From 2004 to 2014, Freddy Declerck was Chairman of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, and President of the Passchendaele Society of Belgium until 2015. He is an expert on the New Zealand Division's involvement on the battlefields of Flanders and has escorted a number of New Zealand dignitaries through the region where he assists New Zealanders in locating family members buried in Flanders Fields. Freddy is a Life Member of the NZRSA, an Honorary Captain in the NZ Navy, and Member of the NZ Order of Merit.
Dean O'Gorman is an actor, artist, and photographer. He is known internationally as fun-loving dwarf Fíli in the Hobbit trilogy, and well known in NZ for roles in feature film and primetime television. O'Gorman was born in Auckland, and has Irish and English ancestry; his maternal grandfather was an English paratrooper in WWII.
In 2012 his first photography exhibition was focused on the Vietnam War. In order to obtain accuracy in his work, O'Gorman sought the advice of a New Zealand Vietnam veteran. Preferring to dress and set up shoots himself, the models for this gallery included other cast members from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and tv series The Almighty Johnsons. Dean’s photographs of the Somme were displayed at the 2015 Berlin B3 Biennial.
Thomson has earned many accolades throughout his career, including Gemini Awards for GLORY ENOUGH FOR ALL and LOTUS EATERS, and a Genie for his portrayal of ‘Will Sly’ in IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT I HEAR. In addition, he has also received nominations for: seven other Gemini Awards; a Juno Award; and a Jessie Award. In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Canada, and he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 2015.
Known for playing the bumbling ‘Jasper Dale’ on THE ROAD FOR AVONLEA series, opposite Sarah Polley, Thomson was also seen as ‘Tom Hardwick’ in the CBC mini-series, THE ENGLISHMAN’S BOY directed by John N. Smith; and in ATHANASIA, a film shot with Panos Karkanevatos. Thomson starred in Atom Egoyan’s CHLOE opposite Julianne Moore.
His most recent passion-project, The World Remembers-Le Monde se souvient, is a multi-year international WWI centenary project that individually names the millions killed in the 1914-1918 war. With names displays in Canada and eight other nations, this keeps Thomson busy but he still finds time for projects that are important to him, recently directing THE CRUCIBLE at Theatre Calgary.
Last spring, Thomson was nominated for a Dora Award in Francois Archambault's YOU WILL REMEMBER ME in which he played a Quebec patriarch and intellectual force descending into dementia. Currently, he plays the role of ‘Matthew Cuthbert’ in the critically-acclaimed CBC/Netflix series ANNE WITH AN E, now shooting its second season.
Stratford family photographs and hand drawn map provided courtesy of RH Thomson and the Stratford family
Anna Bella Peel Durie – Courtesy of City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1035, Series 833
Passchendaele Aerial Maps © Imperial War Museum
Military photographs from the George Metcalf Archival Collection provided courtesy of the Canadian War Museum
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