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Group hoping to solve tombstone mystery in St. Francois

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The St. Francois Xavier Historical Society has a mystery on its hands.


Society director Rudy Friesen said the organization was contacted by a municipal staff member after a tombstone was found at the SFX nuisance grounds on Sept. 29.


Measuring approximately one by two-feet in size, the stone bears the inscription:

Frederick James
Sapper
Can. Engrs. C.E.F.
7 Sept. 1955 Age 71

At its Oct. 1 meeting, society members asked that anyone with information on the stone contact the municipal office.


Friesen said members learned that an area resident discovered the stone buried five feet deep at Delta Beach about 12 years ago.


"He contacted several Legion branches (in the Delta Beach area) but they never got back to him," he said.


The individual then stored the stone at his home until he decided to clean up his property and dropped it off at the dump.


Society members are hoping that someone will recognize the name and claim the stone.


Veterans Affairs spokesman Simon Forsyth said the initials: C.E.F. stand for Canadian Expeditionary Force — a field force created for overseas service during the First World War. The title of sapper was given to field engineers.


Forsyth said he’ll check federal records to see if he can uncover more information.


Anyone with information on the identity of Frederick James is asked to call Friesen at 204-864-2285.

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