Body of Master Cpl. Byron Greff repatriated

TRENTON, Ont. — The first Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since Canada ended its combat role in the war-torn country was returned to home soil Tuesday.

Lindsay Rafael wife of Master Corporal Byron Greff wipes tears from her eyes as their son Kellar looks on at the hearse containing the casket of Greff during a repatriation ceremony at CRB Trenton

Lindsay Rafael wife of Master Corporal Byron Greff wipes tears from her eyes as their son Kellar looks on at the hearse containing the casket of Greff during a repatriation ceremony at CRB Trenton

TRENTON, Ont. — The first Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since Canada ended its combat role in the war-torn country was returned to home soil Tuesday.

Bagpipes played as the flag-draped coffin bearing Master Cpl. Byron Greff was carried across the tarmac at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, in eastern Ontario, and placed into a waiting hearse.

The soldier’s widow, pushing her newborn daughter in a stroller, walked over to the hearse and placed two roses on the coffin. Her young son Kellar was then lifted up so he could add his own rose.

The youngster put an arm around his mother’s waist as other family members paid their respects. The hearse then began its journey along the Highway of Heroes to the coroner’s office in downtown Toronto.

The Edmonton-based soldier was one of 17 people killed Saturday by a suicide bomber in Kabul. He served with the Third Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Greff was among the 900 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a mission to train military personnel in that country until 2014.

His death brings the number of Canadian soldiers killed as a result of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan to 158.

Governor General David Johnston, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Chief of Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk also attended the late afternoon ceremony in Trenton.

In Greff’s hometown of Lacombe, hundreds of yellow ribbons were tied around posts in the community north of Red Deer.

In Ottawa, the New Democrats’ defence critic called for an end to the Afghan training mission after question period Tuesday. David Christopherson said the Canadian public has been misled about the dangers of the mission.

“I think what Canadians now understand is that as long as we have soldiers in Afghanistan, they’re going to be at risk. Their lives are going to be at risk and most Canadians believe the effort we have made in Afghanistan is more than our fair share and that this is not the mission for us,” Christopherson said.

The NDP has long opposed the combat mission in Afghanistan and demanded in 2006 that all troops be withdrawn.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer College (Contributed photo)
RDC tuitions to go up 7%

Tuition increase the maximum allowed under provincial rules

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man whose manslaughter sentence was rejected by judge has new lawyer

Judge rejected proposed seven-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with 2019 homicide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read