Friday, 11 November 2016

I Remember the Brave Men

A song that my kids learned in elementary school resurfaces in my mind at this time every year:

I remember the brave men who fought for our country
I remember the brave men who died far away
I remember the brave men who truly loved Canada
And because I remember, I stand and I pray

Today I remember the brave men in the Woodcock Family who fought for our country, who died far away and who truly loved Canada. The Woodcock's served their adopted country of Canada for generations. 

First was Bertram Woodcock. Bertram's parents were the brave couple that left the destitution and over crowding of Birmingham for a new life in Canada. Bertram served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He signed up on December 10th, 1915 and died two years later on 21 January, 1917 in Calais. Bertram is buried in the Hersin Communal Cemetery

Bertram's headstone in Calais

but is also memorialized on his mother's headstone here in Brantford. Bertram is listed on the wall of honour at the cenotaph in Brantford

Bertram is listed on the wall of honour

Bertram's brothers Edgar and George also served. They were fortunate enough to survive the war. 

George Henry

George Henry's son, my father-in-law, Harry was a gunner in WWII. Harry served with the 54th Battery of the 56th Field Artillery Regiment. Harry was a gunner and flew in the Lancaster and saw active duty in England and Europe. Harry was part of the liberation of Holland and was honoured to return to Holland for the 50th anniversary celebrations. 

young Harry

Harry in Holland for the 50th anniversary celebration

Today I had the honour of attending the Remembrance Day Services at the Cenotaph. I could feel the spirits of the lost soldiers blowing in the wind that rustled the leaves as we stood for TAPS and as the memorial wreaths were laid. After the ceremony, my son and I pinned our poppies to the wreath that was laid to honour the brave men who fought alongside Dad. 

Rest peacefully Harry. And thank you. Thank you for serving your country and for helping us to live in a free world. 

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