On 14 October 2022 in Steenderen, The Netherlands, a grave of an unknown soldier was officially named after 77 years.
Lieutenant John Gordon Kavanagh was killed in action in the hamlet of Rha in April 1945. Due to the lack of his name tag, he could not be identified at the time. But after years of research, it was officially recognized that he was buried in the grave in Steenderen, and the tombstone with the inscription “unknown soldier” could be replaced by a stone with his name.
Although delayed 2 1/2 years by COVID restrictions, this was finally confirmed with a commemoration in the presence of two family members, dignitaries, invited guests, a delegation from the regiment of The Queens Own Rifles of Canada, students from the local primary school and residents of the neighbourhood.
The QOR contingent also visited the Rha Memorial, the Memorial at Wons, and other locations of interest relating to the Regiment’s actions during WWII.
2 thoughts on “Kavanagh Grave Marker Dedication”
Thank you for paying respects to our Great Uncle Jack during your recent Netherlands tour. It was unfortunate that we were not there to be part of such a memorable event with our father John (Jack) Young and stepmother Debbie and such a strong QOR presence in the rededication of our Uncle Jack’s new headstone.
We can’t thank you enough and we too will travel to Steenderen and Rha monument to pay our respects in the near future.
We will remember.
Jackie Young O’Neill and daughter Martie
Michele Young and daughter Jenna
Thank you for posting this. Anyone with an unknown soldier in their family can register with the Department of National Defence, Casualty Identification Program. All you have to provide is some details about your relative from their service record and be willing to provide a cheek swab DNA sample if they find some remains that could be your relative. I registered with the program for my Great Uncle (Robert Henry White, 9733) who was in the 3rd Battalion and killed at the Second Battle of Ypres on April 23, 1915. His body was never found.