Remembrance Day is a time when Canadians pay their respect to the soldiers who fought for their country. There is almost no way that we could ever name all of the people who gave their lives. However, even honouring one soldier means a lot, and that's exactly what one group of New Brunswick students managed to do with their own Remembrance Day project.

Students from George Street Middle School in Fredericton, along with their teacher James Rowinski, have been taking part in a project called the Fredericton Soldier Biography History Initiative. Part of that is researching the lives of soldiers to create biographies for them.

It was through this initiative that the students uncovered a soldier named Lt. Charles Blair. Not much information was available about him, but after some thorough research, the students discovered that Blair had not been given a proper burial.

"We grabbed a service record and started digging," Rowinski told CBC News. "And he had a really unfortunate outcome to his life in 1920."

It turned out that Blair had been suffering from PTSD (then known as "shell shock"), and it was very possible that he may have taken his own life. 

Through even more research and contacting a caretaker at the Sunny Bank Cemetery, the students and Rowinski determined that Blair had been buried next to his family in an unmarked grave.

Rowinski and his students took the initiative and contacted the Last Post Fund to inquire about a marker for Blair's grave. "So they got all the work done for that and that’s why it’s here," Rowinski told CTV News.

A graveside memorial was held for Lt. Blair on November 9, with Rowinski's students in attendance. One of them, Dora Graham, said a few words to honour the soldier.

"He was really hard-working," Graham said, according to CTV. "I’ve never seen someone so devoted to the country."

Canadians have shown their respect for Remembrance Day in many ways. One Winnipeg woman began a project to create a blanket made of 8000 handmade poppies.

There have also been special purple poppies created to honour all of the animals who were lost during wartime.

Remembrance Day is tomorrow, and if you haven't checked already, there is a list of everything that will be open and closed that day.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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