Remembrance Day is tomorrow, a day when we reflect on the sacrifices made by everyone during conflict, peacekeeping and war. Everyday men and women, taking up the call to arms, and sacrificing so much for their service. Not all service personnel see combat, but they serve and are affected just the same, and for this I thank them.
My family has a long line of military history, service and sacrifice. I would like to take this moment to remember and honour them, some making the ultimate sacrifice.
Most recently my cousin Cort Barker, served with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), where he did two rotations peacekeeping in Bosnia and a tour in Afghanistan. If you see him about, thank him for his service.
My cousin Micheal McKoy British Army, serving and toured in Afghanistan
My Uncle Robert Clements served with the Royal Medical Corps, 19 Field Ambulance in the 70’s.
Both my Grandfather’s served in WWII.
My maternal Grandfather George R. Hartley (Sgt.) was the 3rd man in Saskatchewan to volunteer for war duty in 1939. He signed up 3 days before Canada even declared war on Germany. He served with the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G) from 1939 until disbandment near the end of 1945.
Upon arriving in England, his regiment spent 1939-1941 on training and home defense, traveling up and down the British coast in defence of German attacks. From 1941 – 43 they began and endured the Italian campaign, seeing action in Pachino, Sicily, Monte Cassino, Ortona, Hitler Line, Gothic Lien and Liri Valley to name a few. From the end of 1943 to 1945, they worked their way bach up north and into Norther France, and ultimately into Holland. The SLI had a huge hand in liberating Rotterdam. Finally then returning home to Canada in 1945. He spent s continuous years in war.
My paternal Grandfather, David Clements served with the Suffolk Regiment in Ipswich, England. Granddad Clements did not see combat action, but would have dealt with the fallout from the blitz and bombing of London.
Many of my Great Uncles served in WWII as well.
Andy McWhirter with the Canadian Signal Corpse – D-Day Landing and France.
Private First Class Reginald Gustafson US Army – Battle of the Bulge – Purple Heart recipient.
Sgt. James (Jim) Hannan – Royal Canadian Air Force
( Cousin) PFC Floyd R. Chamney, born in Estevan, Saskatchewan Canada moved with his parents to Iowa, USA in the 1930’s. Floyd enlisted into the United States Marine Corps where he was killed in action 15 March 1945 on Iwo Jima.
My family in WWI.
My paternal Great-Grandfather LCpl. Syer John Ratcliffe of the Suffolk Regiment, went missing on the battlefield in Northern France. He spent 18 months as a Prisoner of War (1917-18) in Limburg POW Camp in Germany. His POW List Number was Y39034.
My Gr-Great Uncle Rifleman Tom Hartley of the King’s Own Liverpool Regiment, was killed in action 30th November 1917 at the Battle of Cambrai, in France. This was a significant battle as it was the first time tanks had ever been used in war. He is buried in France and in 2010 I had the honour of travelling to his place of burial.
There are numerous Chamney cousins that fought in WWI, I know one was gassed and killed at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, and another at Paschendale.
Some Chamney’s fought in the US Civil War, and the American Revolution (For The Crown).
I have traced some of my ancestors back to the 100 years war between England and France.
It is with humble fingers that I type up this small list of Remembrance and thanks for my family. For their service and their sacrifice.
“In Flanders Fields” is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.