Parade arrives at the Cenotaph in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

VIDEO: Hoey and other Burma campaign veterans honoured at Cenotaph ceremony Aug. 14

The war in Burma against the Japanese was where Duncan’s only Victoria Cross winner lost his life

The Burma Star memorial was held at the Duncan Cenotaph on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

According to the Royal Canadian Legion, “The Burma Campaign took place between Dec. 11, 1941 and Sept. 2, 1945, commencing with Japanese forces invading Burma and driving British forces back to the Indian border. Since the Japanese held superiority in the Pacific, the Allies were not in a position to strike back and regain a foothold in Burma until early in 1944. The total surrender of the Japanese came on Sept. 2,1945.

The Burma Star was instituted by the United Kingdom in May 1945 as an award to those who had served in operations in the Burma Campaign during that period.

That campaign is of particular interest to Cowichan Valley residents as it was there that Major Charles Hoey of Duncan died of wounds, after demonstrating the amazing bravery that won him the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross. Former Second World War pilot George Brewster read some of Hoey’s history.

Legion member Betty James, told the crowd that other Burma Star holders used to gather at a special cairn — a replica of the one in Burma (now known as Myanmar) — located in the bush beside the Cowichan River, until it became impossible for them to make it out there. The place was chosen because it was one of Hoey’s favourite fishing spots. After they held a memorial there, they would come into town and hold another at the cenotaph, she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The memorial Aug. 14 remembers the veterans of the Burma Star campaign. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

George Brewster, a former Second World War fighter pilot, talks to the crowd about the achievements of Major Charles Hoey. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

‘The Last Post’ sounds in the air above the Duncan Cenotaph. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Several attendees at the ceremony leave their poppies near Charles Hoey’s name on the Cenotaph. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Legion member Betty James explains about the Burma Star memorial near the Cowichan River and how the event used to be celebrated. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Just Posted

Business notes: WINGS set to close on Aug. 29

A few of the things going on in Cowichan’s business community

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

Pig destined for sanctuary goes missing from Cobble Hill farm

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

Most Read