Sunday, 2 November 2008

WW I Vigil – A Time of Remembrance

national war memorial

WW I happened a long time ago, but it is an event in history that should never be forgotten. It happened between 1914-1918. Back then Canada was a young nation, still very much tied to the British Commonwealth. It was clear right from the start, the fact that Britain was at war Canada too was at war.

 
Although our military was still small at the time, 3,100 men in the army and a fledgling navy, Canadians quickly volunteered to help defend the "Mother Country" and a force of 32,000 men gathered to train and cross the Atlantic. By the time the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, a total of 619,636 men and women had served in the Canadian forces and of these 66,655 gave their lives and another 172,950 were wounded. Nearly one of every ten Canadians who fought in the war did not return.

Our veterans from this war are almost all gone, the last surviving vet is 108 years old. In honour of our fallen heroes, a vigil will take place at the Canadian War Memorial between Nov 4 - 11th. Each night, beginning at 5:15 pm and ending at sunrise the next day, lasting for 13 hours each night, the last names of our fallen will be streamed across the War Memorial. 9,700 names will be displayed each night. Besides Ottawa, the vigil will also take place in Newfoundland, Halifax, Fredericton, Toronto, Regina, Edmonton, Victoria, and London, UK, beginning at 5pm and running for 13 hours each night in each city. If you are unable to make it to one of the vigil locations you can also catch it live on the Internet at 1914-1918.ca.


I decided to use the site's search tool to find out if and when any Leafloor names would be displayed and found Sapper Arthur H. Leafloor of the Canadian Engineers, Service Number 2714538 died June 15, 1919 and his name will be displayed on Nov 7th at 11:49PM.
Using my Uncle Micheal Leafloor's Family History I have found that Arthur H Leafloor was my great-great Uncle. Athur H Leafloor was the forth son born to John Lafleur/Leafloor and Hellen Walker. John was my Great-Grandfather, father to my Grandfather Thomas Melborne Leafloor. Arthur is the second child that was registered with the surname Leafloor. Arthur was born 27 Aug 1898 and died at the age of 20 years, 9 months, 19 days on 15 June 1919. Arthur never married. Arthur received the British War Medal posthumously from the British Royal Family, which expressed Britain's gratitude for sacrificing his life in defense of the British people.


In honour of Arthur's service to our country, I will be making every effort possible to be at the National War Memorial on Nov 7th, dressed in my CF dress uniform, wearing my own medals, to salute my great-great Uncle.


Let us never forget those who gave their lives to fight for freedom and the way of life we all know and love.

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