Military family matriarch who lost son in Afghanistan named Silver Cross Mother

Military family matriarch who lost son in Afghanistan named Silver Cross Mother

OTTAWA — The matriarch of a prominent military family whose youngest son was killed 12 years ago in Afghanistan has been named this year’s National Silver Cross Mother by the Royal Canadian Legion.

Reine Samson Dawe of Kingston, Ont., will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on Remembrance Day on behalf of all mothers who have lost children in service to Canada.

Capt. Matthew Dawe, 27, of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, was one of six Canadian soldiers killed in Kandahar in July 2007 along with an Afghan interpreter when their armoured vehicle was struck by a powerful roadside bomb.

Dawe was one of the highest-ranking Canadian officers to die in Afghanistan to that point and was remembered afterward as a dedicated soldier and platoon commander who worked hard to recover from an Achilles tendon injury and deploy with his unit.

“He was determined to be with his ‘boys’ and share the danger,” the Legion said in a news release. “Matthew was always a positive example to his platoon — known as ‘1-2 can do’ — due to a willingness to volunteer for the toughest of assignments.”

He was killed the same day his son, Lucas, turned two. More than 2,000 people turned out for his funeral in Kingston; several military buildings in the city, as well as two annual awards, have since been named in his honour.

Matthew Dawe hailed from a military family that saw his father and three brothers also serve in uniform at various times. His father retired as a lieutenant-colonel while his oldest brother, Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe, is currently commander of Canada’s special forces.

The Silver Cross was first authorized on Dec. 1, 1919, as a memento of personal loss on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors, aviators and soldiers who died during the war.

The Silver Cross Mother is selected from nominations submitted by legion provincial commands and individuals.

Canada ended its 12-year military mission in Afghanistan in March 2014, though its combat role in southern Afghanistan ended in July 2011.

At its peak, Canada was the sixth largest troop-contributing nation, behind the U.S., Britain, Germany, France and Italy. It deployed more than 40,000 service members to Afghanistan since the mission began in 2001.

According to the Canadian government, 158 soldiers, one diplomat, one journalist and two civilian contractors were killed in Afghanistan.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Silver Cross Mother

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

Just Posted

Don't Look Down Tattoo hosted a flash tattoo event on Friday afternoon. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Albertans can make hair and tattoo appointments today as some COVID restrictions ease

EDMONTON — Albertans will be able to visit hair salons and tattoo… Continue reading

A blood donor clinic pictured at a shopping mall in Calgary, Friday, March 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Blood donors needed

Canada Life Week to Save Lives campaign

Premier Jason Kenney condemns Joe Biden’s plan to scrap the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, in a Jan. 18, 2021 story. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Kenney, Moe condemn Biden’s plan to scrap Keystone XL on Day 1 of presidency

Kenney prepared to ‘use all legal avenues available’

A member of staff at the university hospital injects the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 into a patient in Duesseldorf, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)
WHO chief lambasts vaccine profits, demands elderly go first

One poor country received a mere 25 vaccine doses

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

Pipes intended for the Keystone XL project are show in a yard in Gascoyne, N.D., on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
TC Energy plans net zero emissions for Keystone XL even as project’s future in doubt

CALGARY — Cancelling TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline expansion project would… Continue reading

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole pushed back against attempts to… Continue reading

Facebook/ The Open Door 24/7 Integrated Response Hub- Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin residents show support for 24/7 Integrated Response Hub

Wetaskiwin residents and City Council members showed support for Hub with positive signs.

Indonesian soldiers distribute relief goods for those affected by the earthquake at a stadium in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Rescuers retrieved more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake while military engineers managed to reopen ruptured roads to clear access for aid relief goods. (AP Photo/Daeng Mansur)
Aid effort intensifies after Indonesia quake that killed 84

Nearly 20,000 were survivors moved to shelters and more than 900 people were injured

Deeply covered with snow are the trees at the Grenzadler in Oberhof, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Two World Cups are taking place in the town on the Rennsteig this weekend. In front of empty crowds, the best lugers and biathletes compete for World Cup points. (Martin Schutt/dpa via AP)
Freezing weather hits much of Europe, from Poland to Turkey

A skier in Switzerland died after buried by an avalanche on the weekend

Canada forward Cyle Larin, left, vies for the ball with Mexico defender Nestor Araujo during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at Mile High Stadium in Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, David Zalubowski
Canadian forward Cyle Larin plays provider in Besiktas win over Istanbul rival

Larin into the game having scored six times in his previous three outings

Skip Brendan Bottcher celebrates his victory over Team Koe in the men’s final of the Humpty’s Champions Cup in Saskatoon, Sask., on April 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith
Curling Alberta decision will have ripple effect on potential wild-card teams

National federation adds two more wild-card teams to the field at Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier

Most Read