Saturday, 1 July 2017

In Southern Cemetery today on Canada Day with the memory of the “Canadian 26”

Today is Canada Day.

Honouring those who participated in two world wars
It is day which has grown in significance for me as I have uncovered more of my Canadian family history and can count on a growing number of Canadian friends and colleagues.

Two of my direct family migrated to Canada, one in 1914 who was taken over by the MIddlemore charity on behalf of the Derby Workhouse and a great aunt who made the same journey nine years later on an Empire assisted scheme.

In the case of my great uncle having arrived in Canada in 1914, he volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force the following year and in summer of 1916 was back in Britain before going on to the Western Front.

He like the other six men of my family who went off to war came back, but many others didn’t and it is of the 26 Canadian soldiers buried in Southern Cemetery along with others from Australia and New Zealand which today are exercising my thoughts.

C S Asllop ....... of the "26"
All died of complications to wounds they had sustained in the fighting or from illnesses they contracted, and most died in the nearby hospital.

Last year to mark their deaths on what was the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme as well as Canada Day a special service attended by Major Charron of the Canadian army took place in the cemetery.

He was accompanied by parties of school students, civic signatories including the local MP and veterans organisations.

Many of whom then visited the permanent exhibition in the Remembrance Lodge which features memorabilia from the Great War.

The exhibition is run by David Harrop and this year like last there will be items directly related to the Canadian armed forces.

Location; Southern Cemetery

Pictures; the service of Remembrance, July 1, 1916 from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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