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Rheindahlen Branch

Bryan´s Story - Part 2 - Tigelot Memorial

Jalhay, Belgium - 21st August 2011

 

I include the first part of the story that I wrote in 2007 for those readers who may not have seen it.

 

The annual commemorative service and ceremonies at Jalhay may always be similar but in fact the background and history, the presence of the families of the victims and the poignancy of the occasion increases each time.  And each time a new part of the jigsaw slots into place.  Now Bryan has been coming over from Canada each year since 2007 and his inspirational research is to be admired.  "My Great Uncle was a Navigator and now I feel that I am doing some navigating myself in guiding further family members of the victims to experience Jalhay."

Bryan at Tigelot Memorial

 

These family members now named "The Tigelot Family" have also now experienced the genuine homage which is shown so sincerely by Léon Boulet and the Adans Family with their untiring dedication to the annual tribute to the crew of the ill-fated Halifax MZ 829 KN-X of 77 Sqn.

 

I don't think that Bryan ever ceases to be moved by the whole occasion and now he confidently takes the floor during the proceedings after the main ceremony to express not only his own feelings but underlines his gratitude towards Jeanine, Marie José and Léon for the honourable and dignified portrayal of the continuance of their parents' wishes to recognise the supreme sacrifice of the crew who lost their lives at the Tigelot crash site.

 

In Léon's words, "This sixtieth anniversary is not a culmination, but a stage in recognition, that we testify to our seven heroes, who became part of our family."

 

During his trip Bryan visited the grave of Canadian John McCrae.

John McCrae Grave

 

"A part of our Proud Canadian Heritage at Essex farm where Canadian John McCrae treated the wounded and wrote the famous "In Flander's Fields" Poem. Growing up as a kid in school, "In Flanders Field's where poppies grow……" always played a huge part during Remembrance Day. Brings back feelings of childhood days. A real sense of Pride and Honour to be at this location as a Canadian."

 

Back in Canada after a full programme in Europe, Bryan is still so obviously charged with emotion.  The furtherance of his searches and visits here especially to the Canadian memorials and burial sites are captured in photos and continue to compile a very detailed and interesting study.

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