The WW1 Soldier From Barton Whose Body Was Never Recovered

July 31, 2022. Most of the time Pieter is involved in a search for photos and family of WW1 or WW2 soldiers, a task that requires a great deal of research and luck.  Sometimes, however, the opposite happens, and he’s asked to find family and a soldier for a photo that has been ‘orphaned’ for one reason or another.

For a veteran, it can be difficult to ignore a photo that has been discarded or placed for sale in an auction or secondhand shop.  That’s exactly what happened when veteran Mario Henry, Sgt At Arms at the Borden-Carleton Legion, visited a pre-auction preview recently and spotted a photo of what looked to be a WW1 soldier.

….Photo of a WW1 soldier placed for auction…

improved_photo(4) shortliff

Photo of WW1 soldier Lloyd Shortliff.  (Photo credit and restoration: Pieter Valkenburg)

It was in an antique frame and was most likely a black and white photo that had been colourized with watercolour and framed, suggesting that at one time this was a treasured piece in someone’s home.

….The back of the photo identified the soldier and his family….

CIMG5692 Jun 28 2022 back of Shortliff photo

Back of photo with identifying information.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

A quick glance at the back of the photo had identifying information, which helped to uncover a soldier’s military service.  The information on the back stated: “Lloyd Shortliff, son of Emma (Dunbar) Shortliffe and Charles Shortliffe. Sisters Minerva and Gertrude (Mrs Joseph Foster).  He was missing in action September 17, 1916 in France.

….Who was Lloyd Shortliff?….

Mario contacted Pieter, who soon determined that the photo was of Lloyd Clifford SHORTLIFF, born April 12, 1891 in Barton, Digby, Nova Scotia, son of Charles Henry and Emma (nee Dunbar) Shortliff.

A farmer before enlisting in Sussex, New Brunswick on September 20, 1915 with the 64th Battalion, Lloyd left Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the SS Adriatic on March 31, 1916, arriving in Liverpool, England on April 9, 1916.

On June 24, 1916 he was transferred to the 12th Battalion and sent to Shornecliffe Army Camp for further training. (See https://www.saltwoodkent.co.uk/the-canadian-at-shorncliffe-during-)

…Lloyd was sent to the front…..

Screenshot 2022-07-04 at 10-28-48 Vierstraat · Ypres Belgium

Blue line shows the route taken by the 24th Regiment as they moved from the Ypres area in Belgium towards France for the Battle of the Somme. (Map source: http://www.google.ca)

A few days later, on June 28, 1916, he was transferred to the 24th Battalion (Victoria Rifles of Canada) and sent to Belgium on July 12, 1916. The Regiment was part of the Canadian Corps manning the Western Front.

On August 28, 1916 the Regiment marched to Eperlecques, France for training on the new Lee-Enfield rifles, where they also trained in manoeuvres in preparation for what the troops would experience in the Battle of the Somme. (See map at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_Battle_of_the_Somme,_1916.svg)

On September 4, 1916, the Regiment went to Argues, France, and took a train to Conteville, before moving on towards Hérissart, and then to Albert, France, where the Regiment arrived on September 10, 1916 and were set up in tents.

The Somme front was near the village of Courcelette. Training began for an attack on the Sugar Refinery near Courcelette, which began on September 15, 1916.  By the next day, Battalion Headquarters was set up in a trench by the Sugar Refinery, in preparation for further attacks against the Germans. (See https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/battles-and-fighting/land-battles/courcelette/)

Lloyd lost his life on September 17, 1916.  Unfortunately his body was never recovered and he is listed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

….Could the photo be saved?….

Knowing that Lloyd Shortliff was listed on the Vimy Memorial was like waving a red flag at a bull for veterans Pieter and Mario.  Pieter has a special affinity for Vimy after we’d been there in 2017 to honour two soldiers from the Island that Pieter had researched.  (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2017/09/19/visiting-the-canadian-national-vimy-memorial/)

The photo couldn’t be resigned to the dustbin of history!  The value was in the antique frame, not the photo, and both men believed someone would buy the frame and discard the photo.

Mario contacted the auctioneer and asked if the seller would pull the picture out of the auction, pending further investigation.  The seller refused.

That seemed to be that ….. until Mario contacted Pieter to say that he had attended the auction and bought the picture.  Pieter went back to his research, to learn how Lloyd lost his life and to find his family.

CIMG5689 Jun 28 2022 Pieter and Mario with photo

Pieter (left) and Mario Henry (right) with the picture of WW1 soldier Lloyd Shortliff. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

….How did Lloyd Shortliff lose his life?…

Pieter wanted to know how Lloyd lost his life and why he was listed on the Vimy Memorial, since he didn’t die during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which was in April 1917.

According to the war diary for the 24th Battalion for September 17, 1916, “… at 12:30 pm, orders were received from the Brigade that the Battalion, less one Company, were to attack the German front line, with our Right resting on the Baupame Road, and our Left with the 22nd Battalion in the vicinity of the Quarries.  The attack commenced at 5 pm…..

The soldiers  of ‘D’ Company, on the extreme right, “…were unable to reach their objective, many of them killed before they got over the parapet, and the men who did advance were held up in the German wire and shot down…

‘A’ Company was in the centre, and “…obtained their objective, but after severe fighting, the enemy bombed them out, working through from his main line…

By the time the fight was over, 9 officers and 330 other ranks of the 24th Battalion were dead, wounded, or missing and presumed dead, among them Lloyd Shortliff.  As his body was never recovered it appears he was among the soldiers who were bombed.

24th battalion WW1 112

Map of the Battle of Courcelette on September 17, 1916. Red arrow shows the Sugar Refinery where Lloyd Shortliff went missing.  (Map source: The 24th Battalion, C.E.F., Victoria Rifles of Canada, 1914-1919)

…Pieter found the family of Lloyd Shortliff….

Pieter’s research next focused on Lloyd’s descendants, and led to family member Trent Whittaker, whose grandmother was Gertrude Foster, Lloyd’s sister.  After explaining about the picture that Mario had rescued, he was surprised to learn that it was Trent who had put the photo in a garage sale as part of the clear out of a 200 plus year old farmhouse.  The family had a photo of Lloyd and the one put in the garage sale was a duplicate. Several ‘pickers’ had bought the goods and that was the last he saw of the picture.

This is a story many will find familiar.  Relatives die and families are left with an accumulation of ‘stuff’ that can become overwhelming.  In the purge, photos, letters, diaries, and other memorabilia can get discarded.

…. Lloyd is remembered on the Barton War Memorial…

IMG_5558R Jul 8 2022 Barton War Memorial

Barton War Memorial.  (Photo credit: Sandra Lent)

Lloyd Shortliff was bombed to smithereens in France, his remains never recovered, but he is listed on the Vimy Memorial in France, and Pieter discovered that he is also listed on the war memorial in Barton, Nova Scotia:  https://nshdpi.ca/is/digbyco/bartonwarm.html.  The Legion in Weymouth, Nova Scotia has expressed an interest in the picture after learning of its existence.

IMG_5566R Jul 8 2022 Barton War Memorial

Lloyd Shortliff is remembered on the Barton War Memorial. (Photo credit: Sandra Lent)

Sandra Lent of the Weymouth Legion visited the memorial and explained that it was “…located in Barton, at the head of a cemetery.  There are no other markings, such as the name of the cemetery, although it is well tended, and the pillar shaped monument is helpful for identification.  It is located a short distance north of the Barton post office, on the same side of the highway...

Thank you to Mario Henry for saving the photo which gave us a chance to tell Lloyd Shortliff’s story.  Thank you as well to Sandra Lent for taking the photos of the Barton War Memorial.  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.

….. More stories of ‘orphan’ soldier photos and artifacts …

…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.  For more information see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

Upcoming Author Talk: Thursday, August 11, 2022 – Victoria-By-The-Sea, Prince Edward Island, part of the ‘Our Island Talks’ series, and hosted by Victoria Playhouse and Victoria Historical Association. Time: 2:00 pm.

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 In North Bay….. The North Bay Cenotaph In Memorial Park

CIMG5568 May 18 2022 Pieter and Don at North Bay Memorial

Pieter and Don Coutts by a section of the Wall of Honour in Memorial Park in North Bay, Ontario.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

June 8, 2022. Whenever we visit a place, the local Cenotaph or monuments are always on the ‘must see’ list. North Bay, Ontario has the largest municipal war memorial in Canada. The 2000 installation of the Honour Wall listed the names of 636 men and women from the area that lost their lives. 

Exif_JPEG_420

Cenotaph in Memorial Park in North Bay, Ontario. You can see the Wall of Honour in the background. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

…Soldiers buried in The Netherlands on the photo wish lists by Dutch researchers…

The names of 6 WWII soldiers from the North Bay area who are buried in The Netherlands were on photo wish lists from Dutch researchers, and four of these were on the Cenotaph:

  • Albert Joseph COTE
  • Cecil Edward GOODREAU
  • Anthony PETTA
  • John Langford ‘Jack’ WALKER

DSCN2391 A J Cote name is at the very bottom

Albert Joseph Cote, buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. (Photo credit: Don Coutts)


CIMG5565 May 18 2022 North Bay Memorial Cecil Goudreau

Cecil Edward Goodreau, buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)


CIMG5564 May 18 2022 North Bay Memorial Anthony Petta

Anthony Petta, buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)


DSCN2395 J L Walker name

John Langford ‘Jack’ Walker, buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. (Photo credit: Don Coutts)

All four of these soldiers will be featured in upcoming stories on this blog.  For a list of all known soldiers from the North Bay area who are buried in The Netherlands, see https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2022/05/15/on-the-war-memorial-trail-author-talks-in-north-bay/

….End Polio Now Tulips….

DSCN2414 May 18 2022 Tulips at North Bay Memorial Don Coutts

‘End Polio Now’ Tulips by the Cenotaph in Memorial Park in North Bay, Ontario. (Photo credit: Don Coutts)

While at the Cenotaph, we were surprised to learn that the tulips gracing the monument were ‘End Polio Now’ tulips.  Pieter grows several varieties of tulips in our yard, but this is one we had never heard of, so we asked Don Coutts for more information.

In the Fall of 2020, I had seen an article in The Guardian of how the Rotary Clubs on Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada had raised funds for Rotary International’s project to eradicate Polio in the world by selling the End Polio Now Tulip Bulb Boxes.

Around 1985 Rotary International took on a project to eradicate Polio throughout the world. My wife Nora’s uncle, Tom Elliott, was quite involved with the Rotary International in getting the project started. Tom was a senior manager with the North Bay Public District Health Unit at the time. At the present time, there are only a handful of Polio cases in the world.

In 2020, proceeds of $43,192 were made by Rotary Clubs on PEI and in the Atlantic Provinces, plus sales of the bulbs that had been made to the public separately. With matching grants, including the Melinda and Bill Gates’ Foundation for the Polio Eradication Programme, the total amount of money raised was $154,715.00 US Dollars.

 In 2021, members of our Rotary District 7010 Rotary Clubs in Ontario bought 665 Tulip Bulb Boxes. The proceeds were $10,267.60 and with matching grants the amount became $30,802.00 Canadian Dollars.

The three (3) Rotary Clubs in North Bay bought 132 Tulip Bulb Boxes and donated many. Other Rotary Clubs in the District bought the Tulip Bulbs and donated them to various organizations as well. 

There is only one supplier of the Tulip Bulbs in the world—–they come from Holland (this was music to Pieter’s ears!) Veseys Seed Company was involved and is the sole Canadian Distributor.  There are twenty-five (25) Tulip Bulbs in each box. (For more information, see https://www.veseys.com/ca/end-polio-now-tulip-76289.html)

Once Polio has been eradicated, the supplier of the Tulip Bulbs in Holland will no longer produce them….

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the ‘End Polio Now Tulips will be on Pieter’s bulb purchase list for this fall! 

Thank you to Don Coutts for taking us to the Cenotaph.  More North Bay adventures are coming up in the next posting.

Missed the previous posting about North Bay?  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2022/06/07/on-the-war-memorial-trail-in-north-bay-adventures-in-north-bay/

If you know of any soldiers from the North Bay area that are buried in The Netherlands please let Pieter know. You can mail 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 now available.  For more information 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….. Monument Unveiled In Gendringen

CIMG5542 May 5 2022 Pieter by Dutch flag for Liberation Day

Pieter by the Dutch flag which was put out for Liberation Day on May 5, 2022. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

May 9, 2022. Last year, stories of two WW2 soldiers who lost their lives in this area on March 30, 1945, were told.  Both Edmond COULOMBE of Manitoba and Alphonse ROBERT of New Brunswick served with Les Fusiliers Montreal and were killed on the same day.

We learned about the Gendringen connection when we were contacted by Maarten Koudijs, a volunteer researcher in this Dutch village along the German border with eyewitness accounts of how Robert and several members of his Regiment, including Coulombe, lost their lives when a shell exploded.

Missed the stories about Edmond COULOMBE and Alphonse ROBERT?  See:

 …The Gendringen Monument…

The Gendringen Monument

The Gendringen Monument was unveiled on May 6, 2022. Translation of the Dutch text: So that we never forget.  (Photo submitted by and courtesy of Maarten Koudijs)

On May 6, 2022 a monument was unveiled in Gendringen, The Netherlands.  Maarten Koudijs was kind enough to share some photos, and explained that “Nearly 500 people are commemorated on this memorial. 

·       23 Dutch Soldiers (from Genkoppen and Wisch) during the raid in May 1940

·       114 Citizens from Wisch

·       111 Citizens from Gendringen

·       30 Dutch citizens from the labor camps in Rees

·       27 forced labourers from Gendringen en Wisch

·       3 men from the resistance

·       46 Executed citizens of Rademakersbroek

·       12 Citizens working for Organization TODT (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_Todt)

·       41 Canadian military personnel and Air Force crew members

·       44 English soldiers and Air Force crew members

·       167 German soldiers who fell in the former municipality of Gendringen en Wisch (now Oude IJsselstreek)

·       1 Irish aircrew member flying for the RAF

·       1 Australian aircrew member flying for the RAF

·       2 New Zealand crew members flying for RAF

·       1 American Spitfire pilot flying for RCAF…. 

Note: RAF refers to Royal Air Force.  RCAF refers to Royal Canadian Air Force.

QR codes on panels

Panels by the monument have QR codes which provide information, plus buttons for audio descriptions in Dutch, English, and German.  (Photo submitted by and courtesy of Maarten Koudijs)

…Einar Victor Isfeld’s Son Attended the Unveiling…

Dennis Isfeld, son of Einar Victor ISFELD of the Queen’s Own Highlanders, attended the unveiling.  In a short video (under 3 minutes in both Dutch and English), he was interviewed with an eyewitness, who was 11 years old in 1945.

… Canadians commemorated on the Gendringen Memorial…. 

Maarten identified the names of 41 Canadians, including the Regiment they were serving in at the time of death and their final resting place. “The following Canadian soldiers were killed near the former municipality of Genkoppen. The former municipality of Genkoppen en Wisch is now OUDE IJsselstreek Achterhoek….

Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Of Canada:

  • Harry Gregory BOZAK, died March 30, 1945, aged 20, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Francis Walter Andrew GLOSSOP, died March 30, 1945, aged 28, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Einar Victor ISFELD, died of wounds April 6, 1945, aged 30, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Anton W. KOHLRUSS, died March 31, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Frederick LISSOWAY, died March 30, 1945, aged 37, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • John Graham MACFIE, died March 30, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Vincent Albert MOORE, died March 30, 1945, aged 29, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Edward Oliver OBERG, died March 30, 1945, aged 19, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • William PROW, died March 30, 1945, aged 24, buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery
  • Rocco Andrew SPEZIALI, died March 30, 1945, aged 26, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Bert J. THOMAS, died March 30, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Charles Joseph YOUNES, died March 30, 1945, aged 33, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal:

  • Roland A. BARRY, died March 30, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Joseph Paul Roland CARON, died of wounds April 5, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Edmond COULOMBE, died March 30, 1945, aged 22, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Jacques FORTIN, died March 30, 19455, aged 21, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Bernard Gaston PILON, died March 30, 1945, aged 19, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Alphonse ROBERT, died March 30, 1945, aged 21, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

South Saskatchewan Regiment:

  • Peter HYDICHUK, died March 31, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • James Joseph MALONEY, died March 31, 1945, buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery
  • Michael Joseph MCDERMOTT, died of wounds August 5, 1945, buried in Kilgobbin Burial Ground, Ireland
  • William SERNOWSKI, died March 31, 1945, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

8th Canadian Recce Regiment (14th Canadian Hussars):

  • Laurenzo DUBE, died March 30, 1945, aged 26, buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery
  • Leslie Albert DUCKETT, died March 30, 1945, aged 24, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • William LAWRYSYN, died March 30, 1945, aged 27, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Wilfred Charters STEWART, died March 29, 1945, aged 22, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

Royal Canadian Artillery:

  • Ivan Rayburn NILSSON, died April 1, 1945, aged 21, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

 Black Watch Of Canada:

  • Ernest George GRAHAM, died April 1, 1945, aged 29, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
  • Robert WALKER, died of wounds April 1, 1945, aged 19, buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

  Royal Canadian Air Force:

  • Duncan Eric CAMPBELL, died June 12, 1943, aged 28, buried in Wisch (Varsseveld) General Cemetery
  • Ralph Perry DAVIES, died June 12, 1943, aged 24, buried in Wisch (Varsseveld) General Cemetery
  • James HEATH, died June 17, 1944, aged 35, buried in Wisch (Varsseveld) General Cemetery
  • Allan Lockwood HOME, died May 13, 1943, aged 26, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Albert James MACLACHLAN, died June 12, 1943, aged 21, buried in Wisch (Varsseveld) General Cemetery
  • Hugh Columba MACNEIL, died May 13, 1943, aged 24, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • James Edward MCDONALD, died June 2, 1942, aged 26, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Henry Augustin SHEEHAN, died May 13, 1943, aged 21, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Frederick John SMITH, died October 31, 1942, aged 21, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Louis-Phillipe Roma TAILLEFER, died June 12, 1943, aged 24, listed on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, England
  • Milford Glen THOMAS, died May 13, 1943, aged 26, buried in Gendringen Roman Catholic Cemetery
  • Rudolph ZEIDEL, died June 12, 1943, aged 21, listed on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, England

Thank you to Maarten Koudijs for letting us know about this commemoration events.  Do you have photos or information to share? Email Pieter at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or 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 Forgottenis available in print and e-book formats.  For more information 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

2021 Remembrance Week Events  

CIMG5423 Nov 11 2021 wreaths at Cenotaph Borden Carleton

Wreaths by the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

November 14, 2021.  Remembrance Week is always busy at our place. This year, with the easing of some restrictions, we were able to be out and about in the community more than last year.

One of the events we attended was at the Tryon Cenotaph in Tryon, Prince Edward Island.

CIMG5373 Nov 10 2021 Tryon Cenotaph Remembrance Service (1)

The Honourable Heath MacDonald, MP for Malpeque, with Pieter at the Tryon Cenotaph following the Remembrance Ceremony on November 9, 2021. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

November 11, 2021 was a cold and crisp day, with the Remembrance Day service at the Legion in Borden-Carleton, Prince Edward Island, held outdoors. Pieter had been asked by the Member of Parliament for Malpeque to lay a wreath on behalf of the Government of Canada during the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Borden-Carleton.  This year, there was a change in MP with the retirement of Wayne Easter, and the election of Heath MacDonald.

CIMG5391 Nov 11 2021 Pieter walks with Govt of Canada wreath Borden Carleton

Pieter with the Government of Canada wreath to be placed on behalf of The Honourable Heath MacDonald, MP for Malpeque.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG5381 Nov 11 2021 Pieter salutes after placing wreath Borden Carleton

Pieter salutes after placing Government of Canada wreath on behalf of The Honourable Heath MacDonald, MP for Malpeque.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG5392 Nov 11 2021 Pieter salutes Borden Carleton

Pieter salutes after placing Government of Canada wreath on behalf of The Honourable Heath MacDonald, MP for Malpeque.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG5401 Nov 11 2021 Roger and Arthur Borden Carleton

Roger Leboeuf (left) and Arthur Ranahan (right) by the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

It was a meaningful and well-organized ceremony.  In the afternoon, members of the Legion attended the ceremony in Kinkora.

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://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com or email me at memorialtrail@gmail.com and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Screenshot_2021-02-27 On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg

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

Borden-Carleton Legion Honours Veterans By Placing Flags At Their Graves

20210923_153745 Sep 23 2021 Pieter & Mario go over lists of veterans buried in cemetery

Pieter Valkenburg and Mario Henry go over the list of veterans buried at cemeteries.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

November 4, 2021.  In preparation for Remembrance Day, veterans from Borden-Carleton Branch #10 in Prince Edward Island visit cemeteries and cenotaphs in the area during the last week of October.  Comrades Mario Henry and George Palmer ensure that veterans buried at 9 cemeteries, and whose names are listed on 4 cenotaphs, receive a Canadian flag, for a total of 275 flags in 2021.

CIMG5341 Sep 27 2021 Pieter & George by George Hennessey grave Tryon Peoples Cemetery

Pieter with George Palmer by the grave of WW1 veteran George Hennessey at the Tryon People’s Cemetery in Tryon. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The cemeteries covered by the area served by the Borden-Carleton Branch are:

  • Cape Traverse – Free Church of Scotland Cemetery (21 flags)
  • Cape Traverse – Methodist/United Church Cemetery (11 flags)
  • Central Bedeque – Central Bedeque Baptist Cemetery (7 flags)
  • Kinkora – St. Malachy’s Roman Catholic Cemetery (48 flags)
  • Lower Bedeque – Lower Bedeque Cemetery (19 flags)
  • North Tryon – North Tryon Presbyterian Cemetery (13 flags)
  • Searletown – Searletown United Cemetery (7 flags)
  • Seven Mile Bay – St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Cemetery (95 flags)
  • Tryon – Tryon People’s Cemetery (41 flags)

Flags are also placed at these Cenotaphs:

  • Augustine Cove Cenotaph (4 flags)
  • Borden-Carleton Cenotaph (1 flag)
  • Searletown United Cemetery Cenotaph (4 flags)
  • Tryon Cenotaph (4 flags)

If you see Canadian flags by graves, please do not disturb them. They are a mark of respect for a veteran’s service to Canada, and will be picked up about a week after November 11. Mario Henry asks that if a veteran’s grave was missed, or if a veteran has recently passed away, please contact the Legion, so that flags can be placed for next year. The Legion can be contacted by phone at 902-855-2660 (after 4 pm) or on its Facebook page. You can also contact Pieter, the branch Public Relations Officer, at memorialtrail@gmail.com.

…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://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com or email me at memorialtrail@gmail.com and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Screenshot_2021-02-27 On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg

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 Last Flight Of Halifax L9561’ Video

October 28, 2021.  On October 12, 2021, it was 80 years ago that an eyewitness in the Wons area in The Netherlands saw Halifax L9561 ‘burning, sliding, and zigzagging through the cloud cover’. The bomber with a crew of eight people had left the English airport in Middleton Saint George an hour and a half earlier for a bombing of the port city of Bremen, but it never reached its target.

7 crew members were able to bail out, but the Canadian pilot, Elmer Bagnall MUTTART, of Cape Traverse, Prince Edward Island, lost his life, after safely steering the plane over the village of Wons before crashing in a nearby field.  Over the past few years, the story of Elmer Muttart and the project of installing a memorial panel near the crash site have been told.

CIMG3565 Oct 13 2019 Pieter by memorial panel

A remembrance project that has come full circle for Pieter with the permanent recognition given to the crew of Halifax L9561. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

…A video by the Hunt brothers….

The memorial panel was installed on October 12, 2019, and among the attendees were Barry and Terry Hunt, two sons of the crew’s wireless operator, William Herbert HUNT.  Over the past few years, Barry and Terry worked on preparing a documentary, which was finished in time for the 80th anniversary.

The film recounts the events of October 12, 1941, as Halifax L9561 flies over the North Sea into danger in the skies above Friesland in The Netherlands, with the heroism and self-sacrifice displayed by its young pilot. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Halifax itself.  With the additional use of archival footage, the film gives an impression of what life was like for the men and women stationed at Middleton St. George, and the roles they played.

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Barry Hunt, left, with Terry Hunt, right.  (Photo courtesy of Barry Hunt)

The Last Flight Of Halifax L9561’ runs for 1 hr 18 minutes and can be watched here:

….Previous videos about Halifax L9561 made by the Valkenburgs….

As so many Canadians were not aware of the efforts of the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation in The Netherlands, we had invited them to explain a bit about their organization in a short video clip just before the memorial panel was installed on October 12, 2019.  See Honouring The Crew Of Halifax L9561 here:

poster He Died That We Might Live

Poster design by Olli Nattress.

We also made a short documentary about the events on October 12, 2019, entitled “He Died That We Might Live … the story of Halifax L9561” which commemorates one event during WW2 that changed the lives of so many people.

…Previous postings about Halifax L9561…

Missed the stories about Elmer Muttart and the memorial panel to honour the crew of Halifax L9561?  See

Thank you to Barry and Terry Hunt for sharing their video and giving permission to post the video on this blog.   The story of Halifax L9561 will never be forgotten by us.

If you have photos and information to share about Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, 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://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Screenshot_2021-02-27 On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg

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 Fisherman Who Lost His Life In France While A WW1 Soldier

March 21, 2021. In researching the stories of the names listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, it’s become a mystery why some from the local area were NOT included on the Cenotaph.  Over the years, two names have been added to the original 46 names… that of James Ambroise CAIRNS and Joseph Arthur DESROCHES.

In the village of Victoria-By-The-Sea, two men listed on a memorial at the Victoria Community Hall, built in 1915, (which is also the home of the Victoria Playhouse) are on the Cenotaph: Arthur Leigh COLLETT and Percy FARRAR

When Pieter went to see the memorial, he wondered why WW1 soldier Heath Ward MACQUARRIE was not.  Brenda Boudreau, of the Victoria Historical Society, explained that Heath Ward MacQuarrie was her grand-uncle, “….my grandfather’s brother...

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Brenda Boudreau and Pieter Valkenburg by the memorial at Victoria Community Hall on November 11, 2020.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten...” Pieter reminded me, after learning that this WW1 soldier had died in France. 

Heath MacQuarrie in uniform

Heath MacQuarrie. (Photo courtesy of Greg Gallant of the PEI Regiment Museum.)

Born in Victoria-By-The-Sea on March 28, 1891, according to his baptismal record, Heath was the son of William Archibald MacQuarrie and Charlotte Mallett.   A fisherman before enlisting with the 105th Overseas Draft Battalion on February 19, 1917, Heath was married.  He and his wife, Bertha May Francis, were the parents of a son, William Richard ‘Dick’ MacQuarrie.

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Olympic in dazzle at Pier 2 in Halifax, Nova Scotia painted by Arthur Lismer (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Olympic#First_World_War)

On June 1, 1917 he left Halifax aboard the ‘Olympic’, one of the ships used to transport troops from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Britain. As of 1917, the ship had 6-inch guns and was painted in a ‘dazzle’ camouflage in brown, dark blue, light blue, and white colours, in an attempt to make it more difficult for observers to estimate her speed and heading. (For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Olympic#First_World_War)

The dazzle camouflage worked as Heath safely arrived in England on June 10, where he was transferred to the 13th Reserve Battalion.  Then, on November 23, 1917, he was transferred again, to the 23rd Reserve (New Brunswick) Battalion, and sent to France a day later.

His brother Glen had enlisted in 1914 and was in France as well but it’s unknown if the two brothers ever met up with each other.  Glen survived the war, but Heath did not.

On August 8, 1918 he lost his life, aged 27.  According to the stark account in the Circumstances of Casualty form in his service file, Heath “…was so severely wounded in many parts of his body by enemy fire while taking part in operations at the Sunken road in front of Guillaucourt, that despite the fact he received first aid promptly he succumbed shortly afterwards.

He was buried at Wood Cemetery in the village of Marcelcave, 24 kms east of Amiens in the Department of the Somme in France. He’s one of 50 WW1 burials in this cemetery – 41 from Canada and 9 from the United Kingdom. 

Heath’s wife Bertha never remarried. Their son Dick attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, majoring in geology.  His work took him across Canada before he returned back to Victoria-By-The-Sea with his wife Marion Raynor, before passing away in 1975, at the age of 60.

Richard Dick MacQuarrie

Dick MacQuarrie in Victoria-By-The-Sea on May 14,1929. (Photo courtesy of Brenda Boudreau.)

Thank you to Brenda Boudreau for providing information of her grand-uncle.  If you have any further information to share, please let Pieter know.  You can email him at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

Screenshot_2021-02-27 On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg

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…..A Mariner Named Arsenault Who Drowned In South America

Cenotaph outside Borden Carleton Legion by Pieter Valkenburg

Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

July 18, 2020.  When Pieter first began researching the names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, he had a lot of slogging to do to figure out who these names represented.  There were no records, Legion minutes that might have shed light on how the names were selected were missing, and no newspaper accounts could be found that identified the names.

With a lot of hard work digging through war diaries, and reading of soldier records found at Library and Archives Canada, and the cooperation of the families of several  of these men in providing photos and letters written by them, 45 of the 46 names originally listed on the Cenotaph were identified.  Along the way, 2 more names that were inadvertently missed were added.

The one missing name, an F. Arsenault, remained a question mark.  No soldier could be identified as a possibility, so Pieter turned to records from the Canadian Merchant Navy.  There was one likely possibility…. Joseph ‘Francis’ ARSENAULT, born May 15, 1928 in Tignish.  At the time of his application for a Merchant Seaman’s Identity Certificate in Halifax on November 19, 1945, both he and his father Basil were listed as living in Albany.  His mother, Angeline Pire, had died in 1929 in Palmer Road.

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Image of Francis Arsenault from his Application For Merchant Seaman’s Identity Certificate

With the help of Donna Matthews of Veterans Affairs, the story was pieced together.  Francis Arsenault’s first voyage was on the ‘Asbjorn’, as a U/Boy (Utility boy), serving between November 27 and December 7, 1945.

He then was sent to the ‘Argyle Park’ as a mess boy on December 7, 1945, sailing to St John, for two voyages and leaving the ship in St John on January 17, 1946.

On January 23, 1946 he transferred to the ‘Hampstead Park’ as an m/boy (mess boy), and was discharged on May 18, 1946.

His next voyage was aboard ‘Noranda Park’, as a galley boy, sailing on May 20, 1946, arriving on July 29, 1946 in Port Alfred, South Africa.  The ship was then renamed ‘Oceanside’ and he signed on for another voyage from Port Alfred to Georgetown, Guyana.  While on ‘Oceanside’ he was promoted to second cook.

According to the website Fort Ships of WW2, “…the ‘Park’ ships were run by the Park Steamship Company and were named after well-known national, provincial or municipal parks in Canada.  The Company became a Canadian Government Crown Corporation in 1942 to own, manage and operate the ships allocated to it for the purposes of the war…. The appointed Canadian managers were responsible for the hiring of crew and officers as well as supplying the ships with fuel and supplies.  They had little control over the routing of the vessel, or the cargo as war materials took precedence… After the war the fleet was gradually disposed of…” (See http://fortships.tripod.com/Parks%20A-N.htm)

map of guyana from Pinterest

Unfortunately, ‘Oceanside’ was his last ship.  On August 12, 1946, while the ship was in Mackenzie City (now part of Linden) on the Demerara River in Guyana (in South America), he drowned after he fell out of a small boat while returning to the ship ‘under the influence of drink’, according to the Department of Transport Central Register of Seamen.

A large mining camp established by the Aluminum Company of Canada (later nationalized as the Guyana Bauxite Company) was in this area. Bauxite mined here would have been brought to Mackenzie City for processing and then loaded onto oceangoing vessels.  Most likely, this was why ‘Oceanside’ was in Guyana.

According to the Official Log of ‘Oceanside’ for August 12, 1946, the Captain wrote that “…This is to certify that the Chief Steward reported to me that at 00:30 this morning that F. Arsenault 2nd Cook, had fallen out of a boat when returning to the ship, very much under the influence of drink, and was drowned. He was not seen after he left the boat, he sank like a stone. J. Hilliard, who was with him, jumped after him to attempt to rescue him, but after swimming around for some time without finding any trace of him he gave up the attempt, but with others from the ship who saw the accident continued the search with flashlights along the beach in both up and down stream from the spot he fell in, hoping they may find him clinging to something. This search went on until 01:45, when the men returned to the ship, and the 3rd mate reported with regret that they were unsuccessful….

It was a mystery why Arsenault was considered a veteran when he died more than a year after WW2 ended.  Donna Mathews explained that “…Per the Canada Remembers Section of Veterans Affairs, Arsenault was added to the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance and Canadian Virtual War Memorial.  The cut-off date to include those that died during the Second World War was December 30, 1947…

Thank you to Donna Mathews for her assistance in researching this merchant mariner’s story.  If anyone has more information or a photo for Francis Arsenault, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

Canada Day In Tryon

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The Canadian flag flies proudly! (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

July 1, 2020.  Happy Canada Day! On July 1, a Canada Day ceremony to inaugurate a new flagpole and bench at the Tryon Cenotaph at the Tryon People’s Cemetery was attended by several members of the community, including Pieter and myself.  This event was coordinated by the Tryon Women’s Institute, Tryon People’s Cemetery, and Merry Pop-Ins Childcare Centre, with funding for the flagpole and bench provided by Heritage Canada.

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Pieter by the Tryon Cenotaph. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Three names from WW1 that are listed on the portion of the Tryon Cenotaph shown in the photo above are also listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion.  Over the years, their stories have been told in this blog:

Dignitaries attending today’s event included:

  • The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque
  • The Honourable Jamie Fox, Minister of Fisheries and Communities and MLA for District 19
  • The Honourable Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition and MLA for District 17
  • Reverend Doctor Karen MacLeod-Wilkie, Minister of South Shore United Church

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Peter Bevan-Baker plays ‘O Canada’ as the flag is raised. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Tom Albrecht raises the flag on new flagpole.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Of course there were Canada Day cupcakes!  Left to right: Jamie Fox, Fran Albrecht, Helen Green, Jack Sorensen.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Standing by the Tryon Cenotaph, left to right: Wayne Easter, Peter Bevan-Baker, Jamie Fox. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Barb Clement was kind enough to send a short video made while ‘O Canada’ was played. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vLQOBYtgnnOET7gAdi88C-9Z4HHf3BQr/view?usp=sharing

Thank you to the organizers of this Canada Day event, and to Barb Clement for sharing the video. If you have a story to share about any of the names on the Tryon Cenotaph, 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.