• John Jantak

Youngster pays personal tribute to veteran at Hudson Remembrance Day ceremony


World War II veteran Harry Trenholme holds a handmade thank you note for his wartime service that was given to him by seven-year-old William Jubinville at the cenotaph in Hudson following the Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on Sunday, November 11. Harry is flanked by his daughter Linda and son-in-law Gilles St. Denis.

An unexpected brief encounter brought together two strangers just over three generations apart that gave some people pause to remember and reflect on sacrifices made during previous wars – one a decorated veteran who fought in World War II and the other a boy too young to know the true cost of conflict – during the annual Remembrance Day commemoration ceremony in Hudson on November 11.

Seven-year-old William Jubinville briefly met with 95-year-old World War II veteran Harry Trenholme at the cenotaph in Hudson after the ceremony. William presented a personal memento he made to honour Trenholme for his service and sacrifice during the war – a handmade thank you card that featured a drawing adorned with colourful red poppies.

It was a fitting personal tribute by a young gentleman that was graciously accepted and greatly appreciated by Trenholme in honour of Canada’s soldiers and veterans at this year’s ceremony that drew over 200 people, young and old. The somber occasion marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Legion of Honour recipient

Trenholme served as a Lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. He commanded a landing craft that landed at Gold Beach during the massive allied forces D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

Three years ago, Trenholme was presented with France’s highest award – the Legion of Honour – for his role in helping liberate France. He is the only known Canadian D-Day veteran of Hudson to have received this very prestigious award that was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

New plaques unveiled

The year’s event staged by the Hudson Legion Branch #115 of the Royal Canadian Legion saw two new plaques unveiled at the cenotaph that list the names of 24 additional soldiers from throughout the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region – 12 each who died in World War I and World War II, including two servicemen from Hudson. Families of the fallen were invited to see the plaques after the unveiling.

As the only cenotaph in the region, it was decided to honour all the recently discovered casualties.

“The fallen soldiers were French Canadians from Coteau-du-Lac, Rigaud, Pointe-des-Cascades, Très-Saint-Rédempteur, Vaudreuil-Dorion and Saint-Lazare. Two were from Hudson, one who died in World War I and the second in World War II,” said Hudson Legion President Rod Hodgson.

“The legion has done a fantastic job researching additional names of people that we’ve lost. The fact that those 24 names were read aloud really meant a lot and goes to show that our work never stops in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke.

Honouring the fallen

Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls walked in the parade with a large framed photograph of his late great-grandfather Private Harry Peter Nicholson Whitehead who served with the 4th Division Cyclists and was injured at the Battle of the Somme in France on October 17, 1916.

Whitehead was injured from shrapnel in his right ankle and right shoulder. “He was in active service for three months and then he was an invalid for the rest of the war. He survived. He enlisted when he was 29-years-old and he truly believed in defending his country. I’m walking in remembrance of him today and all the others who served,” Nichols told The Journal.

Courageous young men

“I’m very touched by this ceremony. For me it’s the courage of these of those young men. Many lives have been destroyed by both World Wars. War is the worst thing that can happen in our civilization and I hope it we’ve had our last Great War. Those soldiers were very courageous. Congratulations to all those people who saved our integrity and democracy. I hope they are always remembered,” said Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon.

Other local politicians at the event were newly-elected Soulanges MNA Marilyne Picard, Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, Saint-Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo, and Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr.

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