COMMEMORATIVE CEREMONY IN WESTKERKE, BELGIUM
The Zone Commander received an invitation to provide a Colour Party for a ceremony in Westkerke, Belgium. The ceremony was to pay tribute to the victims of a 408 Squadron RCAF aircraft that was shot down on 9 Nov 1941 in that area. The crew members are buried in a local church cemetery. The pilot was a Canadian, Pilot Officer John Cayley Wilson age 27 from Aylmer West, Ontario, Canada. The other three crew members that also perished are the Navigator Sergeant, Douglas Victor Markall, age 21 from England, Radio Operator Sergeant Douglas Frederick William Norton also from England and the Observer Sergeant Evan Bertram Te Makahi Robertson age 29 from New Zealand.
In support of this request and since Canadian family members were to be present at this year’s ceremony the Zone Commander with Comrade Alphonse Deguire, President of Branch 002 and Comrade Jeoff Sanger, Treasurer Branch 001 departed Ede, the Netherlands on Saturday 6 May and travel to Belgium. Comrade’s Iris and Daniel Van Landschoot had arranged Belgium Legion members to form a Colour Party and attend this ceremony which was scheduled to begin at 1700 hours. We all met at the city hall and proceeded to the church where the ceremony commenced with church service. The Legion Colour Party played a significant role in the ceremony both in the church and at the gravesite. The church service was followed by a graveside ceremony and wreath being laid. A reception followed at the city hall where kind words of appreciation were extended for our participation.