In the bustling core of the nation’s capital rests an island of reflection and honour. The National War Memorial sits on a small plaza surrounded by traffic, in the shadow of parliament. At its base, on the north side, rests the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The tomb holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during the First World War. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces recently returned to sentry duty for the 2015 national sentry program season.
One of those sentries guarding the tomb is a local sailor from Abbotsford, Leading Seaman Rebecca Charlesworth.
Charlesworth is a member of ship’s company of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, which is home-ported in Esquimalt.
“I partially grew up on a sailboat, loved the water and was inspired by the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Charlesworth, who has now been in the navy over 13 years.
In that time she has earned the General Campaign Start – South West Asia for service in Afghanistan, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, NATO Article 5 medal and the Canadian Forces’ Decoration (CD). She has deployed around the globe on various military exercises and operations.
“To represent the past, current and future Canadian Armed Forces with honour and respect for the fallen, here at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is a great privilege,” she said.
When not in uniform, Charlesworth volunteers with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue as well as Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.