A touching ceremony was held this past Friday at the Field of Honour in Swift Current's Mount Pleasant Cemetery for a World War Two veteran. 

Rifleman Denis C. G. Denniel was born in 1917 in Val Marie and fought on the beaches of Normandy, incurring an injury during the fight. He would survive those injuries and was later buried under a temporary marker for more than half a century. 

Retired army major Brad Hrycyna is a volunteer researcher with the Last Post Fund, a non-profit seeking to verify the military records of Canadians and Canadian allies who lie in unmarked graves to give them the memorialization they deserve. 

"He died here in Swift Current in 1968 and for 56 years he has been buried below a temporary marker, a white wooden cross with a nameplate on it with his name spelled wrong," said Hrycyna. "We're very happy that he now has a proper permanent marker, fitting for a veteran."

The ceremony ran from 2 - 3 p.m. with speakers from the Royal Regina Rifles, the Last Post Fund, and staple community members, before a playing of the last post followed by a moment of silence.

Denniel's family members gathered around the new headstone and were presented with the old plaque that had labelled his unmarked grave for so long.

Mariette LeBlanc, one of Denniel's nieces, adored her uncle throughout her childhood, growing up in Val Marie in close proximity to him.

"They had a really hard time finding family and anything about my uncle because the name was spelled wrong, even the date of birth was wrong," she said. 

"He was just such a wonderful person, he'd always joke around and you were just drawn to him."

Leblanc noted that when Denniel passed, she could not attend the funeral as she had just gotten on a train back to Montreal, so the ceremony and tribute meant the world to her.

Significant community members were in attendance including Swift Current Mayor Al Bridal, Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley, Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP Jeremy Patzer, and members of the armed forces and Legion. 

Anyone with information on the military records of the remaining four unmarked graves in Mount Pleasant Cemetery can visit the Last Post Fund's website to contact them.