Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie / Archives Nationales du CANADA

Last Canadian WWII veteran in Belgium dies

"We will remember them.” Every year Sidney Cole, a Canadian WWII veteran,  would read these words on the WWII Remembrance Day in Adegem (East Flanders). When he read the act of remembrance, you could hear a pin drop.   

He was the last man standing, since all the other Canadian war veterans in Belgium have died over the years. 

Two days ahead of his 101st birthday Sidney Cole passed away in a nursing home in Grimbergen (Flemish Brabant).  He had spent most of his life in Belgium after he fell in love with Yvonne De Raedemaeker during the Second World War. 

“We will meet again"

Sidney and Yvonne met each other on New Year’s Eve in Brussels in 1944. They danced to Dame Vera Lynn’s famous song “We will meet again”. Although there was a language barrier when they met, there was also a spark. 

In 1941 Sidney had enlisted in the Royal Canadian Airforce. He landed in Normandy three days after D-Day and served on the administrative staff of a Spitfire wing across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Sidney made an everlasting impression. 

A few years ago our colleagues at ‘Fans Of Flanders’ made this video about Sidney’s war story and about his live in Belgium.

Sidney’s private funeral will take place in Grimbergen on 4 July 2020.

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