Westmount, Quebec – 13 May 2018: At the Regiment’s battalion review parade held on 06 May 2018, Lieutenant-Colonel John Shone, Commanding Officer, presented a scroll to Captain Grant Furholter who has been awarded the Commendation of the Commander of the Canadian Army.
Captain Furholter received this commendation in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the heritage of the RMR. Starting in 2008, he conducted exhaustive research into the grave site of an officer of the 14th Battalion who was missing from the first World War. Five years later, Capt Furholter’s efforts enabled identification of the deceased soldier, notification of his relatives and the correct marking of his grave in a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Belgium. Capt Furholter’s initiative, commitment, and compassion has brought great honour to the Canadian Army.
Captain Furholter formally identified the headstone after some thorough research by author/war historian/roofer Michel Gravel while on a battlefield tour a number of years ago, which was simply marked as “Unknown Captain, 14th Battalion CEF”. After conducting some detailed research, Michel Gravel and Captain Furholter correctly identified it as belonging to Captain Richard Steacie who was killed in the 2nd Battle of Ypres, 1915. Based on Michel’s research, Captain Furholter alerted the proper authorities within the Commonwealth Graves Commission to the error, and once confirmations were made that it would be fixed, he contacted the Steacie family (now living in Ottawa) to advise them.
The news was a great relief to the family, members of whom have subsequently visited the new headstone in Belgium. Through his civilian work connections, Captain Furholter has arranged for Air Canada Cargo to deliver the original headstone to the RMR Museum, which may be the first time in Canadian history this has occurred, besides the tomb of the unknown soldier that was transferred to Ottawa in May 2000.
The Steacie family has been very generous with the RMR, donating Captain Steacie’s sword (which is now carried on parade by the CO to remind all leaders within the Regiment to ‘Lead from the Front’), as well as some scrapbooks maintained by Captain Steacie’s son Edgar, which has provided valuable historical information on the formation of the Regiment, insight into the social history of the period, as well as examples of such things as the RMR’s first Christmas cards ever issued.