The Search For A Photo Of James Lymon Cameron Moves To YouTube

CIMG8667 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery Pieter by grave of James Lymon Cameron

Pieter by the grave of James Lymon Cameron at Chester Farm Military Cemetery in Belgium.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

February 27, 2021.  When you visit a war cemetery maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, you are always struck by how peaceful and well-kept the cemetery is.  It doesn’t matter which country the war cemetery is in, the impression is the same…. row upon row of neatly maintained graves.

The sad part is that overwhelmingly the graves are of young men, all buried far from home.  In most of the smaller cemeteries we visited, we were the only ones there.  When Pieter began his research to find out about the men listed on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, his hope was to have a photo of each man, to go with the story he was able to unfold.

In the case of WW1 soldier James Lymon CAMERON, a photo has never been uncovered.  Born December 30, 1892 in Victoria-By-The-Sea, Prince Edward Island, he was the son of Edward H. Cameron, a carpenter, and Susan Estelle Harrington of Hampton.

The family moved around due to Edward’s work, and when James Lymon enlisted in 1915, he was living in Vancouver.  Sadly, he was killed by enemy fire on July 24, 1916, and is buried at Chester Farm Military Cemetery, 5 km south Ypres in Belgium.

The cemetery is located on a turnoff from a busy town onto a country road, but once inside the gate, you are in a quiet environment, with cows grazing in a field right behind the cemetery wall. It reminded me of the view from our own home here on Prince Edward Island.  Only the colour of the cows differed!

CIMG8674 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery surrounded by cows

Cows surround the walls of the Chester Farm Military Cemetery in Belgium.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Pieter laid flags down at the grave and we marked the visit by writing in the visitors’ book.

CIMG8675 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery Daria writes in the guest book

Writing in the visitors’ book at Chester Field Military Cemetery.  We were accompanied by Pieter’s Belgian cousins on this leg of the war memorial tour.  (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

If only we had a photo…” Pieter sighed.  Now, after years of an unsuccessful search for family or friends, he’s taken his appeal for a photo to YouTube, in the hope that a viewer might come forward:


Pieters saying

You can read more about James Lymon Cameron and our visit to the Chester Farm Military Cemetery here: https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/a-visit-to-chester-farm-military-cemetery/

Thank you to post-production editor Wendy Nattress, who made this YouTube video a reality. If you have photos or information to share about James Lymon Cameron, please email Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog or send a tweet to @researchmemori1.

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

You can subscribe to: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

The WW1 Names On The Cenotaph Have Stories Of Their Own

February 8, 2020. Recently, Pieter and a friend went to see the British WW1 movie ‘1917’, which is nominated for several Oscars and has a Canadian connection due to a map used in the film.  (For that story see https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/1917-canadian-contribution-1.5450608)  The story takes place in France on April 6, 1917, and is about two men tasked with delivering a message to another unit to warn of a German ambush.  The men go through several towns and villages in France’s Western Front.  Canadians may remember this period as being the lead up to the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.

Pieter found the movie of great interest for several reasons. It was a depiction of the horrors of war… without being overly gory.  After being through the trenches and tunnels in Vimy Ridge a few years ago, he was intrigued to see the way soldiers sat on either side of a trench while waiting to go up into battle.   But the main reason he liked the movie is that it told the story of two people.

Contrary to what we learn in history books and classes, in the end all history is the cumulative stories of individuals.  A list of names on a cenotaph, such as the one outside the Borden-Carleton Legion, is meaningless without knowing who those people were and what happened to them.  This is what started Pieter on the journey to uncover the stories behind the names on the Cenotaph.

Over the years, the stories of those from WW1 have been told in this blog.  24 are listed on the Cenotaph and half of them died in France…. Patrick Raymond ARSENAULT and John Lymon ‘Ly’ WOOD are listed on the Vimy Memorial as their bodies were never identified.    Also killed in France were Kenneth John Martin BELL, James CAIRNS, James Ambrose CAIRNS, Arthur Leigh COLLETT, Bazil CORMIER, Patrick Phillip DEEGAN (DEIGHAN), Joseph Arthur DESROCHES, Percy Earl FARROW (FARRAR), Ellis Moyse HOOPER, and Charles W. LOWTHER.  We were at the Vimy Memorial and visited each grave.

Five men died in Belgium. Two are listed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, as their bodies were never identified: Charles Benjamin Murray BUXTON and George Albert CAMPBELL.  We visited Menin Gate and the area where they died.  We also visited the graves of James Lymon CAMERON, Vincent Earl CARR, and Arthur Clinton ROBINSON.

Vincent Carr, who died during the Battle of Passchendaele on October 30, 1918, was initially buried in a trench with 4 others – two Canadian and two British soldiers.  Decades later, when they were reburied in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery, all three Canadians were still identifiable.  The British Army’s cardboard identity ‘tags’ had disintegrated, leaving the two British soldiers as unidentified.  Today, DNA testing can be done to help with identity, but decades ago this was impossible.

Two men died in England.  John Goodwill HOWATT was wounded in France, and died in a British hospital.  Bruce Sutherland McKAY had gotten ill during the transport from Canada to England and also died in a British hospital.

Henry Warburton STEWART survived the war, only to fall ill while in Germany as part of the occupation forces.  He’s buried in a German cemetery in Cologne, which we visited.

James Graham FARROW (FARRAR) was not a soldier, but in the Merchant Navy, transporting vital supplies between England and France, when his ship was torpedoed by a U-boat.

Three men died on Canadian soil.  Leigh Hunt CAMERON died of illness, while Harry ROBINSON died from blood poisoning.  William Galen CAMPBELL was poisoned with mustard gas on May 28, 1918, a few months before the end of the war, but was able to return home.  And yes, we’ve visited those graves as well.

We were also able to tell you parallel stories, such as that of Clifford Almon WELLS, who had many of the same experiences as John Lymon Wood, and also died in France. Another story was that of George BRUCKER, of the German Army, who was taken prisoner during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and survived the war, never forgetting the two ‘tall’ Canadians who didn’t shoot him.  Decades later his son, now in his 80s, is still hoping to thank the families of those two unknown men.

Thanks to Pieter’s curiosity in trying to find out why one Commonwealth War Graves Commission gravestone in a cemetery in Cape Traverse was not recorded on the Cenotaph, we were able to tell you the story of Elmyr KRUGER, a soldier from Saskatchewan who died of illness while guarding German prisoners of war from a POW camp in Amherst.

We’ve told the stories of each man, and shared our visits to the various cemeteries and war memorials.  As photos and letters came in, we shared those experiences as well.

We are still missing photos of several of these soldiers, so the quest to put a face to every name and story is still ongoing.  Who are we missing?  Take a look and see if you can help:

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It’s great to watch a movie about fictional characters, but let’s not forget the stories of real life people! There won’t be any Academy Awards given out, but they will be remembered. Research continues to uncover more stories.  If you have a story or photo to share about any of the names mentioned in this posting, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

Appeal For Relatives Of These WW1 Casualties!

August 18, 2019.  Over the past few years, Pieter has been diligently researching the 48 names on the Cenotaph outside the Borden-Carleton Legion here on Prince Edward Island.  Along the way he’s met many family members of these men, and we’ve visited a number of the graves.  However, in some cases, either no family members have come forward, or the family members themselves have no photos and little information.

In an attempt to achieve the goal of putting a face to each name on the Cenotaph, we’re asking for your help with these WW1 casualties for whom no photo has been found as yet.

Please see the attached PDF which provides information on the person’s name, service number, place of birth, unit served in at the time of death, and date of death.  (See Appeal For Relatives of Soldiers)  As well, the names are summarized below.

Can you help with photos????

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
  • James Graham FARROW, born in Argyle Shore
  • Charles LOWTHER, born in North Carleton
  • Arthur Clinton ROBINSON, born in Tryon
  • Harry ROBINSON, born in Augustine Cove

If you have information and photos to share on any of these names listed on the Cenotaph, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

Upcoming Presentation in Crapaud

July 9, 2018.  Everyone is invited to attend the upcoming presentation about the Cenotaph Research Project at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Crapaud on Thursday, July 12, 2018.  Below, please see poster and a list of photos of soldiers we are still looking for.  Can you help???

Poster Cenotaph Research Project presentation

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
  • James Graham FARROW, born in Argyle Shore
  • 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
  • John Daniel FERGUSON, born in Borden
  • Ernest Ramey GALLANT, born in Borden
  • Singleton Charles JEFFERY, born in Bayfield, New Brunswick

The Cenotaph also lists an F. ARSENAULT.  No information at all has been found for someone of this name from this area.

As a separate project, Pieter is helping researchers in The Netherlands who are looking for photos and information on Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands If you have a relative with a grave in The Netherlands and would like to participate, you can email your photos and info to Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca and he will forward the information on your behalf.  Or you can drop off your photos on Thursday and after being scanned they will be returned to you.

© Daria Valkenburg

 

Another Photo For WWII Soldier George Preston Smith

March 21, 2018.  In two previous blog entries the story of George Preston Smith was shared. SMITH, of Kinkora, was with the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment, and lost his life in a freak accident in Belgium during WWII when his gun went off while he was trying to pull it out from under a pile of coats stashed in the back of a military truck.  (See On the War Memorial Trail ….. At The Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek and On the War Memorial Trail ….. PEI Soldiers Buried In The Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek)

After reading an article mentioning Smith, “On the War Memorial Trail ….. PEI Soldiers Buried In The Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek”, published in the County Line Courier, one reader, who asked to remain anonymous, shared a photo of George Preston Smith with Alice van Bekkum of the Faces To Graves Foundation in The Netherlands and also with Pieter as part of the Cenotaph Research Project.

George Preston Smith

George Preston Smith (Photo courtesy of Smith’s family)

This generous gesture is giving this soldier an additional layer to his personality, as can be seen from this undated photo.  If you have a story about George Preston Smith or more photos, please let us know.

Smith is buried at Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.  If you have photos or information on any other WWII soldiers who are buried in The Netherlands, please help the researchers at the Faces to Graves project by sharing that information. Photos and stories can be sent either through their website at http://facestograves.nl/index.html or by email to info@facestograves.nl.  Alternatively, you can contact us at dariadv@yahoo.ca and we’ll forward on your behalf.

In looking at missing faces for the Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project, which this blog documents, we are still seeking photos for the following:

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
  • James Graham FARROW, birthplace unknown
  • 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
  • John Daniel FERGUSON, born in Borden
  • Singleton Charles JEFFREY, born in Bayfield, New Brunswick

Please check your old photo albums and see if you might not have one of these men in them!  Our goal is to find a photo for them all!  Please share your comments and stories by emailing us at dariadv@yahoo.ca or by commenting on this blog.

UPCOMING PRESENTATION: Pieter has been invited to speak about the Cenotaph Research Project at Central Trinity United Church in Breadalbane at 7 pm on Sunday, March 25, 2018.  Photos and information about soldiers welcome.  Members of the Tryon & Area Historical Association will be present to accept donations to the “Muttart Memorial Fund”.

© Daria Valkenburg

 

 

 

A Visit To Chester Farm Military Cemetery

October 22, 2017.  After we paid our respects to Arthur Robinson at La Laiterie Military Cemetery in Belgium, we made our way to Chester Farm Military Cemetery, 5 km south of Ypres, where another WW1 soldier, James Lymon CAMERON, is buried.  The cemetery, one of three in the area, is in a farming area.

CIMG8660 Sep 9 2017 Directional sign to Chester Farm Military Cemetery

Directional sign to Chester Farm Cemetery. Note the John Deere dealership. We are in a farming area, only 5 km south of Ypres. (Photo credit: Pieter Valkenburg)

Chester Farm was the name given to a farm about 1 km south of Blauwepoort Farm, on the road from Zillebeke to Voormezeele.  The names of these two places may be almost unpronounceable, but we encountered them over and over again as scenes of many fierce battles.

CIMG8662 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery stone marker

Stone marker on gate of Chester Farm Military Cemetery. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The cemetery opened in March 1915 and has 420 Commonwealth burials, 7 of them unidentified.  It’s in a beautiful location, surrounded by cows.  It seems fitting for an Islander to be in such a rural location.

CIMG8671 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery with cows in backgroung flags by Camerons grave

Chester Farm Military Cemetery, surrounded by cows. Pieter had already placed flags on the grave of James Lymon Cameron. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

Private James Lymon Cameron was born December 30, 1892 in Victoria, PEI, the son of Edward H. Cameron, a carpenter, and Susan Estelle Harrington of Hampton.  The family was Roman Catholic and worshipped at the church in Kelly’s Cross.

With such a background on the island, it was a mystery to us why no one seemed to know the family, until Pieter’s research revealed that the family must have moved around quite a bit for Edward’s work.  In a 1900 US census, the family was living in South Bend City, in the state of Washington, and James Lymon’s sister Ethel was recorded as having been born in New Hampshire in 1889.  He had an older sister Lucy who was born on PEI, but was not listed in the 1900 census, suggesting that she was no longer alive, and a younger brother Otto, who was born on PEI.

In a 1921 census from Vancouver, another younger brother, Edward, is recorded as having been born in the USA around 1906.  Ethel is living with her parents and brother.  She is recorded as married with the last name Gilbert, but her husband is not with her.

At the time that James Lymon enlisted on March 18, 1915 with the 47th Battalion (BC) CEF, the family was living in Vancouver, and he was employed as a marine oiler.  By October 1915 he was on his way to Europe, and transferred twice, first to the 30th Reserve Battalion, and then to the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion (1st British Columbia).

On July 24, 1916, he was killed by enemy shell fire at ‘The Bluff’ at Ypres Salient during The Battle of The Bluff near St. Eloi.  The Bluff is a mound near St Eloi, south-east of Ypres, which was created from a spoil heap during the digging of the Ypres–Comines Canal before the war.

CIMG8666 Sep 9 2017 Chester Farm Military Cemetery Pieter by grave of James Lymon Cameron

Pieter by the grave of James Lymon Cameron at Chester Farm Military Cemetery. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The war diary of the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion for July 2, 1916, explained what happened in three terse lines:  “Bombardment of Front Line. Headquarters Shelled. Our retaliation effective.

Unfortunately, this is all we know about James Lymon Cameron.  We don’t even know what he looked like.  If you can add any further information or provide a photo, please let us know.

In the next blog entry we visit Menin Gate in Ypres. Comments or stories?  You can share them by emailing us at dariadv@yahoo.ca or by commenting on this blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

The WWI Names On The Cenotaph

July 28, 2017.  With a plan to have a book and photo memorial ready for the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, Pieter wanted to publicize the names of the WW1 war dead.  While we had quite a bit of luck with the names from WWII on the Cenotaph, we weren’t so lucky with the WW1 names.

In some cases, family couldn’t be found.  Sometimes we found family only to be told they either never heard of the person.  Most of the time, the family was aware of the person, but no photo survived, let alone other documents such as letters or postcards.

So here is what we know so far….

  • Patrick Raymond ARSENAULT, born October 14, 1896 in Bedeque to Joseph Arsenault and Isabella, nee Richard. No photo.
  • Kenneth John Martin BELL, born March 28, 1896 in Cape Traverse to William Bell and Lucy, nee Rogerson. No photo.
  • Charles Benjamin BUXTON, born December 8, 1893 in Cape Traverse to George Edward Buxton and Mary Jane (May), nee Webster. No photo.
  • James Ambrose CAIRNS, born March 16, 1895 in Emerald to Terrence Cairns and Elisabeth, nee Hughes. No photo.
  • James CAIRNS, born February 22, 1897 in Kinkora to Thomas Cairns and Mary Jane, nee McDonald. No photo.
  • James Lymon CAMERON, born December 30, 1892 in Victoria to Edward H. Cameron and Susan, nee Harrington. No photo.
  • Leigh Hunt CAMERON, born May 6, 1898 in Albany to Alexander Walter Cameron and Phoebe Ann, nee Murray. No photo.
  • GG.A. Campbell blogeorge Albert CAMPBELL, born July 8, 1895 in Wellington to John George Campbell and Grace Emma, nee Barlow.

Photo: George Albert Campbell.  (Photo courtesy of Gerald Tingley collection)

  • William Galen CAMPBELL, born June 16, 1897 in Wellington to John George Campbell and Grace Emma, nee Barlow. He married Ida May McNally in 1919.  No photo.
  • Vincent CARR, born May 3, 1894 in North Tryon to Robert Carr and Catherine. He married Bessie Carr of Summerside.

1915 Photo Vincent E Carr in uniform.jpgPhoto: Vincent Carr in 1915, in the uniform of the 55th Battalion.  (Photo courtesy of Delbert Carr collection)

  • Arthur Leigh COLLETT, born December 8, 1888 in Victoria to Ella May Simmons, and was adopted by William Henry Collett and Alice M., nee Moore.Arthur Collett blogPhoto: Arthur Leigh Collett.  (Photo courtesy of Paul and Heather Moore collection)
  • Bazil CORMIER, born January 8, 1897 in Tignish to Joseph Cormier and Marie, nee Arsenault. No photo.
  • Patrick Philip DEEGAN, born November 25, 1894 in Cape Traverse to Alexander Deegan and Margaret Ann, nee Tierney. No photo.
  • Joseph Arthur DESROCHES, born August 8, 1891 in Miscouche to Zephirim Desroches and Priscilla, nee Gaudet. He married Mary Ann Wedge in 1910 and had 3 children: Elizabeth Eileen, Joseph Alfred, Lucy Priscilla, and Charles Arthur. No photo.
  • James Graham FARROW, born April 4, 1856 to Henry Farrow and Jan Gouldrup, birthplace unknown. No photo.
  • Percy Earl FARROW (FARRAR), born July 30, 1895 in North Tryon to William Farrar and Margaret Jane, nee McKinnon.
  • Percy FarrarPhoto: Percy Farrar.  (Photo courtesy of South Shore United Church collection)
  • Ellis Moyse HOOPER, born October 20, 1895 in Central Bedeque to Charles Frederick Allison Hooper and Bessie Marie, nee Moyse.

Hooper, Ellis Moyse blogPhoto: Ellis Moyse Hooper.  (Photo courtesy of Lana Churchill collection)

  • John Goodwill HOWATT, born May 8, 1894 in Cape Traverse to Edward George Howatt and Emma May, nee Wood. No photo.
  • Charles W. LOWTHER, born September 27, 1896 in North Carleton to Henry George Lowther and Bessie Cottrell, nee Wright. No photo.
  • Bruce Sutherland MCKAY, born April 15, 1897 in Albany to David McKay and Elmira (Almira), nee Harvey. No photo.
  • Arthur Clinton ROBINSON, born July 20, 1896 in Tryon to Albert James Robinson and Flora P., nee Scruton. His step-mother was Mary Mooney. No photo.
  • Harry ROBINSON, born July 9, 1881 in Augustine Cove to Thomas Robinson and Sarah, nee Campbell. He married Clara J. Wadman in 1905 and had a daughter Merilla. No photo.
  • Henry Warburton STEWART, born April 15, 1884 in Strathgartney to Robert Bruce Stewart and Ann, nee Warburton. No photo.
  • John Lymon WOOD, born July 8, 1897 in North Tryon to George William Wood and Martha, nee Heatly.
Photo Lyman Wood

Photo: John Lyman Wood shortly after enlistment in October 1915. (Photo courtesy of Gene Rogerson collection)

We hope you enjoy this third article that ran in July 2017, “Are You Related To These WWI Soldiers?” in the County Line Courier.    CLC July 5 2017 p4 Are you related to WW1 soldiers

If you have photos or documents you’d like to share, please email them to dariadv@yahoo.ca.  Comments or stories?  You can share them by email or by commenting on this blog.

© Daria Valkenburg