March Last Post

A lovely spring afternoon, our March ceremony was held in sunshine with many members of the public present.

We remembered Private Francis Maracle who died exactly 80 years ago today. Private Maracle was a Canadian citizen and arrived in England in July 1941 and dies less than a year later, probably the result of an accident. Aged just 19 years old, he is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery in Plot 36, grave G6.

Private Maracle is remembered at two locations in Canada: on the war memorial in his home town of Deseronto and also the Six Nations-Mississauga War Memorial Marker, erected by the Six Nations and-Mississauga Indians at Veterans’ Park, Ohsweken, Brant County, Ontario. The latter listing shows that Private Maracle was a Native American of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tusarora tribes, the six nations who constitute the largest First Nation, indigenous people’s reserve in Canada.

Rob Bennett officiated at the ceremony and we were grateful to the young member of the public and a veteran for saying the Exhortation and the Kohima Epitaph.

Alan Lopez was our Standard Bearer, with Tom Milne parading the Union Flag. We also had the US flag, and standards from the Artists Rifles, the Woking Royal Naval Association and the Royal British Legion Bisley, Knaphill and West End branch.

A student from Gordon’s School sounded the Last Post and Ian Cartwright was the Parade Marshall.

Afterwards we had refreshments at the Trench Experience.

Thank you to Paul McCue for the research and text, and Mike Hillman for the photographs, used with permission.