A wooden urn with ashes was found buried in Elnora Cemetery. (Photo contributed)

Unknown urn with ashes found in Elnora Cemetery

Search is on to identify ashes

A wooden urn that may contain cremated remains of an unknown soldier was discovered buried in Elnora Cemetery.

The fragile urn, without a name or year, was unearthed in an unmarked grave near the Field of Honour in the spring.

Cemetery treasurer Pat Buckland said some information was stamped into the wood on one side of the urn.

“At the top is ‘Lest we Forget.’ Below that is a cross, and attached to the base of the cross is a drawing of a poppy.

“To the left side, it looks like there is a man on a horse. That’s why we said he could have been RCMP or in the wars,” Buckland said.

A verse stamped into the wood beneath the poppy was illegible.

She said an unknown soldier has never been buried at the cemetery, located 50 minutes southeast of Red Deer, and hopefully, someone can identify the remains.

“We just want answers to find out who this person is, if anybody knows. Not to ding them for burying him illegally, but so we can give him a proper burial in the proper place, and with a name.

“It’s a mystery — mystery at the Elnora Cemetery.”


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She said the urn, about eight by eight centimetres in size, contained a bag of ashes. The bag had no identification, and beneath the bag were some Styrofoam peanuts.

“A wooden urn, that’s very unusual. It was very fragile. It came apart,” said Buckland.

She said the cemetery has records of where people are buried. Some burial sites don’t have headstones, but there is no information on this individual.

The urn was temporarily reburied where it was found, while the search for an identity continues for the next six months. In the spring, the remains will be reburied as an unknown soldier in the Field of Honour, or hopefully reburied with a name.

Buckland said Elnora Legion is working with the cemetery.

Anyone with information about the urn is asked to call 403-773-2282.


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