ARCHIVED - PPCLI 100th Commemorations: Q & A with Private Jake Dow

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Image Gallery

Article / May 26, 2015

Q1: What were the preparations for the commemorations like?

As part of our preparations for the Frezenberg Commemoration, Freedom of the City of Ypres, and Menin Gate Service, “C” Company spent three weeks sharpening our drill in Shilo before flying over. For the Memorial Baton Relay, being physically prepared to run was essential. In total, a lot of hours were put in but the payoff was an incredible experience.

Q2: What was it like participating in the commemorative events?

I am only 19 and just recently joined the Battalion, so being fortunate enough to participate in these events is not something I took for granted. It was a true honour, it may sound like a cliche, but it was a once in a lifetime experience that deepened my understanding of and pride in the Patricia's.

Q3: What was it like interacting with the Belgians and French?

The cultural differences were there in terms of food and language but it was nice to see how well we were treated by the locals. People in this region have a deep understanding of their history and they haven't forgotten that Canada helped liberate them. Needless to say, there was lots of cheering and waving when we paraded through Ypres, it was cool.

Q4: Which aspect of the commemorations has been the most memorable?

I will never forget the Baton Relay experiences over the last year. Meeting thousands of new people and seeing all the pride that serving and retired Patricia's have for our Regiment was inspirational. Running those final steps in Frezenberg, 100 years to the day of the Battle, carrying their names is my proudest moment in the Army.

Q5: Were there any difficult or challenging aspects of the commemoration ceremonies?

Due to the amount of preparatory work that we put into the ceremonies prior to departing ensured we were setup for success. However, during the battlefield studies, where we retraced the very footsteps the “Originals” would have walked in the First World War and now contain cemeteries, it was emotional.  Learning about the battlefield conditions and sacrifices that thousands of Canadians made was humbling.

Q6: Which portion of your experiences in Belgium and France did you enjoy the most and why?

This was my first time in Europe and immediately I noticed how different and interesting the architecture is. You don't really see that kind of diversity in Canada. I especially liked Cloth Hall in Ypres and hope to have the opportunity to visit more countries in the future.

Q7: If you could pass along a message to an “Original” PPCLI member who fought during the First World War, what would you like to say to them?

If given that opportunity, I would first off pass along a deep and sincere thank you. I would then explain what their sacrifices and accomplishments mean to Canada, our identity as a Nation and professional Army, and the legacy they created for the PPCLI. They were incredible.

Date modified: