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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Pierre Léopold Soesman

In memory of:

Flying Officer Pierre Léopold Soesman

May 11, 1944

Military Service


Service Number:

J/21875

Age:

22

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

609 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Born:

April 20, 1922
Brussels, Belgium

Enlistment:

November 27, 1941
Montréal, Quebec

Son of Maurice and Germaine Soesman, of Brussels, Belgium.

Commemorated on Page 448 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 248.

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometers by road west of London.

The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:

IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE

In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

  • Circumstances of death– LAC, Ottawa
  • Circumstances of death registers– Circumstances of death, LAC, Ottawa
  • Circumstances of death registers– Circumstances of death, LAC, Ottawa
  • Letter– Letter to parents, page 1. LAC, Ottawa
  • Document– Memo about circumstances. LAC, Ottawa
  • Letter– Permission from Mr. and Mrs. Soesman for their son to receive flying instruction in Canada. LAC, Ottawa
  • Photo of Pierre Leopold Soesman– Pierre Leopold Soesman, '45
Flying Officer, RAF
French Coast, 11 May 1944
  • Photo of Pierre Leopold Soesman– Submitted for the project Operation Picture Me
  • Memorial Entrance– Entrance - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Stone of Remembrance - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Panels - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Inscription– Inscription - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens

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