Soldiers’ links sought

Ladysmith’s Empty Chair ceremony has become a time-honoured tradition on Remembrance Day.

Now organizers are  trying to track down the life stories of two local soldiers lost during the war to honour this year.

David Walbank, a local Rotarian hunting information on the soldiers, said they are looking for anyone in town who may have information on Frank Burrill and Duncan Comrie Ferguson.

Walbank said Burrill was born on June 24, 1922 and died on September 10, 1942.

Burrill was shot down over the North Sea.

“He was a flight sergeant navigator with the Royal Canadian Air Force, but he flew the Lancaster Bombers with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.”

Walbank said he knows Burrill had a brother, Jack, who lived in Ladysmith.

“He was also in the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Walbank. “And he survived the war.”

“There’s some surviving relatives in the town somewhere.”

There is no photo of Frank.

Ferguson was killed on November 9, 1942.

“Again he was in the Lancaster Bombers and he was shot down over the North Sea.”

His body was never recovered.

Walbank said they know his parents were Daniel and Muriel Ferguson.

“They were Ladysmith families.”

Walbank said he has talked to the Ladysmith Historical Society who said someone from Alberta has also been doing research on Ferguson.

Walbank has sent for their service records and hopes anyone with information on either of these two soldiers can contact him at 250-245-1431 or e-mail walbank@hotmail.com

“Right now this is as far as I can go.”

A soldier is honoured ever year at the Empty Chair ceremony.

“For the veterans, apart from the service at the cenotaph, it’s the biggest event of the year in Ladysmith.”

A chair is left for the honoured soldier at the function.

The ceremony, said Walbank, is essential to remember the people who fought and died during the war.

Walbank, who is from England, speaks highly of Canada’s Remembrance Day ceremonies and is pleased to see schools taking part.

“It’s very emotional for everyone there.”

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Most Read