Veteran Stories:
Norman McHolden

Army

  • Norman McHolden's name is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial near Ypres, Belgium.

  • The Menin Gate is an impressive memorial to the approximately 62,000 soldiers of World War I who have no known grave.

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"At different battles so many lives were lost that it was not always able to keep clear records of burial sites. The weather often worked against proper burials and the mud that ensued was dreadful. "

Transcript

Before the start of World War I, Norman McHolden came to Enfield, Nova Scotia, to work for Jack Horne. He enlisted to serve in the war effort and named Enfield as his place of residence. Norman no doubt was the same as many who served in World War I, he felt he would be gone for a few months, the job would be done and he would return to his normal life.

Norman served with the 85th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, Nova Scotia Regiment and was killed in action on October 30, 1917 near Ypres, Belgium. He has no known grave, which was the by-product of the type of trench warfare that soldiers experienced in World War I. At different battles so many lives were lost that it was not always able to keep clear records of burial sites. The weather often worked against proper burials and the mud that ensued was dreadful.

In Ypres, Belgium, there is a memorial called the Menin Gate. Listed on this memorial are the names of soldiers like Norman McHolden who have no known grave. An arched monument over the main road way greets travelers in and out of the city. This memorial holds the names of approximately 62,000 names of members of the Infantry that have no known graves from World War I. Each night since November 11th, 1918 the local Fire Department stops traffic at 8 p.m. and has a service of Remembrance. Only twice during World War II was this service missed due to sever fighting in this area. The people have a great gratitude for the sacrifice these men and women made for their liberation.

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