Regarding the story of the WW ll Great Escape story also covered in these blogs, I have now been contacted by a direct relative of one of the heroes of that story to add some great details about the planning leading up to the escape. A picture had also been supplied to me of several POW's from one of the rooms in hut 109 in the North Compound and in this appears the image of a Canadian. I am attempting to find relatives of this hero to share the image with. And perhaps yet again get even further details of activities leading up to the escape.
A key player in the story of the Ohea Victoria Cross has also contacted me with some details to be pursued when time is available. He confirms info I had that there were two fakes and one real medal awaded re the Timothy Ohea VC incident, the first..and only event leading to a VC that occurred on Canadian soil. Stay tuned for follow ups, but in the mean time the image above shows the two fakes, one being owned by the fellow who contacted me.
On the very site of these head quarters..but on the other side of a rise.. .or hill if you will.. .is what is known as the St Elizabeth's Cemetery, and it is here that yet another Canadian is honoured. His name is Joseph Noil and he saved a life from drowning and was also awarded a Medal of Honor shortly after the Civil War, and has been written about several times in these blogs. His grave was just located in recent years and the stone marker, containing a misspelled name is in the process of being corrected with the installation of a new MOH marker created and to be affixed to his grave side in the months to come.
That grave and many more will be honoured by the US Coast Guard as they go through the cemetery and clean it up and place flags in honour of all the deceased service members, in time for the US Veterans Days ceremonies of 11 November and on the 12th. Above is the image of a small portion of the cemetery last year in November.
I am excited to say that I was approached last week by a woman with regards to my research in New Brunswick. As we talked I learned that she was related to one of the very first 8 founders of Monckton (old spelling.) Further into the conversation she told me her surname. One you will recall reading about also in these blogs. It was Wortman and a great great grandson of the George of founder days, was the George you may have read about here. He earned a MOH just after the Civil War.
My amazement at this lady introducing herself to me was even more surprising when she revealed that she had never heard about the MOH man... a direct relative of hers. We shall get together soon for some serious info sharing.
The Union cannons shown above look out at the Confederate line a mile away at a place called Missionary Ridge. The large stone in the center marks the battle lines of one of the Union cavalry units. And the smaller stone to the left marks the very point were a Lt, one of thousands fell dead whilst he worked his cannons. He was in charge of a battery and whilst already wounded twice and having his guts spilling out of his belly, another soldier tried to hold them in whilst he gave his last command before taking a third shot...write through his mouth. Falling to the ground in convulsions he was soon dead. He was only 22 years old!
Many years later, a family moved into the home held by that soldier's relatives. She started a writing campaign that would last decades and decades and decades. And finally, most recently his story has come to the press with the wonderful news that after over 150 years he would be awarded the Medal of Honor.
His name is Alonzo Cushing and much can be read about him on the net.. Some even in my blogs. It is said by some, though I think incorrectly that tomorrow is the day he will be awarded the Medal of Honor by the President of the United States. I think the date is a little premature and it may come soon.. .but not tomorrow.
But watch the news, cause some regular followers of my work have caught me making mistakes already..hehe.
Congratulations to Alonzo Cushing, the woman who spent almost an entire life time pursuant the award and all those who played roles in moving this matter to a fitting conclusion.
See you next week.