Alderville First Nation north of Cobourg held their annual Remembrance ceremonies on Sunday, November 10, 2019.
Alderville First Nation always holds the Remembrance ceremonies the Sunday before Remembrance day.
County Road 45 was blocked off by Northumberland OPP as the Cobourg Legion Pipes and Drums led the parade of dignitaries to the cenotaph that was constructed in 1927.
The cube on the very top symbolizes the four corners of the earth.
The three globes beneath the cube symbolize holy trinity.
The three large pillars supporting the abolve symbolize the three holy virtues, Faith, Hope, Charity.
The square base on which the Cenotaphy stands symbolizes the four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom from fear, freedom of religion and freedom of the press.
The nine large cubes situated around the Cenotaph represent the nine men who were killed during World War 1.
The thirty-fire links comprising the chain fastened to the nine cubes represents those who served in World War 1. The chain encircling the Cenotphy represented Eternity.
The land on which the Cenotaph is situated was donated by William Loukes Sr.
Alderville First Nation Chief Dave Mowat read about veteran Sampson Comego of Alderville who was killed on November 10, 1915 during the First World War.
Sampson Comego of Alderville was born somewhere between 1865 and 1869.
He was the son of Mary Ann and George Comego and George was the bother of John Comego.
The Comegos were one of the original families to move to Alderville in 1837 from the Bay of Quinte and it can even be surmised that the name is derived from the Principal warrior Nawacamigo who is a signatory to the Rideau Purchase-Treat 27, 1822.
In 1907 tragedy struck Sampson when he lost his young wife Eliza Jane Crowe on July 3, following 71 days later by the loss of his three-month-old son Sampson Jr.
Hence probably why he named no next of kin at enlistment seven years later.
Sampson’s birth dates vary depending on the source. But two reliable sources tell us he was 50-years-old when he fell on November 10, 1915.
He was listed as a musician upon enlisting on November 6, 1014 and within a year was on the western front.
Like his brother Peter and Johnson Paudash of Hiawatha, Sam was a member of the 21st Battalion, famous for it’s group of Indian snipers.
On November 10, 1915 while in the M and N trenches Sam was hit by a rifle grenade passing almost instantly. As the Communique wrote years later in 1938.
“At dusk that evening a working party carried Sam’s body back to the Ridgewood Cemetery and placed the wooden cross with RIP over his head leaving him behind with a definite sense of having lost a comrade whom they loved.”
Ridge Wood was the name given to a wood standing on high ground between the Kemmel Road and Dickebusch Lake.
The cemetery lies 6.5 kilometres south of Ypres, in a hollow on the western side of the ridge and the position was chosen for a front line cemetery as early as May 1915.
The first graves were from the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles and similar groups were made by the 18th, 19, 20th, and 21st Canadian Battalions and the 9th Durham Light Infantry at the times when they occupied the sector.
In 2017 our Councillor Jason Marsden, a Corporal visited the represented the RCMP at the Vimy Memorial during the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Prior to leaving councillor Marsden took a small amount of earth from our monument here and placed it along the tobacco at the Vimy Memorial in France.
Traveling north to Belgium and Ridgewood Cemetery he placed tobacco and earth from our monument at Sampson’s grave, and in turn brought back some earth from his grave that he will now place here today closing the circle.
“104 years after this first Alderville soldier perished in western Flanders we remember,” said Mowat.
“We remember because it is our duty. We remember Sampson Comego and all those that perished and enlisted and survived and returned home to make Alderville and the Dominion of Canada safe and secure for the ensuring generations.”
“We will never forget you.”