By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Coaldale is putting out the call to find heroes of old.
As part of the “Our Stories of Service” project, Coaldale community services manager Cindy Hoffman is looking for photos and stories about Coaldale veterans who have served in WWI and WWII
“We have a list of names, we know it’s probably not complete, so that’s our starting point though,” said Cindy Hoffman, community services manager for the town of Coaldale. “We don’t even have first names for half of these people.”
Around the time when Hoffman started working as community service manager, she came across a box, and in this box was a framed photo and brief biography of a WWII pilot, Veral Clarence Bullock.
Bullock was a Pilot Officer Bomb Airner attached to the #622 (R.A.F.) Squadron, who were part of the main force of Bomber Command. He was killed in action on Jan. 3, 1945, and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Kleve, Germany.
The bio had been done up by the Canadian Fallen Heroes Foundation and sponsored by the town of Coaldale. That inspired the idea to do similar frames for other Coaldale veterans. But although she doe have a list of names, there is little else to go on.
The goal of the project is to be able to identify the person behind those names. Ultimately, they are hoping to get photographs and a summary of that person’s service, so help preserve and honour their sacrifice.
With a name, it makes it easier for people to remember these heroes, remember the history of the war.
“The thing is If I go to a school, go to Kate Andrews (high school), I can talk about this guy who won the highest medal from Toronto. ‘Who cares?’, goes a grade 10 student,” said Glenn Miller, a speaker for the Memory Project of Canada. “Now what’s your name? Okay Smith, I can tell you (about ) a guy, probably your uncle and I can tell you whatever the context is locally.”
Miller says that right now, “there is no tool box” for them to find this information by themselves. Additionally, if people don’t talk about it, that knowledge doesn’t get passed on, and is lost.
“It’s common since the Boer War, people didn’t talk about their war time experience. So their wives don’t know, their children don’t know,” said Miller. “And if the first generation of children don’t know, how can they pass that on to their children?”
“I think it’s so important for the youth in our community to realize that there’s a lot of sacrifice done for us basically, and the way we live now,” said Hoffman. “And I think a lot of them just don’t understand what was given, and for me personally, I think it’s really important that the young people bring this back to the forefront.”
If you recognize one of the names on their list, or had a family member who was a veteran or a RCMP officer who served overseas, please contact Hoffman at 403-345-1324 at email@example.com.
You can also arranged to meet with Hoffman, either at her office or she could come and visit you.
Although they are taking submissions all year round, they encouraging people to get them in by the third week of October, so they can gather the information ad have it ready when the WWI anniversary goes next year.
“The legacy any community can best honour, the veterans who came to their community, is to know the veterans’ service, sacrifice and commitment, and no better way then to do it know, when it’s first hand knowledge., to preserve and share for future generations, let we forget,” said Miller.
The following is a list of veterans’ names that the Our Stories of Service project has. If you recognize someone who is on the list, of know of someone who isn’t listed, contact Cindy Hoffman at 403-345-1324 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baldry, Robert E.
Cunningham, Leo C.
Fairhurst, Lyle Sr.
MacKay, Wm. M.
Newbold, Mrs. J.
Paulson, Paul T.
Priestley, Norman F.
Smith, Stanley H.
Warren, Mrs. N
Anderson, W. Bruce
Baldry, Wilfrid E.
Baldry, Arthur E.
Bond, Frank Jr.
Barg, Henry G.
Buhlin, Averth P.
Bullock, Veral Clarence
Coutts, John C.
Foxall, J Earl
Mantler, Abe H.
MacKay, W. Elmer
Regehr, Jack P.
Regehr, Peter F.
Thompson, Marion Jr.