It was certainly all that and more, for they stumbled upon information about a grave bearing the inscription: "Lieutenant F.S. O'Neill, the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, 26th June 1944."
|Peace Tower book.
Just hours after I first posted this blog, a distant cousin in Toronto came across it and sent me more information about the death--information which came to him by word of mouth from my distant cousin's grandfather. Reportedly, Frank was clearing a farmhouse or gatehouse, inland on the road toward Caen, and was hit in a doorway by light artillery or possibly rocket fire. He was killed instantly.
|Lt. Frank Smith O'Neill, RIP
But there was one image we hadn't found--a photograph of cousin Frank himself.
And so, on the eve of Remembrance Day 2015, I decided to restart my Internet search. It didn't take long for me to find what I was looking for on Veterans Affairs Canada's Canadian Virtual War Memorial website.
There, alongside a photo of his grave marker, and a photo of a Roll of Honour produced by the Bank of Nova Scotia (commemorating employees who died during the Second World War), was a photo of the man himself.
What a difference such a photo makes to our remembrance of this relative who gave his life for his country.
|Cameron Highlanders, in Iceland, en route to England.
And so, Remembrance Day has an especially deep meaning for us this year, as we remember the life that our cousin, whom we can now picture, gave in defence of his country and all it stands for. Thank-you, Frank!