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Leamington, Ont. man fights to correct uncle's name on war memorial

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Leamington, Ont. man fights to correct uncle's name on war memorial

Post by Guest on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:38

Leamington, Ont. man fights to correct uncle's name on war memorial

By Stacey Janzer, CBC News Posted: Dec 08, 2016 7:43 AM ET Last Updated: Dec 08, 2016 11:23 AM ET

Royce VAN Every wants his uncle's name corrected on the war monument in the Lakeview Cemetery in Leamington, Ont.

Royce Van Every has picked up his family's long-standing battle to correct a mistake on two war monuments in Leamington, Ont.

George Van Every has his name spelled two different ways on the monuments. At the Royal Canadian Legion memorial, the name appears as Vanevery. At the local monument in Lakeview Cemetery, the name appears as Van Avery.

Royce Van Every said his mother and grandmother had been trying to get the spelling corrected, a battle that started about 70 years ago. He has now taken on what he describes as a daunting challenge.

"I decided I'm taking on this battle and I'm not going to be passive because passive doesn't get results," Van Every said.

George Van Every was a sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. According to records, his plane went missing on July 22, 1944.

Military documents say Van Every died on July 23,1944 and was buried in Chester (Blacon) Cemetery in Cheshire, United Kingdom. He was 19.

"On August 10, 1944, my uncle's body washed up on the shores of Wales. He had been killed along with his entire crew," said Van Every.

He wears his uncle's dog tag. Van Every has spoke with multiple people about the spelling on the monument, including officials from the Town of Leamington, but he hasn't had any help.

The town of Leamington does not have authority over monument. The town owns and maintains the property at Lakeview Cemetery.

The monument was donated by Joseph M. Henry.

"Because the municipality doesn't own the monument, we can't authorize an amendment to it," said Ruth Orton, director of legal and legislative services at the Town of Leamington.

She said this is a difficult case, because there may be multiple organizations involved. Orton has reached out to Veterans Affairs Canada, but has not received a response.

Veterans Affairs have not responded to CBC's request for an interview.

"I appreciate Mr. Van Every's passion for this issue," Orton said. "I can understand that it's upsetting to him and we're willing to work with the appropriate organizations, however at this point, it's been difficult to determine who has the authority to authorize that change he's looking for."

Van Every tried turning to the Royal Canadian Legion, but the Leamington branch closed earlier this year.

Bill Siddall, the branch historian at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 324 in Wheatley has offered to help. He said he wasn't aware of the misspelling.

Van Every vows to continue his fight until his uncle's name is restored correctly.

"That's not my uncle, unless his name is spelled right," Van Every said. "I feel disgraced."


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