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16 more Didsbury-area veterans memorialzed on banners

Histories of each veteran kept on display year-round at the Didsbury Museum

DIDSBURY – The Didsbury Veterans Banner Project recognizes and honours 16 local and area veterans in 2020, including two men that died in combat during the Second World War.

Now in its second year, the project involves displaying large, street lamp mounted banners around town that feature veterans' portraits with their service history.

The project is co-sponsored by the Didsbury museum, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Town of Didsbury. Each year, the families and descendants of the veterans purchase the banners, which are displayed on the light standards from early October to Remembrance Day.

Each banner is topped with Canadian and British flags as well as the words Lest We Forget.

Biographies of the veterans have been submitted by their families and compiled by Didsbury’s Grant Hemming. The histories are kept on display year-round at the Didsbury Museum.

Veterans recognized this year are Joseph Bainbridge, Harold Burns, Elisha Cogswell, W. Neil Gochee, Art Gooding, John Holub, Michael Holub, Frank Kohut, Frederick Luft, Scotty MacNair, Ed McNeil, W.H.T. Morgan, Christina Nicol, Len Slipp, John Tittsworth and Moss Wilkins.

• Born in Didsbury in May 1925, W. Neil Gochee served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He took part in the D-Day landings with the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. He died in combat on Aug. 14, 1944 near Falaise, France, at age 19. He is buried at the Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery at Calvados, France.

• Frank Kohut served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. As a pilot officer, he flew 34 operational combat missions over Europe. He was shot down and killed in Aug. 1944. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Germany and is commemorated on the Runnymede Air Force Memorial near Egham, England.

• Joesph W. Bainbridge served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He saw action during the battles at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, receiving three promotions and being awarded the Military Metal for Bravery in 1917.

• Harold Burns served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, flying aircraft including the Canso PBY-5A during the Battle of the Atlantic.

• Elisha Cogswell served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He served during the battles of the Somme, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. He was wounded three times during the war.

• Art Gooding served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He served at various training bases across Canada before being stationed in England.

• Frank Luft served with the Royal Canadian Army during the Second World War. He served in the Army Signal Corps and was discharged in 1945.

• Scotty MacNair served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He flew in 66 operational combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

• Ed McNeil served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He served as an aircraft mechanic from Nov. 1942 to Feb. 1946.

• W.H.T. Morgan served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. He served in France in the Quartermaster Corps, bringing food and other supplies to troops on the front lines.

• Leonard Slipp served with the Royal Canada Air Force during the Second World War. He flew with the 410 Night Fighter Squadron based in England and held the rank of Flight Sergeant.

• John Tittsworth served in the Royal Canadian Army during the Second World War. A member of the Calgary Tanks, he served in Canada, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

• Moss Wilkins served in the Royal Canadian Army during the Second World War. He took part in the Dieppe raid in Aug. 1942, and following the D-Day landings, he was wounded during the battle for Walcheren Island in the Netherlands in Oct. 1944.

Biographies for John Holub, Michael Holub, and Christina Nicol were not immediately available.