Page Turning Ceremony important act of daily remembrance

On August 31, my uncle’s name, Allen Olimer, appears in the World War II Book of Remembrance, which contains the names of Canadians who died serving their country.

All the books are kept in the Memorial Chamber located in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

Each day at 11 a.m. since 1942 a member of the House of Commons Security Services holds the Turning of the Page ceremony.

Two years ago, our family traveled to Ottawa to attend the ceremony. It was very moving.

We were treated like royalty right from the start.

André Boivin, Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms at the House of Commons, was our contact. He made sure we were greeted when we arrived at Centre Block, Parliament Hill and gave us access to two guides who stayed with us. They gave us a tour of the Peace Tower and later of the House, (with my children allowed to sit in the PM’s chair).

They asked people to give us our privacy as we waited for the ceremony. Once inside the Memorial Chamber, it was only my family and the security services officer who respectfully performed the ceremony.

It was a remarkable day for us.

The daily ceremony is open to the public. I encourage you to attend if you are in Ottawa.

Two years ago, I did not have a photo of my uncle. One has since been secured, which is above, and I have sent it to the appropriate party so that it can be included in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

My uncle died on Aug. 8, 1944 when the Allies mistakenly bombed their own.

Will be thinking of my uncle today and reflecting on his sacrifice and that of others.


13 thoughts on “Page Turning Ceremony important act of daily remembrance

  1. Oh dear, the classic error of many post-war-born people. Relationship,
    but not the name of the Fallen !This man was Trooper Allan OLIMER.
    He was 35 when he was killed.serving with the Royal Canadian Army
    Service Corps 10th Armoured Regiment.
    The image is not yet posted to the VWM but delighted to hear a photo
    was found. Perhaps the local history collection up there has a clipping
    of newspaper coverage of his volunteering and his death…
    – Speaking of family, much in the news about the mother of ex-LFP
    Norm IBSEN, the late Joy having the DNA of Richard III, whose remains
    may turn up in an excavation.
    However no one seems to have bothered to give her birth Surname,
    the possible royal descendent line – simply describing her by the family
    Surname she became a Wife-Of, likely in her 20s after she emigrated.

  2. Kathy – can’t quite make out the hat badge, but Glengarry headress is typical
    of Scottish regiments isn’t it? Olimer was with the Fort Garry Horse you said
    in an earlier posting about him, and they moved from calvary to tanks in
    WW2 according to the website. Can you see the cap badge more clearly
    with the old photo itself ? These were more interesting times, before Hellyer
    unified the services and now they all seem to wearing their pyjamas…

  3. I have added my uncle’s name into the post, right at the top.
    Didn’t realize it wasn’t in there so thanks for pointing this out.
    Interesting about Ibsen’s mother. Remember interviewing Ibsen when I was a journalism student. He was retired by the time I entered the newsroom as a staffer.

  4. The Free Press doesn’t seem to have picked up the story, so far as can figure
    out with the new image-heavy website. (Story about car, photo of car; story re
    bat, photo of bat – all instead headlines. Very distracting with images also re the
    sidebar ads.) Anyhow if you know Ibsen maybe you can find out who his maternal
    was pre becoming Wife-Of an Ibsen The obit is not emerging through google. Also,
    see if he can retrieve a wonderful old column about the apostrophe that floats
    around London without regard to grammar.

  5. Interesting. Why not ask their museum about it? Outfits did move around a bit
    in the services. Not too early for people to start learning about those 2 vast
    20th century conflicts – 2014 is the centenary fo the beginning of Great War
    to-end-all-wars, and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second WW.
    Few families were spared having a member suddenly in military uniform, some
    to return and pick up the threads of their civilian lives or even better themselves
    through Veteran benefits, others damaged, others not coming home again ever.
    -A good technique is to forget the relationships that developed after the wars
    as generations past, and to stop the clock at war’s end, when civilian Veteran is
    the label, or when that person’s personal war stopped. Here, with Allan, in France,
    1944, on August 8, just two months after the successful allied cross-English channel
    Invasion of the Continent the BEF was driven from in 1940 in the Dunkirk evacuation
    with the little boats. Lots of adventure stories in real events ..

  6. Kathy, just got the CWGC monthly newsletter online, the outfit that brought order
    to chaos after Armistice and tends the graveyard and memorials. A UK media person
    who went out to the East to the grave of a JapanesePoW relative, and laments it is
    ” too late to tell my mother, that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission had
    begun publishing a great deal of helpful information online.”
    This is a common complaint, discovering such resources too late to share information
    with the older generations, the ones who actually knew the person, and predate
    skills in computer search, not just the young born decades later.

  7. Just visited the Fort Garry website and Trooper Olimer is certainly on their
    honour roll. Never know what they have in the collection that might shed
    light on this soldier. This is the centenary of the regiment, not a bad time to
    learn a bit about the unit in which he served and fell. He can’t have been the
    only man in the unit caught in the “friendly fire” accident, in France,details of
    which can’t yet find out, short of reading reports free on Globe online archive.

  8. Right you are about more men being killed – 15 died and more injured.
    And there is a connection to London, ON.

    Here is what Gord Crossley of the Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives wrote:

    Allen Carl Olimer originally enrolled in the Lorne Scots Defence Platoon. (his service number comes from a block assigned to that unit).

    He was later transferred to the Headquarters of the 2nd Army Tank Brigade and would have trained in Borden, Ontario.

    This Brigade sailed for England in June 0f 1943. After it arrived, it was decided that the army only required two tank brigades, not three, so the 2nd Army Tank Brigade was broken up and the 3rd Army Tank Brigade was renamed the 2nd (later to be called the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade). The men from the former organization were transferred into the regiments of the new 2nd Armoured Brigade.

    Allen Olimer was transferred to the 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Fort Garry Horse) in Worthing, Sussex, on 13 August 1943.

    He was a Cook, Trade Group “C” and was given this designation on 28 August 1943.

    As part of the support echelon of the FGH , he did not land with the initial assault troops on 6 June, but embarked on 29 June near Portsmouth, and landed in Normandy on 1 July 1944.

    On 8 August 1944, he was killed in action when the rear echelons of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Armoured Brigade were bombed by allied bombers enroute to Caen. A mixup in signals that day had the smoke markers showing the location for friendly forces, and the markers dropped to indicate bombing targets, turning out to be the same colour. 24 heavy bombers mistook our identification smoke for their targets and dropped their load among the support troops and un-armoured vehicles in the open. It was the worst day of the war for the FGH, with 15 killed and 49 wounded.

    Allen Olimer is buried in Brettville-Sur Laize Canadian War Cemetery, grave marker I.A.1. He was 35 years old at the time of his death.

    The Fort Garry Horse (aka 10th Canadian Armoured Regiment) was part of the independent 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade which included the 1st Hussars of London and the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment of Sherbrooke. It was not part of any division, but supported units of the 3rd and 2nd Canadian Divisions throughout the campaign.

  9. Thanks for the details.This moving men and units about in wartime about is pretty
    hard to follow for us civilians, but in those days the uniform told the story. But a
    formal portrait would not be made overseas at each change…
    It must have been doubly distressing for his family back home when they learned that
    his unit was caught in a mistaken fatal ‘our side’ attack on our forces, Wonder how it
    was handled in contemporary newspapers Globe and Mail archives being online free
    for LPL card carriers. Will no doubt pick up the army Casualties list with names, as
    they were released to the press.

  10. That’s tough on the eyes, and didn’t spot OLIMER, the search engine coming
    up with only Oliver. However on Aug 22, page 4, a returned flyer is interviewed
    about such accidents likely including the one that caught your relative. Nice to
    see great newspaper bylines such as Ross Munro and Ken McTaggart.

  11. we are related. my grandfather was Mel. was Alvin your grandfather and marguerite your grandmother. i sm curious and trying to learn more about my Olimer grandparents. my mother nearly named me Fairley Ann after my grsndmother. do you have info to share.

  12. Yes Alvin and Marguerite were my grandparents. Alvin died when I was young but we used to go visit Laurence quite a bit.
    He was the youngest of the Olimer brothers and lived near Port Severn.
    I will get more info for you.
    I heard stories about Fairley Ann. So your mom was an Olimer?

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