Happy Canada Day to all Canadians far and wide, as you celebrate today lets not forget our service members that are around the world today keeping us safe.
A HUGE Thank-you to Brent currently in France for stopping by my grandfathers grave today in Bretteville-Sur-Laize and for stopping at the Vimy Memorial to take a picture of my Cousins name on the memorial. This is the most important thing that has ever been done for me, words can’t express how I am feeling…I feel like saying thanks is not enough. – Chris Ecklund, Founder.
Starting at 0730 France time we will be live streaming from Juno beach for the 75th anniversary ceremonies. That would be 1:30am EST tomorrow morning June 6 2019 here in Canada. You can follow along as they read the names of the fallen. Brent Schriner our chair is there now and will be so for a few days with a full schedule. Please visit our face book page for the live stream.
The last week has been a roller coaster of emotion, that actually is an understatement.
Brent Schriner the chair of our foundation paid a visit to the Vimy memorial and took a picture of my cousins name.
Then all of Canada learned that another soldier was identified through DNA matching, and it turns out this soldier died the same date and place cousin Lorne did.
I was full of emotion thinking that Lorne could be found next, and am very happy I registered with the Government my DNA so maybe, just maybe some day my phone or that of my younger relations will be notified that they have found his remains and he to can be given a proper burial.
Then a few days ago I received a message via my Ancestry page from a very kind soul that found some pictures of the Bowyer family from Simcoe, Ontario and wondered if I was related and if so sent me the link to the items on Ebay.
That turned out to be a treasure chest, wow what a find.
Now came the bidding process and would I win?
Quickly others as well were bidding as well, who knows maybe the same person reached out to others and let them know as well, but either way I was not going to lose to somebody else and I out bid everyone.
Today in the mail a large envelope came with about a dozen pictures inside, and one is posted above in this article.
The young man on the left is my cousin Lorne Bowyer. Lorne was killed in action at Hill 70 August 15, 1917.
Hill 70 was a brutal battle for us we lost 9,158 men taking that hill.
In the middle is my uncle Clayton Bowyer, Clayton was severely wounded as well at Hill 70 by a shrapnel wound to the face.
I visited Claytons grave yesterday while in Simcoe to pay my respects.
While I was at the cemetery I also visited the veterans plot to see my Father and Uncle whom both served in the R.C.A.F during WW2.
In my research of my ancestors I learned that the two of them actually met at the front line in the trenches and had a good talk for an hour or so, this encounter has been published in a book and I will post a link for it. Can you imagine meeting your cousin at the front lines during the war!!?? It must have been a very emotional time for them, when I read the notes of there meeting there was some funny stories that came from it as well.
The 3rd Bowyer is my Grand Father and he was to young to join, so did so under a made up name to go fight for his Country.
He managed to survive the war, but I read he had severe “Shell Shock”, this I found out as he was talked about in Parliament in regards to when he became Post-Master of Simcoe after the war.
When World War 2 started he answered the call once again and re-enlisted.
So how has your last 24 Hrs been?
To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, the Juno Beach Centre is launching an exciting new commemorative fundraiser! For a donation of $100, you will receive a pair of Juno75 Dog Tags, one which honours one of the 5,500 Canadians killed during the Battle of Normandy, and the other which is customizable to you, as well as a biography of the featured soldier. These 5,500 Canadians were everyday people, with families, jobs, and aspirations. With your help, we can ensure their sacrifice will not be forgotten. All proceeds go towards the Juno Beach Centre and their mission of commemoration and remembrance!
More information: https://www.junobeach.org/5500-canadian-stories/