Re­spect­ing the sac­ri­fice of a Lit­tle Catalina man dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion of Dadizele

Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment sol­dier hon­oured in Bel­gium

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS THE PACKET, N.L. Jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

A young sol­dier from Lit­tle Catalina, still a teenager when he was killed fight­ing in the First World War, was hon­oured on Oct. 14 in Bel­gium — dur­ing a cer­e­mony which rec­og­nized 100 years since the lib­er­a­tion of Dadizele.

Pri­vate Ed­ward James Tip­pett was one of the men who paid the supreme sac­ri­fice for that com­mu­nity, and those who live there to­day, a cen­tury later, will never for­get men like him.

At the solemn cer­e­mony was a fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tive — his great grand-niece Linda Pike of Lit­tle Catalina, who told The Packet that as much as the peo­ple of Dadizele have over­whelm­ing re­spect for the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment, she re­spected them as well.

The first thing she saw at the ceme­tery was the rows of head­stones, along with a large New­found­land and Labrador flag fly­ing over her great-un­cle’s grave. She was the first fam­ily mem­ber to ac­tu­ally be able to visit the gravesite so many years later af­ter his death in 1918.

“It was a very emo­tional day for me, that’s for sure,” said Pike.

Stem­ming back to last De­cem­ber, two men from Dadizele, Bel­gium be­gan the process which led to the hon­our­ing of Pte. Tip­pett in Oc­to­ber.

Dirk Van­den­berghe and JeanPierre Out­tier were look­ing into the many young soldiers in the New Bri­tish Ceme­tery in their com­mu­nity and were shocked with how young the soldiers were who gave their lives in Flan­ders Fields to lib­er­ate their town 100 years ago.

There are 1029 graves in the ceme­tery, in­clud­ing that of Pri­vate Ed­ward James Tip­pett.

Van­den­be­grhe reached out to con­tact mem­bers of the fam­ily of a Pte. “Tib­bet”, as the name was spelled wrong on the head­stone in the ceme­tery.

Mar­sha Goodyear, who told The Packet of Pte. Tip­pett and the cer­e­mony in Bel­gium, says it was Van­den­berghe and Out­tier’s mis­sion to get the vet­eran’s cor­rect fam­ily name on the head­stone.

Af­ter con­tact­ing Pike, the cor­rect name was added to the head­stone and un­veiled at the Oct. 14 cer­e­mony.

“They had it fixed and they were quite proud of that,” said Pike. “Even a hun­dred years later to see the peo­ple who came out this ser­vice and see the emo­tion that was so raw there. It was so real.”

She called the whole cer­e­mony very touch­ing. Pike, along with her hus­band and daugh­ter, were able to pri­vately lay a wreath at the grave.

“To say that I went to Bel­gium was a treat in it­self, but for the rea­son I went, was be­yond any­thing I could ever imag­ine, it was un­be­liev­able.”

She says Van­den­berghe and Out­tier, and ev­ery­one in­volved, have done an amaz­ing thing with this hon­our.

In ad­di­tion to the lib­er­a­tion cer­e­mony held in Bel­gium, Lit­tle Catalina held its own ser­vice in Oc­to­ber in recog­ni­tion of Pte. Tip­pett and all those who lost their lives in com­bat.

Dur­ing this wreath lay­ing ser­vice, which was at­tended by many lo­cal groups, Pike’s brother laid a wreath on be­half of their fam­ily.

Quinn Dal­ton also laid a wreath at the ser­vice with her mother, Jes­sica Flem­ing, grand­mother, Pauline Stagg, and great-grand­mother Gla­dys Stagg. Quinn is the great-great­great-great-grand niece of Pte. Tip­pett.

Also, lo­cal Girl Guide Olivia Reid was also able to meet Van­den­berghe and Out­tier dur­ing her trip to Europe this past sum­mer on the Trail of the Cari­bou.

Olivia’s mother wrote the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion and they in­cluded a stop at the ceme­tery where Pte. Tip­pett is buried in Dadizele.

Dur­ing her trip, there was a pre­sen­ta­tion to the group which in­cluded pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Fit­tingly, Pike stays in con­tact with Van­den­berghe and Out­tier, as she will never for­get her ex­pe­ri­ence in Bel­gium on Oct. 14.

Pike says she and her hus­band are sea­soned trav­ellers, but noth­ing com­pares to this most re­cent trip.

“I don’t think any­thing could touch what we just ex­pe­ri­enced. It was the trip of a life­time.”

For more pho­tos, go to www. thep­acket.ca.

SUB­MIT­TED

The cer­e­mony in Bel­gium to hon­our Pte. Ed­ward James Tip­pett. From left to right, or­ga­nizer Dirk Van­den­berghe, Linda’s hus­band Bill Pike, great grand-niece Linda Pike, and or­ga­nizer JeanPierre Out­tier.

SUB­MIT­TED

An im­age of Pte. Ed­ward James Tip­pett of Lit­tle Catalina.

SUB­MIT­TED

Lit­tle Catalina’s own cer­e­mony in hon­our this past Oc­to­ber.

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