Parry Sound, Ontario — This year marks the100th anniversary of Company Sergeant-Major Francis Pegahmagabow’s departure for the frontlines of the Great War. An impressive bronze likeness of the hero will be unveiled June 21, 2016 on National Aboriginal Day in Parry Sound, Ontario, just a short drive from Sgt Pegahmagabow’s birthplace at Wasauksing First Nation.
The making of a hero
CSM Pegahmagabow is revered for being the most decorated Aboriginal Canadian to fight in the First World War. He is also one of only 38 Canadian troops to have earned the Military Medal with two bars, each representing an act of valour.
He earned the first in 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele, the successful assault on a ridge in Belgium held by the Germans that cost 16,000 Allied lives. He earned the second in 1918, during what would prove to be the final hundred days of the war, by charging into heavy enemy fire to retrieve ammunition for his comrades.
Following his wartime service, CSM Pegahmagabow returned home in 1919 and continued to lead by example as a member of the non-permanent active militia (now the Canadian Armed Forces Army Reserve) and through political activity in his community, where he served as chief and councillor before his death in 1952.
The making and unveiling of a worthy memorial
Tyler Fauvelle, a sculptor based in Sudbury, Ontario, has created an impressive bronze likeness of the hero that will be unveiled June 21, 2016 on National Aboriginal Day in Parry Sound. In…