The non-profit organisation “Faces to Canadian War Graves Groesbeek”, as part of the Faces to Graves project in the Netherlands, aims to publish a short story of every one of the soldiers buried in Groesbeek. Here is the link to the Faces to Grave Newsletter. Their partnership with Holten and Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemeteries will eventually realize a database for all of some 2700 Canadian soldiers who are buried in the three Canadian War Cemeteries in the Netherlands or whose names are on the Memorial Walls. It is intended that all online stories will be available on https://canadianwargraves.nl, on rcsigs.ca, and on cmcen-rcmce.ca.

The Graves of Our Fallen Project (http://www.rcsigs.ca/index.php/Graves_of_our_Fallen_Project) has identified 58 Signallers in these three War Cemeteries and we want to assist with telling their stories. In addition to locally displaying these stories for visitors, Groesbeek is well-advanced with their online “Digital Monument”, but few of our RC Sigs stories have been captured. In fact, to date only limited research has been done and stories posted on rcsigs.ca on two soldiers at Groesbeek (Capt Loughnan and Sigmn Rodrigues) and two at Holten (Lt Burslem and L/Cpl Taylor). Our hope would be to ultimately expand our efforts beyond the Netherlands, but that is work for the future.

Our project needs volunteers to research and write these Soldier Stories. These soldiers are an integral part of our history and their sacrifice cannot be forgotten. Joe Costello has collected the detailed information on our 58 Signallers (attached) and can assist individuals with information on how to access Service Files and War Diaries, where available. If you cannot undertake this project yourself, you may have a son or daughter in high school, this could be performed as part of the “Lest We Forget” Project or to help with an educational opportunity during the pandemic lock-out.

Please let us know if you are interested in helping with this project. The attached list of all Signallers buried in Groesbeek, Bergen op Zoom and Holten can help if you are looking for a relative. Joe can also assist if you have an interest in a particular unit. You might also wish to focus on a specific hometown or region of one of our fallen Signallers. As we get moving on this, Joe will keep track on his website – rcsigs.ca – of which soldiers are being researched and who is doing the research, so we do not have overlap. Plus, if you are interested in a particular unit or individual, the Netherlands Faces to Graves team can advise if someone is already working on this individual or if they have some material to contribute. You can contact them at:

• Bergen op Zoom: [email protected]
• Groesbeek: [email protected]
• Holten: [email protected]

Please advise me – [email protected] and CC – [email protected] – if you wish to participate and give the name of the soldier whose story you are going to tell. Once again, we can assist with the research if you contact [email protected].

Come on, C&E Family – let’s make sure that we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and no one is left behind!

Kevin G. O’Keefe, OMM, CD
Brigadier-General (Retired)
Colonel Commandant
Communications and Electronics Branch
[email protected]

Attachment: Graves of our Fallen – Netherlands Extract with NoK

Faces to Graves Newsletter: https://www.facestograves.nl/newsletters/NEWSLETTER%20No%209%20Spring%202020.pdf

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