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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Jun 302015
 

Clouston is located ten miles outside of Prince Albert to the south west. It is situated on section 13 township 27 range 47 west of the second meridian and was located on the Canadian National Railway line.

Harry Dennis gave the supreme sacrifice World War I September 1, 1918. He disembarked from Canada on May 19, 1915 after enlisting at Prince Albert. George Bannerman Senior, George Bennett, Benjamin Clark, H. Erasmus, Ian Hewison, Samuel McKay, and James Woodhouse were all listed as killed in action during the Great War.

In World War II, Harry Anderson was killed in action. Those who did not return from World War II, were Lloyd Adams, Harry Anderson, Louis Brunning, Cecil Fidler, Clarence Lorenson, Clifford Mackie, Norman Massey, Duncan McDonald, William Mitchell, Jack Nelson, James Tait and Irving Wesley.

George Bennett was the son of Alfred Ernest Bennett , and Mary Campbell. George was killed at Passchendale, November 11, 1917, His brothers Thomas and Henry both enlisted but arrived home. Altogether the family had eight children.

James Woodhouse (1895-1917) and his siblings left Wallsend, England arriving in Canada with the Barr Colonists. The first brother, Cuthbert stayed in Canada and filed for homesteads in the Lily Plain district. Two brothers, Edwin and Jim served in World War I. Jim fell in 1917.

Colin McKay, and his brother Larry McKay both served in World War one serving overseas. Colin received serious injuries and died overseas. These brothers were the sons of Thomas McKay and Catherine McBeth.1/

Louis Brunning, born December 27, 1923, was the son of John and Irene Brunning according to the family history written by Marjorie Byers (Brunning). The family had eleven children. Loretta joined the air force, Harold was with the Regina Rifles, and later the air force. Louis was taken on June 6, 1944.

Duncan McDonald, the son of James Alexander McDonald, and Mrs. Lillian McDonald, was born in 1919. Serving as an Air Gunner, he was killed in action of November 9, 1941 while engaged at Hamburg, Germany.

Clarence Lorenson, the son of Leis Lorenson and Mary Ethel Smith. Clarence was born in 1919, the second of six children.

William Mitchell was the son of David Pearne Mitchell, and Elizabeth Selina Mills. David Mitchell served with the British Army Reserve during World War I serving as Corporal, receiving an honourable discharge after injury from sniper fire. William David (Billy) was born April 9, 1921, serving as a gunnery bombadier and navigation instructor. He lost his life on a training mission May 24, 1944 in Dafoe, Saskatchewan. William’s brother, Jack also served in World War Two with the Regina Rifles before transfer to the South Saskatchewan Rifles. Serving overseas, he was wounded, and received an honourable discharge in 1945.

James Tate was the son of Eugene TAte and Maria Adams. They had a family of twelve children. James fell in 1945.

Source:
Echoes Of Our Heritage. Chapter:Veterans. ISBN 0-88925-523-7. Clouston History Book. R.R. 3 Box 6 Site 3 Prince Albert, SK. Friesen Printers. Alton, MB.