Two pilots from Bagotville repatriate the body of a soldier from the First World War


The two pilots joined the convoy aboard their CF-18, then escorted it to St-John’s. (Canadian Armed Forces)

“Newfoundland and Labrador was not part of Canada during the First World War, but still fought alongside us. They lost soldiers, so in commemoration of their war efforts, the Canadian government came up with the idea of ​​creating a tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Newfoundland, by repatriating the remains of this soldier who fell in France and was buried in France. »


Lieutenant-Colonel and commander of the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron for the 3rd Wing Bagotville, Maxime Renaud. (Sophie Lavoie/Le Quotidien)

A tomb of the Unknown Soldier can also be seen in Ottawa. It consists of a tomb where rest the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier, who died during the First World War in France. It is dedicated to the 116,000 Canadians who gave their lives for their country, including approximately 28,000 who have no known grave.

The remains of the Newfoundland soldier will be buried on July 1, to mark the hundredth anniversary of the opening of the National War Memorial in St. John’s.

>>>The remains of the Canadian soldier arrived on Newfoundland soil on May 25.>>>

The remains of the Canadian soldier arrived on Newfoundland soil on May 25. (Canadian Armed Forces)

A unique honor

On May 25, the two pilots, with their respective CF-18s, joined the Canadian Armed Forces Airbus A310 transporting the remains of the soldier.

“Around 3 p.m., we left Bagotville and then met the convoy as soon as it reached Canadian airspace, approximately 200 miles northeast of Newfoundland. We positioned ourselves on each side to symbolically escort the remains of this hero back to St. John’s, home,” explains Maxime Renaud.

This particular honor comes up very rarely in a soldier’s career, regardless of rank.

“It’s symbolic, but for the Armed Forces, symbolism is very important. We were chosen as the squadron responsible for this. When I saw the opportunity I jumped at it, for us it’s a chance to participate in this. I also found it important to participate in the dissemination of our Canadian values ​​with our traditions and customs,” concludes the lieutenant-colonel.



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