Jordens Coulee honours Saskatchewan son and fallen soldier of First World War

A coulee along Pipestone Creek will now bear the name of a Saskatchewan farmer and soldier, who died in battle in the First World War.

Geographical sites chosen to bear names as part of province's GeoMemorial program

The body of Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens was never found, but he is one of more than 11,000 Canadians honoured at the Vimy Memorial in France. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

A valley along Pipestone Creek will now bear the name of a Saskatchewan farmer and soldier who died in battle in the First World War.

"Jordens Coulee will honour the legacy of Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens, who left our province to serve and ultimately, sacrificed his life for our freedom," said Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky in a press release.

About 30 guests, including Jordens's family, came to the Saskatchewan Legislature on Wednesday to hear the announcement of the naming honour. 

"I was quite emotional about it, because it's been a long time coming," Tom Jordens, Wilfred Jordens's nephew, said of hearing about the recognition for his uncle. "It really means a lot to our family."  

Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens died in battle at the age of 21, in the First World War. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Wilfred Jordens was farming near Whitewood when he enlisted in 1915. He served in the 28th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry – Saskatchewan Regiment.

He was killed in action on Aug. 21, 1917, at the age of 21. His body was never found. He is one of 11,000 fallen Canadians who are remembered and honoured at the Vimy Memorial in France.

Tom Jordens said his uncle not only had to deal with the severe conditions of serving in the military, but lived with medical conditions as well.

"He had a case of German measles while he was fighting, and he had a skin condition, and I can only imagine what it was like for him to be living at that time," he said. "From what I understand, it was like hell over there."

He said he'd heard of other people being recognized, but always wondered, 'Who actually sacrificed anything more than this fellow and this family?'

Now, the Jordens' name will grace the coulee, located south of the Town of Whitewood, as part of the GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program. The program was established in 1947 to honour Saskatchewan people who served the country or province.

Since it began, nearly 4,000 geographical features across Saskatchewan, such as lakes, hills and valleys, have been renamed.