52 FOCUS - SEPTEMBER 2016 52 FOCUS - NOVEMBER 2018 216 Queen St., Port Perry • 905-985-2171 www.waggfuneralhome.com Myles G. O’Riordan Funeral Director/Owner REMEMBERING... THE COURAGE AND SACRIFICE OF OUR VETERANS. Port Perry Salvage Inc. & DEMOLITION 132 Reach Industrial Park Rd., Port Perry Yard 905-985-6121 1-877-587-4557 Michelle Stephens and John Stephens owners of Port Perry Salvage, remember all veterans and especially highly decorated * RODERICK J. PURCELL, her great uncle. Roderick enlisted at the young age of 16 in 1915 and served through many battles, including the Battle of the Somme until his discharge in 1919. Roderick always remembered his Company Commander’s instructions, “Never ask your men to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself” and he lived by those words throughout his years in the war. * Distinguished Conduct Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1914-1915 Star ––– After Vimy ––– It was morning when he heard it like a drumroll quickly spent. Then the horror dawned upon him as he lay there in the tent. The smoke swirling rose about him thick and deadly, moving fast, as he stood and looked about him it was clear that he was last. Staggering forward with his gun and his trousers at half-mast he went forth to join the battle scared but ruthless in his task. So prepared he hurried forward, left what comfort he had found and exchanged his life forever for a six foot length of ground. Oh they stood on bridges waiting as they brought his body home. Silently they paid him tribute but each person stood alone. Birds soared ever upwards in a universal moan as the traffic roared its protest at the travesty done. It echoed as a symphony to celebrate the brave. With dignity the soldier boy was driven to his grave. Written by L. Patricia Bayley