'Boys of Valour Road' honoured

Signs hang near the West End street re-named Valour Road on Remembrance Day in Winnipeg Thursday, November 11, 2010.

Credits: Signs hang near the West End street re-named Valour Road on Remembrance Day in Winnipeg Thursday, No


OTTAWA - Doug Cargo never met his great uncle Freddy, but the story of his bravery during the First World War was among the first he remembers hearing as a boy.

To other soldiers uncle Freddy was known as Company Sgt. Maj. Frederick William Hall, who hailed from Winnipeg. He died April 24, 1915, while attempting to save a wounded compatriot during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium.
Laying low in the trenches under darkness, Hall heard wounded soldiers nearby and brought two of them back to safety.

He was killed attempting to rescue a third, shot in the head by enemy fire.

Hall's actions that day earned him the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy."

And on Monday - the first day of Remembrance Week - Heritage Minister James Moore unveiled a new display at the Canadian War Museum containing Hall's medal and those of two others who grew up on the same Winnipeg street - Lieut. Robert Shankland and Cpl. Lionel Clarke.

"Their stories are public stories," Moore told QMI Agency. "They need to be told."

It isn't known whether the three men knew each other prior to the war, but in 1923 Pine Street was renamed Valour Road in their honour. They have since then been referred to as the Boys of Valour Road.

"The medal always meant a great deal to our family," Cargo said. "Uncle Freddy's story was one of the first I ever heard and I think it's appropriate to pass it to the museum and give it a proper home."

The Victoria Cross medals are now part of a permanent collection and the exhibit will tour Canada over the next few years.

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