SUMMERSIDE — A once faceless soldier, someone who lived almost a century ago, is why Dave Chisholm works tirelessly today to ensure Three Oaks students remember and honour Canada’s veterans.
In 2006, Chisholm, a social studies teacher at Three Oaks Senior High, was tasked with finding out more about Charles John Clue of Saskatoon, Sask.
He didn’t know the man who was killed in battle overseas in 1917.
But that man, the son of a butcher — just like Chisholm — who immigrated from England and fought for Canada in the First World War, has left not only a mark on Chisholm, but also the dozens of students who have since travelled overseas to visit graves of the war dead and retrace soldiers steps on battlegrounds across Europe.
“I probably stood within 15 or 20 feet of where he was gunned down on the morning of April 9, 1917. It is because of him that the kids all do this.”
And, as if it were fate, hours prior to leaving on his last trip to Europe with a group of Three Oaks students, Chisholm finally saw the face of the man who has had such an impact on his life.
“I always had a picture of a faceless body. I knew what type of uniform he had and so on,” recalled Chisholm. “For some reason, when I sat down to do the lesson plans and to print them off, I decided to do a search.”
He had searched the Internet hundreds of times before for a photo of Clue.
“Within about 30 seconds… an image started to scroll down. Someone had found a picture somewhere. For the first time ever, when we went in 2012, I saw a picture of his face for the first time.”
And, as for first time as he stood in the cemetery in Thelus Military Cemetery where Clue rests for eternity to regale his soldier’s story to his students, something he had done a number of times before, Chisholm held up the picture of the man who lost his life fighting for our freedom.
“It got just a little more emotional because, after four years, I had a face to the name,” he said, his voice breaking. “He had no business, really, fighting for the Canadians. If you go back to that time, again, they were fighting for the British Empire.”
Clue’s story and its impact is why Chisholm feels it is so important that his students taking part in the trip year after year research a veteran, find out more about the lives and the sacrifices they made and remember them.
“I was handed that same project as a teacher,” he added. “Now I got back every two years to his grave and leave something behind. I go back and remember him.”
To learn more about Clue’s final resting place, visit