Legionnaires remember veteran peacekeepers
Veteran peacekeeper Fred Cake (right) directs Ed Hollohan to place a Union Jack on a cross next to the grave of Hollohan’s brother-in-law, Henry Prosper, during Peacekeeper’s Day at Mount Patricia Cemetery in Corner Brook Friday. — Photo by Gary Kean/The Western Star
They may be small in numbers, but Ed Hollohan and his family certainly appreciate the efforts of veteran peacekeepers in western Newfoundland to honour the memory of their own ranks.
Friday was Peacekeepers Day. To mark the occasion, local peacekeepers from Branch 13 of the Royal Canadian Legion were joined at Mount Patricia Cemetery in Corner Brook by the families of three deceased peacekeepers.
Two of those were Hollohan’s brothers, William and Samuel, while the third was Henry Prosper, who was Hollohan’s brother-in-law.
The two Hollohan brothers died just six hours apart on March 20.
Bill Hollohan, who joined the Royal Navy during the Second World War at age 16 and later worked at the paper mill in Corner Brook, was 86 when he died.
Samuel Hollohan, who served as a firefighter/gunner with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1950-55 and later worked with the Corner Brook Fire Department, was 82 when he died.
Prosper, who died in 1981 in his 61st year, also served in the Royal Navy during the war and went on to serve with the Merchant Navy during peace time. He worked as a cement finisher/stone mason when he settled in Corner Brook.
“This shows a lot of respect for these people who served overseas and it brings back a lot of memories,” said Ed Hollohan after he placed a Union Jack and a poppy sticker on a white cross placed next to Prosper’s grave.
“It’s a big moment for our family.”
Peacekeepers are remembered on Aug. 9 because it is the anniversary of the greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission.
On this date in 1974, nine Canadian peacekeepers, serving with the United Nations Emergency Force in Egypt and Israel, died when their plane was shot down by Syrian air defence missiles as the aircraft was preparing to land in Damascus on a regular resupply mission.
Canada’s first casualty in a peacekeeping mission occurred when acting Brig. H.H. Angle died in a plane crash in the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan in 1951.
Since then, 114 members of the Canadian Armed Forces and one member of Canada’s diplomatic service have died on foreign soil in the service of peace.
The Western Star