Legion Making Fallen Heroes Memorials
The Royal Canadian Legion, Field Marshal Alexander Branch #11 in Vermilion is looking to collect photos and service records to create soldier memorials through the Canadian Fallen Heroes Foundation.
The foundation initiated these memorials to recognize over 117,000 soldiers from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and UN Peacekeeping missions who did not make it home alive.
Legion member, Barry Roth, has spent the past eight years compiling information for the memorials and has completed 36 local ones so far. His scope has widened to include the County of Vermilion River, and he said there are approximately 200 soldiers from this area, but he is at a standstill in collecting the remainder of the information because he does not have contact information for some of the families and many have moved away.
So far the foundation has completed 66,000 memorials across the country. Memorials include a photograph, and the person’s military background including what regiment they fought for, where they went, what battles they were in, and if their body wasn’t brought back where it is buried overseas.
Recent additions include John MacDonald from Clandonald, William Clements Diamond from Vermilion, Gibson Fitzgerald Skelton (originally from Ireland) who lived in Vermilion, and Fredrick Bruce Albright who graduated from the Vermilion School of Agriculture.
“It’s important that these names be remembered to keep the local history alive. Because they were local and settled here, a lot of people that live around here now would have had parents or grandparents that went to school with these people. It is also a good point of interest for someone going overseas so people can visit where they were laid to rest,” said Roth. “A lot of families may have received the service record for their great uncle, etc. and through the years, it may have been hidden away in a coffee can in someone’s basement. To get a memorial produced and recognize your relatives, you can contact the legion which is looking to do up these memorials to honour your loved ones.”