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WWI A Canadian buried in the UK is remembered 100 years on

aghart

War Hero
The Bournemouth, Poole & District Branch, Royal Tank Regiment Association, today remembered Pte Frank Skuce, a Canadian soldier buried in Poole Cemetery, on the 100th anniversary of his death. The service was taken by the vicar of St Georges Church in Poole, the Canadian National Anthem was played, and last post sounded by a buglar. It was a very moving & dignified event and it was an honour to be part of it.
skuce dirty.jpg
skuce dirty.jpgskuce clean.jpggrave1.jpggrave2.jpggrave3.jpgskuce wreath.jpg
 

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exspy

LE
The Bournemouth, Poole & District Branch, Royal Tank Regiment Association, today remembered Pte Frank Skuce, a Canadian soldier buried in Poole Cemetery, on the 100th anniversary of his death. The service was taken by the vicar of St Georges Church in Poole, the Canadian National Anthem was played, and last post sounded by a buglar. It was a very moving & dignified event and it was an honour to be part of it.

Not that I'm against honouring a Canadian soldier, but was there a reason behind this?

Cheers,
Dan.
 

exspy

LE
last death before the ceasefire ?

Unfortunately, no. The name of the last Canadian soldier killed on the Western Front is known, and as I recall he died on November 11th, near Mons.

Skuce, the soldier honoured today, died on November 4th, in England. Soldiers who were killed in France or Belgium were buried locally. Bodies were not being repatriated to Canada or England at the time. Although there is the true story of one wealthy matron from Montreal who travelled to Belgium after the war, had her son disinterred, and smuggled his remains back to Canada. But I've only heard of this happening once,

Cheers,
Dan.
 
Unfortunately, no. The name of the last Canadian soldier killed on the Western Front is known, and as I recall he died on November 11th, near Mons.

Skuce, the soldier honoured today, died on November 4th, in England. Soldiers who were killed in France or Belgium were buried locally. Bodies were not being repatriated to Canada or England at the time. Although there is the true story of one wealthy matron from Montreal who travelled to Belgium after the war, had her son disinterred, and smuggled his remains back to Canada. But I've only heard of this happening once,

Cheers,
Dan.
It happened on more than on one occasion, but I think you are referring to Captain W.A.P Durie of the 58 Battalion CEF who fell in France and is now buried in St James cemetery in Toronto. His mother was Anna Peel /Durie who made national headlines over her first failed attempt to retrieve her sons corpse and the second more successful yet grisly expedition to France. The saddest part is she did more to desecrate her sons remains than the Germans who killed him, she was a bit off.....
 

exspy

LE
It happened on more than on one occasion, but I think you are referring to Captain W.A.P Durie of the 58 Battalion CEF who fell in France and is now buried in St James cemetery in Toronto.

Thanks for the story. I'd never heard the Captain Durie tale before. The officer I posted about was with the 13th Bn, CEF, and had been a Militia officer with the 5th Royal Highlanders of Canada before the war. (For our non-Canadian friends, the 5th RHC from Montreal would become the Canadian Black Watch.)

I'll look up the name of the officer and post it when I find it. It was written about in one of Norm Christie's CEF books and was presented in one of the episodes of his "For King and Empire."

Cheers,
Dan.
 

aghart

War Hero
Not that I'm against honouring a Canadian soldier, but was there a reason behind this?

Cheers,
Dan.
The grave is in a plot of about 12 graves in Poole cemetery, we noticed it whilst laying a wreath at the grave of a Tank Corps soldier on his 100th anniversary. Not being in a Canadian war cemetery, we realised that this grave had probably dropped of the radar and never been visited in the last 100 years. So this man was buried thousands of miles from home, and his 100th anniversary was only a few months away, so we decided to ensure he was not forgotten on the day. Pte Frank Skuce from Nesbitt Manitoba, suffered a bullet wound to the right hip on 13th October 1918, evacuated to the UK, he was admitted to Poole hospital on 18th October but was diagnosed with Influenza (Spanish Flu) on 1st November and died 3 days later. He is no longer off the radar.
 
The grave is in a plot of about 12 graves in Poole cemetery, we noticed it whilst laying a wreath at the grave of a Tank Corps soldier on his 100th anniversary. Not being in a Canadian war cemetery, we realised that this grave had probably dropped of the radar and never been visited in the last 100 years. So this man was buried thousands of miles from home, and his 100th anniversary was only a few months away, so we decided to ensure he was not forgotten on the day. Pte Frank Skuce from Nesbitt Manitoba, suffered a bullet wound to the right hip on 13th October 1918, evacuated to the UK, he was admitted to Poole hospital on 18th October but was diagnosed with Influenza (Spanish Flu) on 1st November and died 3 days later. He is no longer off the radar.

Awesome. Great job.
 
The grave is in a plot of about 12 graves in Poole cemetery, we noticed it whilst laying a wreath at the grave of a Tank Corps soldier on his 100th anniversary. Not being in a Canadian war cemetery, we realised that this grave had probably dropped of the radar and never been visited in the last 100 years. So this man was buried thousands of miles from home, and his 100th anniversary was only a few months away, so we decided to ensure he was not forgotten on the day. Pte Frank Skuce from Nesbitt Manitoba, suffered a bullet wound to the right hip on 13th October 1918, evacuated to the UK, he was admitted to Poole hospital on 18th October but was diagnosed with Influenza (Spanish Flu) on 1st November and died 3 days later. He is no longer off the radar.
It is very moving to see a soldier far from home being acknowledged individually as is well deserved, there are many lonely graves that will never get a second thought. Thank you for submitting your photo to Veterans Affairs Canada for the Virtual War Memorial, it adds more depth to this soldiers story. Frank Skuce - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial - Veterans Affairs Canada
 
Unfortunately, no. The name of the last Canadian soldier killed on the Western Front is known, and as I recall he died on November 11th, near Mons.

Skuce, the soldier honoured today, died on November 4th, in England. Soldiers who were killed in France or Belgium were buried locally. Bodies were not being repatriated to Canada or England at the time. Although there is the true story of one wealthy matron from Montreal who travelled to Belgium after the war, had her son disinterred, and smuggled his remains back to Canada. But I've only heard of this happening once,

Cheers,
Dan.
Interesting. How the Allies handled the dead after the battles were over depended upon nationality they were. In most cases, the British felt re interring them in purpose made cemeteries where they fell was the best option, given that so many had died. The French felt the same way. Surprisingly, the American Government decided to poll the families and see what was their wish.

[Excerpt from an article in the MHQ Magazine]
BY DREW LINDSAY
WINTER 2013 • MHQ MAGAZINE

...
Nearly a year after the armistice—two years after the first of Pershing’s troops had been killed—a compromise was forged. The War Department announced in October 1919 that it would survey each of the fallen soldiers’ next of kin. They could choose to bring home remains or have them buried in newly created American military cemeteries in Europe. Ballots were sent to nearly 80,000 families, and in kitchens and living rooms across the country, the bereaved sat down to decide how best to honor their loved ones.



IN LATE 1920, the French finally yielded to American pressure and lifted their ban on the return of bodies. The United States spent the next two years and more than $30 million—$400 million in today’s dollars—recovering its dead. The remains of 46,000 soldiers were returned to the States at their families’ request, while another 30,000—roughly 40 percent of the total—were laid to rest in military cemeteries in Europe.

.......................
WW I Battlefield Burial in France.JPG


Full article here: Rest in Peace? Bringing Home U.S. War Dead | HistoryNet
 

exspy

LE
He is no longer off the radar.

Christ, you almost made me cry. There are not enough thank-yous to say to you and your friends. I cannot perceive of many doing what you did for the reasons you gave.

May the karma you generate be returned to you a thousand-fold, and last you until your own journey comes.

With the greatest respect,
Dan.
 

exspy

LE
Although there is the true story of one wealthy matron from Montreal who travelled to Belgium after the war, had her son disinterred, and smuggled his remains back to Canada. But I've only heard of this happening once,

It happened on more than on one occasion, but I think you are referring to Captain W.A.P Durie of the 58 Battalion CEF who fell in France and is now buried in St James cemetery in Toronto. His mother was Anna Peel /Durie who made national headlines over her first failed attempt to retrieve her sons corpse and the second more successful yet grisly expedition to France.

Thanks for the story. I'd never heard the Captain Durie tale before. The officer I posted about was with the 13th Bn, CEF, and had been a Militia officer with the 5th Royal Highlanders of Canada before the war.

With all due apologies to @HLD DMR, I mis-remembered the story. In Gas Attack! The Canadians at Ypres, 1915 (1998 ) by Norm Christie, he tells of Guy Melfort Drummond, a Lieutenant with the 13th Bn, CEF. He was killed on April 22, 1915, the first day of Second Ypres. His remains were not found at the time.

Drummond came from one of the richest families in Montreal. He was good looking, a millionaire by age 26 and tall at 6'3". He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from McGill, was a Captain in the 5th Royal Highlanders of Canada and married. He and his wife were awaiting the birth of their first child. When the war broke out, he accepted a commission in the CEF at the rank of Lieutenant.

Two days before Drummond's death, his brother-in-law, Tim Warren, was killed in battle. His sister was drowned two weeks later in the sinking of the RMS Lusitania by a U-Boat.

In 1919, while clearing out the Ypres battlefield, a grave marker bearing the inscription 'Unknown Canadian Officer - Royal Highlanders of Canada' was found. By measuring the femur, it was determined that the remains were for a person 6'3" in height. Drummond was reburied at Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest of the CWGC cemeteries with 12,000 buried soldiers.

There is no report of his mother coming to Belgium to retrieve his remains. I must have mixed up the story of Drummond with the story of Durie. I can only blame advancing age and my diminishing capacity.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

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