New Forest community and Canadian official commemorate role of Canadian troops in D-DayPUBLISHED ON: 12 JUNE 2019
New Forest organisations welcomed a Canadian official to a service on the 75th anniversary of D Day to re-dedicate the Canada Cross Memorial and observe the significant contribution made by Canadian Forces during the Second World War thanks to organiser Chris Penney.
During the build-up to D Day, Canadians of all faiths stationed in the area would regularly gather for church services at a temporary cross, at Mogshade, north west of Bolderwood. A plaque beneath the cross reads: ‘On this site a cross was erected to the glory of God on 14th April 1944. Services were held here until D Day 6th June 1944 by men of the 3rd Canadian Division RCASC.’
The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) along with Forestry England, the Verderers, Royal British Legion, cadets and parish councils, joined a representative from the Canadian High Commission to pay their respects.
New Forest National Park Authority Community Archaeologist James Brown said the service has created a strong desire among the community to ensure the monument is officially adopted and consecrated so its future is secured. He said: ‘This small but poignant service was held at what has become a unique Canadian Memorial for D Day remembrance. The cross was originally created as a result of the soldiers’ demand at that intense moment in time; it has not been designed as a memorial but became an emotional and spiritual place to the men camped nearby before they departed for the Normandy beaches.’
After the memorial’s rededication by Rev David Potterton, Benefice of Lyndhurst, Emery Down and Minstead, Colonel Molstad laid a wreath on behalf of Canada.
Colonel Darcy Molstad, of the Royal Canadian Air Force who works on the defence staff of the Canadian High Commission and is Defence Attache for Iceland, came to represent Canada. He thanked the NFNPA and the organising team for their gifts and said: ‘(It is) not necessary to thank me for coming here and paying my respects to those brave Canadian soldiers that prepared for that immense battle that they were going to face 75 years ago.’
He also thanked the Forest organisations for being the caretakers of the Forest which housed all the Canadians all those years ago.
Notes to picture editor:
Canadian Memorial rededication wreath layers L-R in photos: Colonel Molstad – Defence Attache for Iceland, Harry Orham – New Forest National Park Authority member, Chris Willsher – Lyndhurst Parish Councillor, Barry Dowsett – Verderers, Captain Allen Smith – Army Cadet, William Smith – Lyndhurst Royal British Legion.
Notes to editors:
About the New Forest National Park Authority
Protect – Enjoy – Prosper
The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to
- Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park – Protect
Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.
We also have a duty to:
- Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.
The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.
Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.
Suzi Shilling, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646602