Local retired Canadian Forces member heads to Belgium for WWI re-enactment

A retired Canadian Forces member studying at Brock University will be taking part in a First World War re-enactment in Belgium.

The re-enactment will be taking place this Sunday during the 100th anniversary of the liberation of the city of Mons.

Retired Cpl. Kieran Boyle, Drum Major for the Black Watch Association Pipes and Drums is en route to Belgium to retrace the exact route Canadian soldiers marched a century ago.

"As a Canadian and a veteran, this is an important moment in history to recognize," Boyle says via a release. "It was Canadian troops who liberated the town of Mons, restored telephone communications and were the first to meet with citizens who came out of hiding to rejoice."

Boyle will be wearing a 1918 period uniform and identity disk representing Canadian drummer David Balfour - one of the original 42nd Battalion Pipe Band members who marched in Mons.

"In the First World War, before the battles started, the piper was the first one to get out on the trench to motivate the soldiers not to be afraid," Boyle said. “"Sadly, this also meant the piper was one of the first to be killed."

Boyle is also a second year Sports Management student at Brock.


Image: At left, Brock University Sport Management student and Drum Major Kieran Boyle, Black Watch Association Pipes and Drums, marches in the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montreal. At right, drummer David Balfour is pictured after the First World War 42nd Battalion Royal Highlanders of Canada Pipes and Drums marched into Mons, Belgium as the first group after the armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918.