Prince Rupert Remembers with New Plaque for Private Olsen

Brittany Webster

It was a wet and blustery day here in Prince Rupert, but that didn't stop residents from coming out to the court house square to pay their respects to all those who fought in the wars.

The community gathered under umbrellas as poppy covered wreaths were placed at the cenotaph by many groups and organizations from town, and a moment of silence was taken following the playing of the Last Post by a Charles Hays Secondary student.

During today's ceremony a new brass plaque was unveiled in the court house square in memory of Private Allan Milton Olsen, the only Canadian soldier to die during active duty in Prince Rupert in the second world war.

Private Olsen of the Midland Regiment passed away on November 5, 1942 after his Bren Gun Carrier fell off a bridge and pinned him in the mud and water below resulting in his death.

Olsen died at the age of 22, leaving behind his mother Effie and father Walter. Olsen's body was laid to rest in his hometown of Coboconk, Ontario.

The new plaque offers an accessible memorial site for Private Olsen, but the original memorial still lies in the forests of Kaien Island not far from the highway where his accidental death occurred.

Today's ceremony concluded after about an hour and afterwards the public was invited to attend a small reception hosted by the Prince Rupert branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

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