Manitoba

Remembrance Day service on Valour Road attracts hundreds

Hundreds of Winnipeggers gathered on a street with a special connection to the First World War to pay tribute to Canada's soldiers and veterans on Tuesday.

Street in Winnipeg's West End was home to 3 decorated soldiers from First World War

Street in Winnipeg's West End was home to 3 decorated soldiers from First World War 1:52

Hundreds of Winnipeggers gathered on a street with a special connection to the First World War to pay tribute to Canada's soldiers and veterans on Tuesday.

At least 200 people attended a Remembrance Day service on Valour Road, which was home to three decorated soldiers: Cpl. Leo Clarke, Sgt.-Maj. Frederick William Hall and Lt. Robert Shankland.

All three men lived on the same block of Pine Street in Winnipeg's West End. In 1925, the street was renamed Valour Road in their honour.

Those who attended Tuesday's service were bundled up in winter coats and pants for the outdoor ceremony. The temperature was around –8 C at 11 a.m., but it felt like –17 C with the wind chill, according to Environment Canada.

Among those who laid wreaths on the cenotaph were young siblings Robert Schulz Jr. and Chanel Schulz, who had shovelled the sidewalk outside the home of a military veteran who lives nearby.

Janice McBean said Remembrance Day has taken on more significance following the deaths of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who were killed last month in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., respectively.

At the same time, McBean said she has her own reasons to attend Remembrance Day services every year.

"My dad did serve in the Second World War, so it does have significance for me," she said.

"We always come to a service and try to take the time to think of him and what he went through — and when he came home, the rough time he had settling in — so it does mean a lot to me."

McBean said she is glad people are not only remembering the sacrifices that have been made by soldiers, but they're also celebrating the freedoms Canadians enjoy thanks to those lives lost.

More about the Valour Road soldiers

Earlier this year, the three men's Victoria Cross medals were brought to Winnipeg for the first time ever. They are on display at the Manitoba Museum until Nov. 14.

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      Hall was honoured for refusing to leave three of his wounded comrades behind at the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915. He rescued two of them, but was killed by enemy fire while trying to drag a third to safety.

      Clarke fought his way out of the trenches on the Somme Front in September 1916, killing or capturing 18 German soldiers and two officers. He was killed by enemy shell fire almost two months later.

      In October 1917, Shankland's platoon came under heavy enemy fire in the Battle of Passchendaele. He managed to reach battalion headquarters and return with reinforcements and a plan for a counter-attack.

      Shankland was the only one of the Winnipeg trio to survive the war. The Victoria Cross was presented posthumously to the parents of Hall and Clarke.

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