A Ballindrait man has taken part in a special commemoration in Scotland to mark the 80th anniversary of the murder of his aunt during World War II.
Liam Canning recently returned from Scotland after attending the memorial ceremony organised by the Inveraray and District Branch of the Royal British Legion. The ceremony was held to mark the anniversary of Gertrude Canning who was killed in Inveraray in 1942.
Gertrude, aged 20, was a serving member of the Woman’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS).
She was on her way back to her base on June 30 1942 when she was murdered in woods close to her camp.
Gertrude became the subject of a four day search and when her body was eventually found, it was discovered she had been shot four times with a .38 revolver.
Her killer was never found despite a nationwide investigation and thousands of ballistic tests of weapons.
The commemorative event took place at ‘Gertrude’s Memorial Stone’ located close to the spot where her body was found. The stone was dedicated to Gertrude’s memory in a ceremony held to mark the 70th anniversary of her death.
Nephew Liam said, “The ceremony was marked with a short religious service at the stone led by the Reverend Dorothy Wallace, a minister from the Church of Scotland and Chaplain to the Inveraray and District branch of the Legion.”
The gathered congregation was also addressed by Liam who offered a brief insight into her short life and subsequent tragic passing. A poppy cross was then laid at the stone on behalf of the Inveraray Legion by Emma Irons. This was followed by a number of other floral tributes from those who attended the ceremony to show their respect for the late Gertrude and her family.
A small bouquet of flowers was also placed at the stone by Liam as part of the proceedings on behalf of the Canning family and its extended network.
Liam added, “I have been researching Gertrude’s early life and the circumstances associated with her murder over the past ten years and I’m currently in the latter stages of completing a book telling Gertrude’s story. I hope this will be published by the end of this year or early in 2023.”
Gertrude is buried at Ballybogan Graveyard between Lifford and Castlefinn.