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….. CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 Update On The Photo Search For Soldiers Buried In The Netherlands

CIMG5370 Nov 9 2021 Pieter has Zoom interview with Bruce Frisko of CTV News

Pieter being interviewed by CTV’s Bruce Frisko over Zoom.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

November 15, 2021.  Since the January 2021 interview with CTV’s Atlantic Live at 5, the response was heartening and we are just finishing up the last of the research and stories that came out of that appeal for photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands. 

Screenshot First at Five A Face To A Name

Screenshot from the November 9 broadcast on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5.

On November 9, 2021, CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 did a follow-up interview, which you can watch here: https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2318376&jwsource=em

As well, Bruce Frisko wrote a web article, which also has a link to the interview: https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/forever-grateful-dutch-canadian-tries-to-put-faces-to-names-of-soldiers-who-fell-liberating-the-netherlands-1.5659567

…How many photos are still on the photo wish lists?…

Out of the original photo wish lists from the 3 Canadian War Cemeteries in The Netherlands the outstanding requests for photos of soldiers from the Maritimes are:

  • 90 from Nova Scotia
  • 71 from New Brunswick (one cemetery has not yet identified soldiers from this province)
  • 1 from Prince Edward Island (family was found, but no one in the family has a photo)

Better quality photos and information from families were received for soldiers NOT on the photo wish list, plus photos were received of soldiers who died in the Battle of the Scheldt and were buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Adegem, Belgium. 

In addition to the 3 Canadian War Cemeteries in The Netherlands, several servicemen are buried in municipal cemeteries, most of them from air crew that crashed during WW2.

…How many stories were told following the January 2021 interview?….

We also received a few photos for soldiers from the Maritimes buried in other European cemeteries.  As a direct result of the CTV interview we were able to tell several stories of soldiers from the Maritimes:

  • 32 soldiers buried at in Holten, The Netherlands
  • 16 soldiers buried in Groesbeek, The Netherlands
  • 7 soldiers buried in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands
  • 4 soldiers buried in Adegem, Belgium
  • 1 soldier buried in Montecchio War Cemetery in Italy
  • 1 chaplain buried at the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in France

….Response following the November 9, 2021 interview…

Following the November 9, 2021 interview, we received several responses, which will lead to more stories about soldiers buried in The Netherlands and Belgium.  We thank all who responded.  Pieter’s research agenda for this coming winter is full!

We also received several comments, of which two are included below:

Simone Comeau, whose uncle’s story was told earlier this year, wrote:  “I am writing to congratulate you Pieter in being awarded that well deserved medal. If I may speak for all families of WWII casualties, we cannot thank you enough for your tireless efforts to honour our dearly departed servicemen and women….”  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/05/17/on-the-war-memorial-trail-a-tragic-drowning-on-the-leda-river-in-germany-part-3/)

Roman Berezowsky wrote: “…Congratulations, Pieter, for the dedication and perseverance. And also to you, Daria. You have both done wonders to enrich and comfort the lives of so many people. Just remarkable. We will be sharing this clip with several others who we know will also appreciate it…” 

Thank you to both Simone Comeau and Roman Berezowsky for these kind words.  We hope it will help encourage more people to submit photos and stories about Canadian soldiers!

Thank you to Bruce Frisko, Jayson Baxter, Maria Panopalis, and all at CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for featuring this quest of remembrance. If you can help with a photo or information, please 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://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 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….. Pieter Thanks Atlantic Canadians For Sending Photos Of WW2 Soldiers

20210220_111030 Feb 20 2021 Pieter with photo wish lists

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

February 20, 2021.  On January 4, 2021, Pieter was interviewed on CTV Atlantic’s Live At 5, where he asked viewers in Atlantic Canada for photos of soldiers buried in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands. The response was encouraging! (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-search-for-ww2-soldiers-buried-in-the-netherlands-featured-on-ctvs-atlantic-live-at-5/ for more information.) 

Missed the January 4 broadcast? Click here:  https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2111996&jwsource=em

Since the broadcast, submissions continue to come in for soldiers buried in Canadian War Cemeteries in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. All submissions of Canadian soldiers buried in other cemeteries are welcome for the Atlantic Canada Remembers postings. 

While the original broadcast discussed a wish list of photos for soldiers from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, wish lists soon reached Pieter from the Canadian War Cemeteries in Groesbeek and Bergen Op Zoom.  (A wish list for photos of soldiers from Prince Edward Island has been mostly fulfilled.)

20210220_111052 Feb 20 2021 Photo wish lists from Dutch cemeteries

Wish lists for photos of soldiers from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick who are buried in The Netherlands are slowly being fulfilled.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

On January 13, 2021, CTV Atlantic’s Live At 5 ran an update, which included interviews with Edwin van der Wolf, a volunteer at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands, and with Darlene and David Roberts, who had submitted a photo of David’s uncle, Bobby Nickerson.  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/13/on-the-war-memorial-trail-atlantic-canada-remembers-part-2/)

Missed the January 13 broadcast? Click here: https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2118019&jwsource=em

CIMG9119 Sep 18 2017 Holten Cemetery Pieter & Edwin van der Wolf by grave of WD Sherren

Pieter with Edwin van der Wolf at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

On January 14, 2021 CTV posted a web story today to go with the January 13, 2021 broadcast…. See https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/dutch-canadian-man-on-a-mission-to-tell-stories-of-lost-soldiers-1.5266404

Now Pieter has prepared a ‘Thank You Atlantic Canada’ video for all who have contributed photos and stories of WW2 soldiers who are buried overseas.  You can watch it here:

Thank you to all who have shared photos and anecdotes, and to post-production editor Wendy Nattress, who made this YouTube video a reality, and of course to CTV Atlantic’s Live at 5 for helping to get the word out about the photo wish lists.

We will continue to feature photos and stories in our Atlantic Canada Remembers postings. If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

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. 

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….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 5

January 27, 2021. Responses to the news clips on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 on January 4 and 13 continue to come in.  As mentioned in the previous 4 parts, Pieter is ensuring that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

William Herbert Bellamy

William Herbert Bellamy.  (Photo courtesy of the Bellamy Family)

On behalf of the Bellamy Family, Linda Fury submitted a photo of her uncle, William Herbert “Billy’ BELLAMY, explaining that ….There are about 150 members of our family now.  We hold reunions often and all know the story of our Uncle Bill.  He belonged to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and died in January 1945 while a prisoner in Germany.  Thanks so much for all you have done and are continuing to do.  Your work is very much appreciated by all of us….

William Herbert ‘Billy’ was born on May 2, 1921 in Hereford, England, the son of Percy and Frances Bellamy.  In 1927 he immigrated to Canada with his family and settled in Midgic Station (now Midgic), New Brunswick.  Following his 18th birthday, he enlisted with the West Nova Scotia Highlanders on August 2, 1940 in Aldershot, Nova Scotia. On April 30, 1941 he transferred to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, and was on his way to England in July 1941.

The North Nova Scotia Highlanders were among the troops to land in Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944.  Unfortunately, on June 7, 1944 he was captured by the Germans in Normandy and became a prisoner of war (POW).  On August 13, 1944 he arrived at Stalag XII A [Limburg an der Lahn, Hessen, a POW transit camp] and then, on August 26, 1944 was transferred to Stalag Camp VIII B [Lamsdorf, Oberschlesien] near the German-Polish border.  On November 2, 1944 he was sent to the work camp E 902 Delbrückschächte Hindenburg where, along with other POWs, he worked in a nearby coal mine.

According to an account that a former POW sent after the war to Billy’s father, Billy was seriously injured on January 1, 1945 when the mine ceiling collapsed.  He was taken to hospital in Hindenburg (now Zabrze and part of Poland).  However, according to the POW record kept by his captors, he was seriously injured on November 23, 1944 and sent to a military hospital in Knurow (now Knurów, Poland). Curiously, the same injuries described as happening on January 1, 1945 were reported on the POW record as having occurred on November 23, 1944.

In January 1945 he died of his injuries. Records of the exact circumstances have not been found, likely due to advancing Russian troops.  His military service file lists his official date of death as January 28, 1945. On February 6, 1945, Billy was buried in the Municipal Cemetery of Teupitz (in the state of Brandenburg, Germany).  After the war ended he was reburied in the Heerstrasse British Cemetery in Berlin, and then in 1949 reburied for the final time in Holten.

Robert Cole

Robert Theodore Cole. (Photo courtesy of Emily Gilbert)

Ervin Ellis submitted a photo of Robert Theodore COLE, explaining that “I was told by Kent Caldwell that you were looking for a picture of Robert Cole, WWII Veteran from Coles Island. A woman that I knew had close ties to that area.  She said the whole family was deceased but her first husband was part of that family, if anyone had any pictures it would be her.  She looked through her old pictures and by some sort of miracle she had pictures…”  This was Emily Gilbert.  Robert Cole was the nephew of her husband.

Born in Coles Island, New Brunswick, the son of Fred and Maria Cole, Robert enlisted in March 1940 and served in Canada and Labrador before going overseas in September 1943. He was in France by 1944, and also was with his regiment in Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany.  He lost his life on April 21, 1945 during the Battle of Friesoythe in Germany while serving with the Lorne Scots – Ground Defence Platoon.

Ervin’s assistance was invaluable in putting a face to this soldier’s name! He went on to write Pieter that “….This is a great project you are working on, saw you on TV a couple of times. I am the Zone Commander for the legions in this area so I know them pretty good and their Cenotaphs. If I can help you any let me know…”  Needless to say, Pieter has taken Ervin up on his offer and is grateful for the help that he and Kent Caldwell have provided.

Joseph Gerald Fougere

Joseph Gerald Fougere. (Photo submitted by Doug Landry)

Gerald Douglas ‘Doug’ Landry submitted a photo of his uncle, Joseph ‘Gerald’ FOUGERE, explaining that he was “….born in Poulamon, Nova Scotia, the only son of Felix and Josephine (Marchand) Fougere. Gerald had three sisters: Evelyn, married to Thomas Sampson; Anita, married to Val Poirier; and Theresa, married to James W. Landry….

Doug went on to write that “…Gerald was with the Perth Regiment.  He was dangerously wounded in action on April 24th, 1945 and died of wounds on April 26th, 1945 at the age of 28 years, 11 months….” He lost his life during the Battle of the Delfzijl Pocket.

Soldiers Buried In Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium

Arthur Jack Taylor

Arthur ‘Jack’ Taylor.  (Photo courtesy of the Taylor Family)

On behalf of the Taylor family, Art Taylor submitted a photo of his uncle, Arthur Brambel ‘Jack’ TAYLOR, explaining that “…My father and his four brothers, from the small town of Woodstock, New Brunswick, all served in WWII.  Three saw action.  My father (John Taylor) was in the Royal Canadian Navy and escorted convoys to Europe.  His two brothers were in the army.  Russell Taylor fought into Holland and survived.  His other brother Arthur ‘Jack’ Taylor was with the Winnipeg Rifles.  He was killed at the Leopold Canal on October 12, 1944.  He is buried at the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium.  He was 26 years old…

Jack was a rifleman, killed during Operation Switchback, part of the Battle of the Scheldt.  A Wikipedia article explains that “….October 10, 11, and 12 were days of intense struggle while the men of the 7th Brigade with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles took, lost and then retook a group of houses known as Graaf Jan and the Regina Rifles found themselves pinned down by a group of well dug-in pillboxes that seemed to be resilient to artillery…(For more information see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Scheldt#Operation_Switchback) Jack was initially buried in Madelgem before being reburied in Adegem.

Thank you to Ervin Ellis, Emily Gilbert, Doug Landy, Linda Fury, and Art Taylor for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Kudos to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.  Pieter and I extend our condolences to Ervin Ellis, who sadly lost his wife on January 20.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 6! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

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.

Missed the previous postings in this series? See:

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….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 4

January 20, 2021. Responses to the news clips on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 on January 4 and 13 continue to come in.  As mentioned in Parts 1, 2, and 3, Pieter is ensuring that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives. 

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..      

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

Nelson DesRoches Army

Nelson Desroches. (Photo courtesy of The Desroches Family)

Leo Gaudet submitted a photo of Nelson DESROCHES, on behalf of the Desroches family, and wrote that “We have a vet buried at Holten from Tignish, whom my wife and I visited in 2014…

Born May 23, 1915 in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, the son of John Desroches and Elizabeth Doucette, Nelson followed his older brother Merrick into military service.  He was serving with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry when he was killed in action on April 14, 1945.

Ernest Robert Haynes

Ernest Robert Haynes.  (Photo courtesy of the Haynes Family)

On behalf of the Haynes family, Teri Haynes submitted a photo of her father-in-law, Ernest Robert HAYNES, and explained that “…my Ernie visited the grave many years ago when he was in his teens with his Mother…

Ernest Robert, born March 17, 1919 in St. John, New Brunswick, was the son of James Edward and Alice Beatrice Haynes.  A dyer in a laundromat before enlisting in 1939, he was married to Opal Bailey and the father of Teri’s late husband, Ernest David.

While serving with the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment, he was sent overseas to the United Kingdom in July 1944, and on June 1, 1945 to North West Europe. Unfortunately, due to a fatal accident with a passing Canadian Army truck near Soestdijk, he lost his life on July 5, 1945, age 26.  He was temporarily buried in the town of Hilversum before being reburied on March 29, 1946 in Holten.

Daniel Pearo

Daniel Pearo.  (Photo courtesy of the Pearo Family)

On behalf of the Pearo family, Colleen Hartling submitted a photo of her uncle, Daniel PEARO, and wrote that “Daniel was my mother’s brother. She looked up to him as a child and loved him dearly. She said that he was full of fun and you can see the twinkle in his kind eyes. I was born in the 60s so I did not know Daniel…

Daniel Pearo, son of Samuel and Dasie Pearo, served with the Cape Breton Highlanders and lost his life on May 1, 1945.  (A tribute to him can be found here: http://faculty.uccb.ca/highlanders/DANIEL%20PEARO.htm?fbclid=IwAR1ijEE5uz9tppYwN4dPcHA24DAGhDSAtVfQJUtRAEa21ZIY-zqRZwiUG9I)

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands

Gordon Brewer 2

Gordon Thomas Brewer.  (Photo submitted by Stephen and Hazel Albert)

Stephen Albert submitted a photo of Gordon Thomas BREWER on behalf of himself and his mother Hazel, explaining that his uncle “… was 17 when he enlisted to serve his country.  Killed in action on his 21st birthday on October 25, 1944.  School children at that time adopted a grave. Willamina Proost, a young girl, adopted Gordon’s grave, corresponded with his parents for many years until she married, then stopped writing, so lost contact with her. Gordon’s medals and all letters to his parents were burned in a house fire several years ago, only few photos taken before going overseas still remain. Thank you for taking time to honour the men and women who gave their lives to protect others…

Hazel Albert, Gordon’s sister, wrote that she was the “…last remaining member of Gordon’s family….”  Gordon was born in Halifax on October 25, 1923, the son of Alonzo Wallace and Mary Ellen (nee Dean) Brewer.  

Gordon served with the Essex Scottish Regiment and lost his life during the Battle of the Scheldt.  (See https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/second-world-war/scheldt)

Soldiers buried at the Montecchio War Cemetery in Italy

Felix Gaudet

Felix Gaudet.  (Photo submitted by Leo Gaudet)

Leo Gaudet submitted a photo of his uncle, Felix GAUDET, born May 30, 1923, son of Joseph J. and Mary Gaudet of Tignish, Prince Edward Island. After enlistment, he left Halifax for the United Kingdom in July 1943 and was transferred to the Canadian Infantry Reserve Unit a few days after his arrival.  On March 26, 1944 he was sent to Italy, and on May 13 transferred to the Cape Breton Highlanders.

On August 30, 1944 he lost his life during the battle to take a knoll on the Gothic Defence Line.  Another soldier from PEI, Albert Eugene Arsenault, also with the Cape Breton Highlanders, lost his life the same day.  (See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/the-ww2-soldier-killed-in-action-while-crossing-the-foglia-river-in-italy/)

The Allies began the day of August 30th with an air bombardment against German positions at dawn. At 5.30 p.m., the Perth Regiment attacked the end of a ridge northeast of Montecchio, while a knoll at the west end of the town and the high ground beyond were the objectives of the Cape Breton Highlanders. Both units faced incessant fire from the heights as well as minefields along the flat lands. The Perths managed to break through the line first, reaching and passing their objective. The Cape Breton troops had the support of tanks from the 8th Princess Louise’s (New Brunswick) Hussars, which helped three of their companies make it to the base of the knoll. After each attempt, however, they were driven back to the Foglia, with casualties totalling 19 members killed and 46 wounded. The Irish Regiment, which had been in reserve, was moved through the path of the Perths. Tanks and artillery guns were not yet available here and as a result the regiment lost 19 killed and 31 wounded.” (Source: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/overseas/second-world-war/italy/montecchio)

The Gaudet family made a tribute to Felix last year, on what would have been his 97th birthday.  It was so special that it’s shared here:

Felix Gaudet tribute by Aunt Cathy

Tribute to Felix Gaudet submitted by Leo Gaudet.

Thank you to Hazel Albert, Stephen Albert, Kent Caldwell, Colleen Hartling, Teri Haynes, and Leo Gaudet for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Kudos to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 5! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

Missed the previous postings in this series? See:

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….. Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 2

January 13, 2021.  “No soldier buried overseas should be forgotten.” This statement by Pieter in a news clip on CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 touched many people who watched it, and many photos and stories continue to be emailed to him.  As mentioned in Part 1, Pieter is working to ensure that every email is acknowledged, and that the photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands are forwarded to the appropriate cemetery for their digital archives.

(See https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/07/on-the-war-memorial-trail-atlantic-canada-remembers-part-1/ and https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/on-the-war-memorial-trail-the-search-for-ww2-soldiers-buried-in-the-netherlands-featured-on-ctvs-atlantic-live-at-5/)

This posting features more of the photos submitted…..

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, The Netherlands

Francis Ivan Dougan

Francis ‘Frank’ Ivan Dougan. (Photo courtesy of Helen O’Connell)

Helen O’Connell submitted a photo of her uncle, Francis ‘Frank’ Ivan DOUGAN.  She wrote that he “….was born in November 12, 1919 to Florence and John Dougan from Donaldson, Prince Edward Island.  He was the 2nd of 12 boys born in that family – no girls.  Frank left school at age of 15 and went to work to help his family.  He worked in Debert, Nova Scotia as a labourer and mechanic.  In 1941, he and 3 of his brothers enlisted to go to war.  He took his training in Quebec and Vancouver and went overseas June 1, 1942….

While overseas, Helen explained that Frank “…. worked as a driver in the war, mainly in the UK.  After the war Frank decided to work in peacekeeping as a Canadian soldier in Oldenburg, Germany.  On May 16, 1946, he was involved in road accident and was killed.  He was buried in Holland and was awarded the France and Germany Star 1939-1945….

Frank served as a driver with the 48 Canadian General Transport Company RCASC (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps).  The RCASC was an administrative and transport corps of the Canadian Army. (For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Canadian_Army_Service_Corps)

According to his service file, Frank died in a hospital in Nijmegen following a road accident during very bad weather in Nijmegen, while he was on his way from Grave, The Netherlands to Oldenburg, Germany. Mechanical failure in the steering mechanism led to the accident.  Frank was a passenger in the rear of the vehicle along with 2 others, plus the driver.  There were two fatalities: Frank Dougan and another soldier who was also in the rear.

Frank was temporarily buried in the Canadian Cemetery in Groesbeek and later reburied, on July 16 1946, in Holten.  His grave was adopted by a family from Delden.

Helen was able to visit The Netherlands and the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.  “…My husband and I were very fortunate to visit his grave in 2016.  I was so proud and honoured to be there.  I will not forget.  This graveyard seemed almost like a sacred place for these solders who gave their life for us and since my visit I really appreciate that….

James Murrary

John ‘James’ Murray.  (Photo submitted by Florence MacLachlan)

Florence MacLachlan submitted a photo of her uncle, John ‘James’ MURRAY, who was born in Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia and lived in West Bay Road before serving with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.  She wrote that “Josie was my mother and was the youngest of the siblings. James was the oldest and could have stayed farming and not joined the army because he was the only one who could look after the farm. He wanted to join and help out the war movement. He didn’t tell his parents/family of his interest in joining until after he signed up…

He was killed in action in The Netherlands on April 5, 1945 during the Battle of Warnsveld, at the age of 28. His name is listed on a monument in Warnsveld (See https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/57960/Memorial-Canadian-Soldiers.htm).

James was temporarily buried in Warnsveld, before being reburied, on January 30, 1946, at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten. His grave was adopted after the war by a family from Holten.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands

Bobby Nickerson

Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) Nickerson. (Photo submitted by Darlene Roberts)

Darlene Roberts submitted a photo of Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) NICKERSON, and wrote that “…My husband’s uncle was killed in the Rhineland Forest just two months before the war ended. His name was Jeff McIntosh Robert (Bobby) Nickerson. We were stationed in Germany from 1968-1971. We were able to visit the grave in 1969. We live in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My husband’s family is from Halifax…” A paratrooper in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, he was killed on his first jump from a plane over the Rhineland Forest.

Soldiers buried at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands

Russell Soble in Bergen Op Zoom

Russell Soble. (Photo courtesy of Janet Latchford)

Jack Soble submitted a photo of his uncle, Russell Richard SOBLE, which had been provided by Russell’s sister, Janet Latchford.  Jack wrote that “…My father, Russell’s brother, was also fighting in Europe. During that time, if you had a younger brother fighting in Europe, you could claim him and he could go to where you were fighting so you could be together.  My father didn’t want to claim him as where my Dad was there was heavy fighting and he was afraid if he claimed him then he might get killed. Unfortunately he was killed.…

Born in Ameliasburg, Ontario, Russell served in the Essex Scottish Regiment after arriving in Europe, and died on October 6, 1944.  He was one of 12 members of the regiment killed in action in Putte, a town on the Dutch-Belgian border, in a fight on October 5, 1944 that marked the beginning of the Battle of the Scheldt.  (For more information see Eternal Memorial for Canadian Heroes)

All of the Canadian soldiers were initially buried in Putte’s churchyard.  Putte is south of Bergen Op Zoom, where Russell was subsequently reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery.  Putte recognized the sacrifices made by soldiers and Russell’s name is listed on a war memorial in the Dutch part of the town. (See https://www.tracesofwar.nl/sights/541/Oorlogsmonument-Putte.htm)

Soldiers Buried In Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium

Alexander Fraser MacDonald

Alexander Fraser MacDonald. (Photo submitted by Sandy Burgess)

Sandra Burgess submitted a photo of her father, Alexander Fraser MACDONALD, explaining that “he served with The Regina Rifles, and was killed on October 31, 1944 in Breskens during the Battle of the Scheldt.  He was from Trenton, Nova Scotia, the son of George and Annie MacDonald. He was married to Aileen Hoganson and they were expecting a baby (me) when he was killed. I was on a river cruise in 2012 and was blessed to be able to visit his grave at Adegem

Thank you to Sandra Burgess, Janet Latchford, Florence MacLachlan, Helen O’Connell, Darlene Roberts, and Russell Soble for sharing photos and anecdotes.  Thank you again to CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. Atlantic Canadians remember their loved ones who are buried overseas.

More photos and stories in Atlantic Canada Remembers – Part 3! If you have photos or information to share, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

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 Search For WW2 Soldiers Buried In The Netherlands Featured On CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5

CIMG5045 Jan 4 2021 Pieter interviewed via Skype by Bruce Frisko of CTV Live At 5

Pieter being interviewed via Skype by Bruce Frisko of CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 program. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

January 5, 2021.  There was a bit of excitement in the Valkenburg household yesterday. Pieter was interviewed by Bruce Frisko of CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 broadcast about research he is doing in trying to find photos of soldiers buried in The Netherlands, with a particular emphasis at this time on names from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick from lists provided by the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.

You can watch the clip here: https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2111996&jwsource=em

Thank you to Judy Parks for snapping a photo from the TV broadcast and sending it to us!

20210104_175725Photo from Judy Parks

Excerpt from the TV clip submitted by Judy Parks.

CIMG3190 Oct 3 2019 Pieter by sign at Holten Cdn War Cemetery

Pieter at the entrance to the Holten Canadian War Cemetery. As soon as we took this photo, it started to rain! (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

For a list of the current wish list for photos from the Canadian War Cemetery for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, please email us.

Thank you to Bruce Frisko and CTV’s Atlantic Live At 5 for helping to get the word out on this quest of remembrance. If you can help with a photo or information, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.

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