February 23, 2022. One of the wonderful things about this blog is hearing from readers and receiving additional information on stories that have been previously posted. After a YouTube video in which a photo of Donald Charles MACKENZIE of Springhill, Nova Scotia was included, we received an email from Bruce MacEachern.
The video ‘In Remembrance’ that Bruce referred to was done by Pieter to thank those who contributed photos and stories of WW2 soldiers who are buried overseas in 2021. You can watch it here:
Bruce wrote us that “…Lt Donald MacKenzie is my uncle on my mother’s side. Uncle Donald’s wife, my Aunt Mary, was my Mom’s sister. I was very glad to see the picture of Uncle Donald in your video. I sent a copy of the picture, and video link, to Johan Schansker, who raised a memorial in his town of Loppersum, The Netherlands, to Uncle Donald and 6 other Canadians who fell, fighting to liberate his village….”
….The Loppersum Memorial….
The Loppersum memorial, unveiled in May 2020, honours 7 soldiers from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles who were initially buried in the General Cemetery in Loppersum in April 1945. All 7 were subsequently reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.
Lt Donald MacKenzie and Rifleman Willie DANIELS, both of whose stories have been told on this blog, are 2 of these 7 men. Both served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and lost their lives on April 22, 1945 near Appingedam, The Netherlands at the very beginning of the Battle of the Delfzijl Pocket. (For more information on the Battle of the Delfzijl Pocket, see https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/battlehonours/northwesteurope/delfzijlpocket.htm)
….Newspaper article about the Loppersum Memorial…..
Bruce sent us a newspaper article, in Dutch, about the unveiling of the moment in May 2020. The article is included below in Dutch, along with an English translation provided by Pieter.
Translation of Dutch newspaper article by Pieter Valkenburg:
“Canadian Monument Unveiled
On Monday a memorial was unveiled for seven Canadian soldiers who were temporarily buried in the General Cemetery in Loppersum.
On behalf of the historical society, Johan Schansker took the initiative for the monument.
These 7 Canadians gave their lives for our freedom. One was killed during the battle to liberate the village, the others were killed in the surrounding area.
With this monument we want to honour their memories, according to Schansker.
The monument is a maple leaf made of weathering steel, on top of which is attached a stainless steel plate with the stylized maple leaf of the Canadian flag, The names of the seven soldiers from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles have been engraved on this plate. (For a description of weathering steel, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_steel)
The picture shows the unveiling of the monument by Johan Schansker, assisted by his son Tijs.”
The memorial is a wonderful tribute. Kudos to Johan Schansker for initiating it.
Bruce noted that “….My family and friends very much appreciate the efforts of yourself, Johan and others in remembering our Canadian soldiers. Thank You so much…”
…Missed the postings of two soldiers listed on the Loppersum Memorial?…
- Donald Charles MACKENZIE: On The War Memorial Trail….. The WW2 Soldier From Springhill Who Received A Military Cross
- William ‘Willie’ DANIELS, see https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2021/07/23/on-the-war-memorial-trail-remembering-ww2-soldier-william-willie-daniels/
…The other 5 names on the Loppersum Memorial…
Here are the names of the other 5 men from the Royal Winnipeg Rifles that are listed on the Loppersum Memorial….
- Rifleman Raymond Arthur HEAMAN, son of Jerry and Ellen E. Heaman, of Hargrave, Manitoba. Died April 22, 1945, age 27. (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2227354?Raymond%20Arthur%20Heaman)
- Rifleman William J. S. HOLE, son of William and Eva Alise Hole, of St. James, Manitoba. Died April 22, 1945, age 20. (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2227383?William%20Hole)
- Rifleman Anton Michael SALMI, son of Jacob and Maria Salmi, of Nolalu, Ontario. Died April 21, 1945, age 31. (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2227940?Anton%20Michael%20Salmi)
- Lt Cyril Douglas SHARMAN, son of Henry and Gertrude Sharman, of St. Vital, Manitoba; husband of Ada M. Sharman, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died April 23, 1945, age 33. (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2227961?Cyril%20Douglas%20Sharman)
- Rifleman Francis William WELBURN, son of Charles and Winnifred Welburn, of Winnipegosis, Manitoba. Died April 20, 1945, age 20. (https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2228122?Francis%20William%20Welburn)
Thank you to Bruce MacEachern for letting us know about the Loppersum Memorial. Do you have photos or stories to share? Email Pieter at email@example.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1.
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© Daria Valkenburg