B’ford Legion unveils plaque to deceased veterans

Battleford Legion members are continuing the military tradition of remembering and commemorating veterans with a new plaque they recently unveiled to the public.

On Saturday, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 9 of Battleford presented a plaque dedicated to military veterans of the Anglo-Boer War, the First World War, Second World War and others in unmarked graves in the Battleford cemetery.

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Veterans in unmarked graves in the cemetery include George Racette, Henry H. Dugan, Thomas Drought, Patrick Maskel (spelling could also be Maskill) and Everette Porter.

The aforementioned died in the 1890s, 1910s, 1920s and the 1990s.

According to Legion vice-president Tim Popp, Drought was in the Anglo-Boer War, Maskel is reported to have served in the Crimea War, while Porter is reported to have served with the Canadian Militia during the Fenian Raids, in which an Irish Republican organization raided British forts in Canada.

The ceremony, which took place at Battleford cemetery on Saturday, featured Legion members, Legion of Riders, cadets, and members of the public.

The ceremony featured distinctive features of Legion ceremonies, including appropriate music and a moment of silence. Pastor Jan Cooke read from the Book of Joshua and offered a prayer.

The plaque commemorates “the cost of liberty,” Cooke said.

A statement by Battlefords-Lloydminster Conservative MP Rosemarie Falk was read aloud.

According to the statement, “though their graves are unmarked, the shared accomplishments of these soldiers are entrenched in our Canadian story.”

Popp said he and Gil Bellavance were researchers on the project.

The Legion of Riders were a big help for the initiative, and raised $3,375.

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