Skip to main content

Former Royal Regina Rifle troop member honoured with official headstone marking

Share
Swift Current, Sask. -

Family members and military officials gathered Friday in Swift Current for one final salute to a former Royal Regina Rifle troop member.

“The last time I saw him, he was putting me on the train from Swift Current to go back to Montreal,” said Mariette Leblanc, Rifleman Dennis Denniel’s niece.

Rifleman Denniel served in WWII with the Regina Rifles, one of the many regiments that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day.

He was wounded in battle and was later discharged. Denniel settled in Swift Current and passed away in 1968 at 51-years-old.

His was buried in the Field of Honour at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Swift Current with his gravesite marked with a white wooden cross and a metal plate. His name, however, was misspelled and it stayed that way 56 years.

“At the veterans plot and the surrounding cemeteries, I found 22 unmarked graves. From that, I began my research to identify those folks and confirmed that they were actual veterans that were entitled to a permanent marker,” said Brad Hrycyna, a volunteer researcher with the Last Post Fund’s Unmarked Graves Program.

Denniel has become the first gravesite in the Field of Honour to receive a permeant headstone.

“It’s terrific for the family to see a relative honoured and remembered that way,” added Hrycyna.

“All of this is just absolutely wonderful. I just have no words to describe,” explained Leblanc.

The ceremony also coincided with the 80th anniversary of D-Day coming up on June 6.

“We asked the last post fund if they would be willing to arrange to have the stone be placed just before D-Day so that we could have an event around D-Day so that the event can be linked here and also with France overseas,” said Col. Randy Brooks, a retired veteran with the Royal Regina Rifles.

There are 12 other markers in the plot that have been submitted to receive a permanent headstone.

Five are believed to be allied veterans and still need to be certified as a troop member, leaving four that are still unknown. 

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Baseball legend Willie Mays has died at 93

Willie Mays, the electrifying 'Say Hey Kid' whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball's greatest and most beloved players, has died. He was 93.

Strange monolith pops up in Nevada desert

Jutting out of the rocks in a remote mountain range near Las Vegas, the strange monolith imitates the vast desert landscape surrounding the mountain peak where it has been erected.

Stay Connected