Traveling north west about 90 miles is a small community of around 5,000 folks in a unicorporated community called Mount Forest. Back a little before the early 1850's the area was a village, turned township and was actually thought to be located on one river system but later found to be on another. Such was the cause of it them having to abandon an old name for the current one.
A Wikipedia entry makes note of four notable men from Mount Forest. One was a physique champ, another a commedian, another a senator, and finally there was Fred.
Fred was no doubt in good physical shape and probably didn't find much humor in his chosen profession. He no doubt could have taught ethics to more than one senator, and is still remembered today as a true hero.
Fred died a hero. In fact his fatal shot was received on one of the battle fields of the Great War and on his 48th birthday. Some present! Within days his wounds took his life. The story will be in this space in the near future.
These are contained in front of the display in the book shown above. Within the display are also some memorabilia including his medal group with the Victoria Cross shown at the left on the medal bar above.
There have been about 1350 Victoria Crosses awarded since the mid 1850's. Internet figures for those coming to Canadians and those with connections to Canada are not up to date. If truth be known, I believe almost one in every 13 had a Canadian connection. Fred's was of course one of these.
But Rex put a stop to that. His story has been covered in past blogs in this space. Use the search engine at above right and look for Rex Warneford.
When Rex was only 23 years old, he found himself on his first ever night flight. It was near Brussels when he spotted a rather large cigar shaped craft in the distance. He gave chase, got forced off by the German balloon, but kept following it from a distance. He would eventually be the first ever to shoot one of these monsters down when he bombed the famous LZ 37, the very craft above pictured and to 1st drop bombs on Britain. The very next day, in June of 1915 he was awarded the Victoria Cross and soon after, the French Legion d Honeur for his actions.
My earlier stories on this hero have noted that he was born in India, and like Colonel Bent from Halifax, both cases and others caused a furror in Britian when that country decided to honour all the WWl VC recipients that were born in Britain. But not Bent or Warneford... and as it turns out...about another 175 heroes as well.
Past blogs have told how government reversed its position and decided that all should be properly honoured, regardless of place of birth. Today I bring news that earlier this month, again of the 100th anniversary of the June event, Warneford's Paving Stone was unveiled in England... Here is an image of the stone..
Had there been no crash, he was to fly the plane to England and there, get his VC presented by the King.
At Clinton's Veterans Park are many significant memorials to those who have served for their country in one of the miltary branches. There is a reflecting pool in remebrance of POW's and those still listed as Missing in Action. An impressive Purple Heart memorial is also on the grounds as is the country's longest free standing granite wall in the country. It honours over 3,000 lost in Vietnam.
About 325 Medals of Honor were awarded to men with a connection to Ohio. The very first six awarded back in March of 1863 went to Ohio men..or better stated, boys in some cases. Their stories have also appeared in these blogs. Search under Andrews Raiders.
About 2/3rds of the medals were awarded for Civil War actions. One of these came to a fellow named Fred Rock who was born in Germany. He came to the US as a child, with his family, later moved to Canada briefly and then returned to the US and fought at Vicksburg with so many other Canadians. He and two others came away with Medals Of Honor, and are part of an ever expanding Canadian list now well over 100. One of them was even recommended for the medal..by the ENEMY.
Earlier this month at the Veterans Park a memorial to all the MOH recipients was unveiled, as shown above. Note the three sides with images for the Navy/Marines and Coast Guard, the Army and the Air Force.
Unveiling officials inluded a Congressman, the town Mayor and Woody Willams, the last living Medal of Honor recipient from actions at Iwo Jima.
(The famous image of the men raising the flag includes an American born to Canadian parents.)
See you next week