From the community

Veterans and military organizations dedicate marker to honor Maine soldier lauded by Britain

Posted Oct. 25, 2012, at 6:53 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 26, 2012, at 11:19 a.m.

EASTPORT, Maine — William Metcalf, a Washington county native who earned Great Britain’s highest military award for military heroism in WWI again was honored in a ceremony rededicating his grave marker. Metcalf was born in a log cabin in Waite Township in January 1894. On Aug. 4, 1914 the 20-year-old tried to enlist in the Canadian armed forces but was thrown out twice because enlistees had to be either 21 or 18 with their parents’ consent. On his third attempt, he lied about his age. Metcalf became a member of the 12th Canadian battalion and sailed for Europe.

Metcalf was a 23-year-old lance corporal with the 16th Highland Battalion in Arras, France, on Sept. 2, 1918, the day his actions earned him the Victoria Cross, the equivalent of the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor. He won three awards and was wounded several times, but stayed in the war from beginning to end. He was recovering from his injuries when he was escorted to the royals’ residence of Sandringham, where on Feb. 11, 1919, he received the Victoria Cross from King George V.

On Oct. 14 in Eastport, military officials and veterans from both sides of the international border were a part of the ceremony. Lt. Col. (retired) Robert Dallison of Fredericton and Victor Voisine of Eastport, commander of American Legion Post, were the masters of ceremonies. Fredericton-Silverwood MLA Brian Macdonald represented the New Brunswick government and City Manager Jon Southern represented Eastport.

The program began with the March of American and Canadian Color Parties. A bagpiper played the regimental march of the Canadian Scottish, “Blue Bonnets Over the Border.”

The national anthems of the two countries, “The Star Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” were played.

Bob Dallison gave and opening address and explained the Hunting Stuart Tartan. If the ceremony had been held outside, the tartan would have covered the grave marker.

Representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police presented Stan Metcalf, son of William Metcalf, with the tartan.

The ceremony also included volley fire, Taps, Last Post, a bagpiper playing  the Canadian Scottish Regimental Lament, “Flowers of the Forest,” two minutes of silence, Rouse, Prayers by Padre Saint Croix Branch 9, the Royal Canadian Legion, and Chaplain, Canadian Armed Forces, and the laying of memorial wreaths:

• USA, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

• Canada, Royal Canadian Legion.

• The Canadian Scottish (Princess Mary’s), The Canadian Scottish Regimental Association.

* Laying of poppies, internationally recognized symbol of remembrance, on Metcalf’s grave.

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