Minister of Veterans Affairs visits grave of last Canadian soldier
killed in action during First World War
ZONNEBEKE, Belgium, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino,
Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced Government of Canada
support for the creation of a Canadian Remembrance Trail in Belgium by
the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. The Remembrance Trail will focus on the sacrifices made by Canadians
in Europe during the First World War.
Today's announcement follows yesterday's international ceremonies in
Belgium marking the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, and the official
launch of Canada's World Wars Commemoration period.
While in Belgium, Minister Fantino also visited Tyne Cot Cemetery, and
St. Symphorien Cemetery where Private George Price - believed to be the
last Canadian soldier killed in action during the First World War - is
buried. Minister Fantino was accompanied by Canadian Ambassador Denis
Robert and Private Price's nephew, Mr. George Barkhouse of Canning,
The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 will receive $160,000 in funding
over the next three years for the Canadian Remembrance Trail project through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community Engagement Partnership Fund.
The Ypres Salient, including the towns of Ypres and Passchendaele, was
the scene of several First World War battles, including the Battle of
Passchendaele in 1917, which saw more than 4,000 Canadians killed and
almost 12,000 wounded.
Private George Price died near Mons, Belgium on November 11, 1918, about
two minutes before the armistice came into effect.
In May 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, Dr. John McCrae penned
the famous poem In Flanders Fields. Almost 100 years later, the poem and poppy remain prominent
Remembrance Day symbols throughout Commonwealth nations.
Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world
in terms of burials with graves and memorials commemorating almost
12,000 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War.
"The soldiers who fought in the Ypres area of Belgium were among the
more than 650,000 Canadians who served in uniform during the First
World War. Our Government is proud to partner with the Memorial Museum
Passchendaele 1917 to ensure that our military's brave stories of
service, sacrifice, and heroism are told."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada
"Every year increasing numbers of Canadian visitors come to Belgium to
find out more about the tragic events that took place in Flanders in
the Autumn of 1917. The Battle of Passchendaele and the Second Battle
of Ypres are of utmost importance to the Canadian national identity
but, until now, those searching for Canadian-related sites had few
points to start from. With the support of the Government of Canada, we
will now be able to provide visitors with a uniquely Canadian
experience of history."
Steven Vandenbussche, Curator, Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917
Community Engagement Partnership Fund
Canada in the First World War
Canadian Virtual War Memorial: Private George Price
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada