues.  If you have photos and information to share about Canadian soldiers, please contact Pieter at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.

…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Front cover OnTheWarMememorialTrailinEuropeDaria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats.  Net proceeds of book sales help support research costs and the cost of maintaining this blog. For more information on the book, please see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. The Importance Of Remembrance

RemembranceDayHeader

November 9, 2022. On November 11, we will remember the memories and sacrifices made by those who did their best to answer the call to fight for freedom.

Those who sacrificed their lives in war are not just names on a Cenotaph or buried in a war grave.  They were children, siblings, spouses, parents, friends… Each one has a story that can be told and they should not be forgotten. That’s been the goal of this research blog over the years.

…Burnie Reynaert still remembers laying a wreath as a young girl….field-of-poppies300

Burnie Reynaert still remembers her uncle Lewis Wilkieson MARSH of Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, one of 5 soldiers from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment who drowned in a tragic accident on the Leda River during the Battle of Leer in Germany on April 28, 1945. (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2021/05/18/on-the-war-memorial-trail-a-tragic-drowning-on-the-leda-river-in-germany-part-4/)

Last year, Burnie shared the telegrams her grandmother received, first saying that Lewis was believed to have drowned, and then the awful confirmation that he had died.  (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2021/11/10/on-the-war-memorial-trail-linking-the-past-with-the-present/)

This year, Burnie shared a photo of herself as a young girl, placing a wreath in honour of her uncle.

IMG_9994 Burnie Reynaert re Lewis Wilkieson Marsh

A very young Burnie placed a wreath in honour of her uncle, Lewis Wilkieson Marsh.  (Photo courtesy of B. Reynaert)

Even today, Burnie has not forgotten her uncle’s sacrifice.

IMG_0348 Burnie Reynaert with book

Burnie Reynaert with book.  (Photo courtesy of B.  Reynaert)

field-of-poppies300…We visited the memorial in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia…

20220912_123247 Sep 12 2022 Pieter beside Saulnierville Memorial

Pieter beside the memorial in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

This fall, while in Nova Scotia, we visited the memorial in Saulnierville.  Two soldiers that Pieter researched are listed on this monument.  Both are buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.

Joseph ‘Ambroise’ COMEAU, from Lower Saulnierville, Nova Scotia, was one of 5 soldiers from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment who drowned in a tragic accident on the Leda River during the Battle of Leer in Germany on April 28, 1945.  (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2021/05/17/on-the-war-memorial-trail-a-tragic-drowning-on-the-leda-river-in-germany-part-3/ and https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2021/11/10/on-the-war-memorial-trail-linking-the-past-with-the-present/)

Joseph E.  ROBICHAU, from Meteghan, Nova Scotia, lost his life on April 14, 1945 near Deventer, The Netherlands, while serving with the Royal 22nd Regiment.  His story will be told in an upcoming posting.

20220912_123347 Sep 12 2022 Saulnierville Memorial WW2 soldiers inc Comeau & Robichau

The WWII tribute on the memorial in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

…Pieter interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press….field-of-poppies300

20210220_111030 Feb 20 2021 Pieter with photo wish lists

Pieter surrounded by some of the photo wish lists from the Canadian War Cemeteries in The Netherlands.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Pieter was interviewed by Kevin Rollason of the Winnipeg Free Press, about his request for help in finding photos of 12 soldiers from Manitoba who are buried in The Netherlands.  The article, ‘A name without a face’, ran online on November 4, 2022 and in the print edition on November 5, 2022. As of the date of this posting, the photo wish list remains unfulfilled. Here is the link in case you can help:  https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/2022/11/04/a-name-without-a-face

field-of-poppies300…Pieter interviewed on CTV Atlantic News At 5….

On Monday, November 7, 2022, Pieter was interviewed by Ceilidh Millar of CTV Atlantic News At 5 about the search for 4 soldiers of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment who died during the Battle of Bienen on March 25, 2022.

You can read the article and watch the video.  See P.E.I. man identifying Canadian soldiers in the Netherlands | CTV News https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/maritime-man-appealing-to-public-for-help-identifying-lost-canadian-soldiers-1.6143236

The names of the soldiers mentioned in the interview were:

  1. Donald John MACKINNON, born October 8, 1925 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, son of Joseph and Catherine ( nee MacNeil) MacKinnon.
  2. Austin Havelock MUNROE, born December 2, 1919 in Little Dover, Nova Scotia, son of Edward and Minnie Munroe. He was married to Ana Elizabeth (nee Barry) Munroe.
  3. John Lewis WALLACE, born June 1, 1921 in Canning, Nova Scotia., son of William Edward and Amy Louise Wallace. He was married to Doris Avanelle (nee Crowe) Wallace. They had one son, William Lewis Wallace.
  4. Louis Allan SEXTON, son of  James E. and Ethel Sexton of Maria Est, Bonaventure County in Quebec, is also still on the photo wish list.

Incredibly, shortly after the broadcast we were contacted by Irene Doyle of Campbelltown, New Brunswick, who sent us a photo of Louis Sexton, which came from the Bay Chaleur Military Museum website.  The three soldiers from Nova Scotia are still on the photo wish list!

… ‘Il Silenzio’ to remember the fallen….field-of-poppies300

It seems fitting to end this Remembrance Week posting with music.  In a Dutch Liberation Day concert in Maastricht, The Netherlands, 13-year-old Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands), was the trumpet soloist in a haunting rendition of ‘Il Silenzio’ (The Silence). This piece, by Italian composer Nino Rossi, is based upon what we know as The Last Post. Watch

Thank you to Burnie Reynaert for sharing a childhood photo, Irene Doyle for sending the photo of Louis Sexton, Kevin Rollason and the Winnipeg Free Press for publicizing the photo search request of soldiers from Manitoba, and to Ceilidh Millar, Jayson Baxter, and CTV Atlantic News At 5 for publicizing the photo search of soldiers killed in Bienen, Germany.

If you can help with these photo requests, or have a story to tell, please let Pieter know. You can email him at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.

field-of-poppies300…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Front cover OnTheWarMememorialTrailinEuropeDaria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats.  Net proceeds of book sales help support research costs and the cost of maintaining this blog. For more information on the book, please see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw.

© Daria Valkenburg

On The War Memorial Trail….. The WWII Soldier From Albion Who Died During The Defence Of The Nijmegen Salient

November 2, 2022. Once you visit a Canadian War Cemetery and place down a flag by the grave of a soldier from the province where you live, it stays with you, and makes you wonder about the young man who is buried there.  Over the years, Pieter has researched several of the soldiers from Prince Edward Island who are buried in The Netherlands, and he continues to do so. 

One of these WWII soldiers was George ‘Ivan’ MACKINNON, who was born September 16, 1917 in Albion, Prince Edward Island, the son of Wilbert and Catherine ‘Kattie’ (nee Acorn) MacKinnon (also spelled McKinnon).  Ivan’s birth record says he was born on September 16, but he recorded September 26 on his attestation form.

…The photo search began with media help….

In his quest to find a photo, Pieter contacted Charlotte MacAulay of the Eastern Graphic newspaper for help in publicizing his quest.  The article ran on September 21, 2022 and shortly afterwards, Pieter was contacted by Sandra Stephens, who explained that she had a photo.

EAG-A03-092122-K Eastern Graphic George Ivan MacKinnon with border

20221019_102847 Oct 19 2022 Pieter and Sandra Stephens

Sandra Stephens with Pieter. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

When we met, Sandra explained that “… Dad’s Aunt Chris married Nathaniel MacKinnon, Ivan’s uncle.  Their place was just up the road and we visited there…

George Ivan MacKinnon

George ‘Ivan’ MacKinnon. (Photo courtesy of Sandra Stephens)

When Ivan enlisted with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders in Charlottetown on August 15, 1940, he was living in Montague, Prince Edward Island, and had worked on his family’s mixed farm operation for the past 10 years.

After completing his basic training, Ivan travelled to the United Kingdom with the Regiment, boarding the ship ‘Orion’ in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 18, 1941.  The ship left Halifax the next day, arriving in Bristol on July 29, 1941. Intensive training followed, in preparation for the upcoming battles in Normandy in 1944.

…Ivan survived D-Day….

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders left England for Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, after waiting in place in the English Channel on landing craft earlier.   The war diary for Sunday, June 4, 1944 noted that “…We are tied up with two other landing craft tank.   The Padre is on one, so he had a church service at 10:30 hours on the quarter deck of the middle craft…

On June 5, 1944 the war diary recorded that “…At 14:00 hours the flotilla moved out to the open sea and formed up with the other craft taking part in the invasion…

After landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the war diary noted that the Regiment had 10 casualties – 4 killed, 6 wounded.  Ivan had survived D-Day.

…The Regiment arrived near Nijmegen…

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders fought their way through Normandy.  On July 25, 1944, during ‘Operation Spring’, a battle in Tilly-La-Campagne, France, Ivan was slightly wounded by shell fragments to his face, legs, and neck.  (See https://www.dday-overlord.com/en/battle-of-normandy/cities/tilly-la-campagne)

From France, the Regiment travelled through Belgium, and then to The Netherlands for the Battle of the Scheldt. By November 1944 they had advanced to an area near Nijmegen.

Nijmegensalient

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders were posted near Nijmegen.  (Map source: http://www.canadiansoldiers.com)

In ‘No Retreating Footsteps’ by Will Bird, he noted that on November 19, 1944, the North Novies would “…relieve the 7th Recce Regiment at Nijmegen Bridge…”  This was the bridge across the Waal River, a vital link to the Rhine River and into Germany.

The area known as the Nijmegen Salient had been established in September 1944, and was defended by Allied troops since then.  The First Canadian Army, of which the North Nova Scotia Highlanders were part of, was responsible for its defence between November 1944 and February 1945, when the advance into Germany began.  (See https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/campaigns/northwesteurope/nijmegensalient.htm)

Skirmishes with German troops were ongoing, with casualties on both sides.  On December 3, 1944, Will Bird recorded that “…temporary quarters was in the cellar of a smashed house.  Sgt Arnold Piers was in command, and along with him were Sgt Bud Tibbetts, Cpl I MacKinnon, Ptes Bill Smith, Conners, Scott, Campbell and Lantagan as well as four or five others. There was a German village 1000 yards ahead and until dark the carrier men fired at anyone who moved in the village….”  

When the men noticed activity in the nighttime and flares being sent up by the Germans, they reported it to officers at Artillery Headquarters, who ignored their observations.  Bird noted that “… the general feeling was that the carrier men, unused to such duties, were jittery…

…Ivan lost his life during a firefight…

It turned out that the officers were wrong and the men were right to be concerned.  There were several casualties, with two who paid with their lives, in the early hours of December 4, 1944.  “…Sentries were relieved at 2:00 am…” 

Six men were resting when Sgt Piers woke them up.  “…He had sighted a raiding party of the enemy coming toward the post. Pte A. J. Campbell rushed out with a Bren gun, and fell back dead, target for a dozen bullets…” 

In the firefight that followed, the Germans “… threw grenades and overwhelmed the … small garrison as the Brens on the parapet had been left on cock and would not fire.  Daylight came shortly after…

Ivan did not survive the attack. “…Cpl Ivan MacKinnon was seen lying out in front about 50 yards.  Pte Connors crawled out and dragged him back, but he had died, having been shot ….” 

The other casualty was Allan Joseph CAMPBELL, aged 24, son of Alex T. and Annie Campbell, of Centennial, Inverness County, Nova Scotia.

…Ivan is buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek….

Ivan was initially buried in the Jonkers Bosch Temporary Military Cemetery in Nijmegen, before being reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.

CIMG3317 Oct 5 2019 Groesbeek George MacKinnon

Grave of George ‘Ivan’ MacKinnon in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Thank you to Sandra Stephens for providing a photo, and to Charlotte MacAulay and the Eastern Graphic for publicizing the photo search request. If you have a story to tell, please let Pieter know. You can email him at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.  

…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog. 

Front cover OnTheWarMememorialTrailinEuropeDaria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats.  Net proceeds of book sales help support research costs and the cost of maintaining this blog. For more information on the book, please see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg