Jul 222017
 
Frank  Sekulich

Frank Sekulich

Frank Joseph Sekulich

 

 

By:  Pat MacFarlane

 

 

Frank Joseph Sekulich

Born:  March 3, 1918

Died:  April 4, 1945

 

At the mention of his name, my father’s eyes (Mark Sekulich) would fill with tears and he would leave the room.  Faye (Gibney) Benson recalls watching November 11th Service from Ottawa with Grandma.  Grandma cried so hard that Faye thought Grandma should go to Ottawa to lay a wreath.  But they never talked about him in front of us.  He went to war and never returned, it was in the past, if you didn’t talk about it you didn’t hurt.  That was the Croatian way.

 

I have been told he was a happy-go-lucky man, but a bit short on temper.  The other brothers knew if they got into a bind Frank would wade in and help them out.  Rumor has it he liked to scap and took down more than 1 local fellow.

 

In the early years the country schools were used for dances.  There were many schools and 2-3 dances a week.  Frank went as much as possible.  But he was up early the next morning telling everyone “Get up!  People die in bed you know.”

 

Frank received a Grade 8 education at Hilledge and worked on the farm.  He spent some time in Sudbury with family.  He then went to B.C. where he worked as a fire fighter.

 

When the war broke out in 1939 he was 21.  He attempted to enlist but was refused for reasons unknown.

 

In 1943 he tried again and was accepted.  He formally enlisted on March 11, 1943 at Powell River, B.C. as Frank Nicholas Sekulich.  He listed his trade as farmer, mill worker.

 

He did basic training in Vernon, B.C., Winnipeg, Man., Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Camp Shilo, Manitoba and Woodstock, Ontario.

 

On February 19, 1944 he was engaged to Lorraine McNeil while on furlough.

 

On August 16, 1944 he failed to return from leave.  He was A.W.L. for 1 day and 12 hours.  He was admonished for the offense, on open arrest and forfeited 2 days pay.  I hope he had a good time for he shipped out to England August 31, 1944.

 

He was a member of Regina Rifles Regiment.  They went to France on September 29, 1944.  On February 13, 1945 he was promoted to Lt. Corporal.  The regiment ended up in Holland.  Another man from Kenaston, Bill Hobel was in the same regiment and was right beside him when he was killed by sniper fire April 5, 1945.  Bill told Grandma he died instantly which was a source of comfort to her, knowing he didn’t suffer.

 

Frank is buried in Holten Canadian War Cemetery, in Holland, with 1,342 other Canadians.

 

As an item of interest, Canada played a major role in the liberation of Holland.  Part of today’s school curriculum involves care and maintenance of these cemeteries.  Each child is assigned a specific grave to visit and plant flowers.  This was told to me by Gerarda Kaye, R.N., my co-worker who grew up in Holland.

 

In the Memorial Chamber at the base of Parliaments Peace Tower in Ottawa, Canada’s Books of Remembrance are displayed.  The books are under glass and list in alphabetical order the names of the war dead.  Each day at 11 am a page is turned in each book so that every name can at some time be read.  A grateful nation recognizes his sacrifice every year on November 24th when page 562 is displayed.

 

I feel I know him now.  He was 5’8” by his military records, handsome by his photos, a bit vain, charismatic, feisty and family oriented by all accounts.

 

I can’t help but wonder how different our family would have been had he come home.  Another Aunt and Uncle and more cousins to swell over ranks.  I often wonder how he would have made a living, where he would have lived and how his life would have affected us.

 

Submission by the niece of Frank Sekulich, Bev George.  Thank you kindly, Julia Adamson

Lance Corporal Frank Sekulich

Birth: Mar. 3, 1918
Kenaston, Saskatchewan, Canada
Death: Apr. 5, 1945, Netherlands

Parents:
Mathew Sekulich (1880 – 1953)
Eva Tomlenovich Sekulich (1885 – 1974)

Regina Rifle Regiment R.C.I.C.

Burial:
Holten Canadian War Cemetery
Holten
Rijssen-Holten Municipality
Overijssel, Netherlands
Plot: II. E. 6.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Canadian Virtual War Memorial Frank Sekulich

Frank Sekulich article by Jan Braakman (Dutch investigative journalist and author) translated into English by Google

The original article by Jan Braakman is written in Dutch.

Frank Sekulich Biography ~ Powell River’s Unsung Heros Of World War II –dedicated to the 62 Servicemen who had ties to the Powell River, British Columbia, Canada area, who made the supreme sacrifice in  World War II.  Sekulich bio is near the bottom of the Powell River webpage.

Kenaston Cenotaph. Veteran’s Centennial Park and Cenotaph,
Kenaston, Saskatchewan.

An article has been written about Frank Sekulich by Noudi Spönhoff for a Dutch magazine. The article reflected on Frank Sekulich who lost his life as a soldier when he bravely fought the Germans near the village of Almen, where the Canadians recaptured the ‘Ehzer bridge’. This bridge though often called a Canadian troops a Bailey bridge (Victoria Bridge) is actually a callender-Hamilton Bridge. As the Germans destroyed many bridges during the war, those which remain have intrinsic heritage value. As this one survived the war, it has been re-furbished.

 

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Nov 162012
 

Michelle Lang.

Lest We Forget

Michelle Justine Lang, (January 31, 1975-December 30, 2009) journalist had ties to Saskatchewan, holding a position in Moose Jaw at the Moose Jaw Times Herald. Her career took her then to Regina where she followed agricultural breaking news for the Regina Leader-Post.

Lang lost her life in Kandahar, Afghanistan, while reporting on the Canadian peacekeeping mission when the vehicle she was travelling in struck an explosive device killing her and four Canadian soldiers. Continue reading »

Oct 172012
 

Herbert Brown in UniformPrivate Herbert Percy Brown (256076) was born at Springfield, Missouri, on March 11, 1895 and homesteaded at Readlyn, Saskatchewan. He was the son of Marion and Lillie Brown of Wood Mountain. At the time of his enlistment in Moose Jaw on November 16, 1916, he was 21 years old, single and indicated that he was an engineer by trade. He was assigned to the 210th Overseas Battalion, Saskatchewan Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Continue reading »

Oct 112012
 

WR Dempster PhotoWilliam Robert Dempster, Private (22155) was born to British parents in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1889.

He and his siblings accompanied their mother when she returned to the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, in 1894. He remained there until 1911 when he immigrated to Saskatoon to pursue a career in farming.

When WW1 broke out in 1914 he joined the 8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment). He was killed in action 14 June 1916 near Ypres and buried in the Bedford House cemetery, Belgium. He is remembered on the Trinity United Free Church memorial, Castle Douglas and on the Maxwelltown/Troqueer war memorial, all in Scotland.

Oct 112012
 

John Carruthers, Sapper (782389) 1st Canadian Area Employment Company, Canadian Labour Corps died of illness on 16 April 1918 and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

He was born on 21 April 1873 in the village of Hardgate in Urr Parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. He was the son of Thomas and Jane (McNish) Carruthers of Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire. Farming at Caron, he enlisted on 8 April 1916 at Moose Jaw. He contracted a kidney disease (haematuria) and died in the No.4 General Hospital at Etaples, France.

He is remembered on the Dalbeattie War Memorial and on the family gravestone in Dalbeattie Cemetery.

(Originally entered by user kenmorrison as a comment and moved by Admin.)