Island family invited to Remembrance Day ceremonies in Belgium

Three generations of Macintosh family served in military

This Remembrance Day will be special for Duncan’s Rod Macintosh and his dad, Richard.

Richard, who lives in Comox, has been invited by his former regiment, the Calgary-based Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, to attend the ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War in Mons, Belgium, on Nov. 11.

Richard, who joined the regiment in the 1950s, was stationed in Germany 50 years ago and was a part of the parade that was also held in Mons at the time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The armistice that ended the war was signed in Mons, which was liberated by Canadian troops.

It was also the site of the death of the last soldier from the British Empire killed in the war, Canadian George Price who died two minutes before the ceasefire went into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

RELATED STORY: ‘DEAD MAN’S PENNY’ REMEMBERS WAR, SACRIFICE FOR DUNCAN BUSINESS OWNER

Rod, who also served with the PPCLI in several overseas assignments during the 1980s and 1990s before settling in Duncan to work in real estate, has been invited to attend the ceremony on Nov. 11 by the regiment to assist his 85-year-old father.

Rod said the Macintosh family’s connections with the military and the PPCLI run deep, with his grandfather, McGregor Macintosh, serving with the regiment during the First World War, along with two of MacGregor’s brothers, one of whom died in battle and is buried close to Mons.

“My grandfather lost an arm while fighting in the trenches in April, 1916, and was sent back to Canada where he spent the rest of the war,” Rod said.

“When the Second World War started, MacGregor rejoined the regiment, despite only having one arm, and spent the war running a training depot in Calgary.”

RELATED STORY: IN REMEMBRANCE OF SERGEANT HARRY ARTHUR MAKI

Rod himself is no stranger to conflict around the globe, having spent time as a peacekeeper in Cyprus as well as Rwanda shortly after the massacres there in the early 1990s that saw hundreds of thousands killed.

He said he and his dad are looking forward to attending the ceremony in Mons, where they will be part of a large delegation from Canada that will include veterans, cadets and government officials.

“After the ceremony, we’re going to rent a car and go visit the grave of my great uncle, who is buried close to the city,” he said.

“It will be my dad’s first visit to the grave in 50 years. We also intend to visit Hill 60 in Belgium, which is where my grandfather lost his arm. It will be an honour to be a representative from Canada at the ceremony, and to see many of the historic sites from the First World War which are close to Mons.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Just Posted

Duncan Lanes bowlers take on the best in B.C.

The best results for the Cowichan Valley bowlers came in the intermediate girls division

Sonia Furstenau column: Now the time to make changes for the better

This coronavirus has given us opportunity to identify what matters most in our day-to-day lives.

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Drivesmart column: Staying on your side of the road

No exemptions that grant permission to disobey the keeping to the right rule based on convenience.

Mary Lowther column: Starting seeds to beat the slugs, wood bugs

My favourite sorts of seedling starters are the plastic cells that fit inside trays

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read