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Vancouver rugby club travelled to Europe to honour members lost in World War One

A Vancouver rugby team recently returned from a trip to Europe that will make this year’s Remembrance Day much more emotional for them.

“We have a lot of players from our team who fought in World War One, who served in World War One, and a number who were killed in World War One,” said Jamie Overgaard, a member of the Vancouver Rowing Club’s rugby team.

“We created what we call the Tour to Remember. We spent some time playing rugby, but also visiting important places.”

In September, the group of more than 30 players and alumni travelled to monuments in France and Belgium to honour past members who served in the Great War. The Vancouver Rowing Club, based in Stanley Park, was founded in 1886 and added a rugby team in 1908.

The Vancouver Rowing Club lost 42 members and 36 were wounded in the First World War, and 22 members received honours.

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“As we started walking around gravestones at Vimy Ridge, it really started to hit home,” said Overgaard.

“It’s a weird mix of emotions. On one hand, you’re really celebrating what Canada did….on the other hand, you’re sad what those men had to go through. Faced with the headstone of guys who wore your jersey and played here on this field.

“They did the same thing [as us] on Saturdays where they had to chase the geese off Brockton Point.”

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