One of the most notable members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 57 out of Kindersley, Herb Strutt, recently passed away at the age of 101.

The funeral service is being held this afternoon at the Brock Hall, prior to Herb being laid to rest in the Field of Honour at the Brock Cemetery. The obituary shares that Strutt was well known for his hard work, keen sense of humour, love of a good joke, pride in his family; but maybe most for his commitment to the Royal Canadian Legion.

Strutt’s war history can be observed in his obituary through the link below, as he was an accomplished veteran, who was actually awarded the ‘Legion D'Honneur’ by the French government which conferred a Knighthood upon him. Again according to the obituary, he was very proud to be addressed as ‘Sir Herb’.

Upon hearing the news, West Central Online got into contact with the Sgt. Of Arms at the Kindersley branch David Burke. The legion is prepared and ready for Strutt’s service, as they will share some of his illustrious life to help the family and friends reminisce on their now lost loved one. Burke was honoured to talk about the local hero, and share how he will be remembered.

“Quite the character, Mr. Strutt,” said Burke over the phone, “Spoke openly, and directly, but he was always great to talk to and always fun to talk to.”

Some may remember that when the longtime local Strutt turned 100 back in 2020 while at Caleb Village in Kindersley, his local legion came out to celebrate with a parade full of people wanting to show Strutt how much they appreciate his life. Kindersley Mayor Rod Perkins was on hand, as was MLA Ken Francis who battled through the breeze to deliver letters from Premier Scott Moe, MP Jeremy Patzer, and the President of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Burke said the celebration last year was just something they had to do, and they actually plan to keep doing something such as the parade as community members hit their next milestone age.

“We just had to do it. It’s something that we do for members like that. We do it for all members if they have a birthday or something like that to make their day a lot better.”

Burke referenced a heavy part of the legion’s mandate is to look after veterans. Making sure they are happy and good to go is very important, and the legion should have a list of upcoming birthdays or celebrations for some of their longest tenured members.

Kindersley Legion on FacebookBack Row, Membership Caroline Burke,3rd Vice President James Watson, Sgt Of Arms David Burke, Member at large Al Drozd, Padre Scott Holloway, Member at large Trevor Dowd, Front Row, Treasure, Ernie Krepps, Secretary and 2nd Vice President Garrett Trayhorne, President Roger Strutt. Missing Honorary President Ken Diemert, and 1st Vice President Patrick Brick. Photo via Kindersley Legion Branch 57 on Facebook

For Burke, getting out to celebrate Mr. Strutt was extra special, thanks to a connection to his father.

“If I knew somebody in (WW2), it kind of hits home because my father was in World War 2,” shared Burke, “For Herb to make it to 101 and 5 months? Wow.”

Burke thought back to conversations with Herb about his air force days, and knows he couldn’t do a justice re-telling them if he tried. He will remember their time together dearly, and wants people to try and understand just how unique these people and their stories can be in their old age. It’s the type of information that makes Burke honoured to be part of the legion.

“If you could sit with your grandfather, and do the digging,” started Burke, who knows veterans typically don’t like speaking on the war, “But I mean there is so much history out there, that we don’t know about. What did these men and women go through back then right?”

Burke finished our chat with some more on the legions plans to honour Herb at today’s service, and also gave an update the group itself and their schedule. The local legion has a meeting set for this week where they will discuss upcoming plans, as the potential of removed restrictions in Saskatchewan will play a huge part in any upcoming decisions.

“I hope they are because then we can get back to putting on our meals and things, and putting our faces back in front of the residents of Kindersley and area.”

Time will tell what level of planning they can get into for 2022, but the year surely started on a sombre note with the passing of Strutt just over 6 months away from his 102nd birthday. Strutt's centennial celebration in town was one celebrated by many members of the west central community despite the ongoing pandemic, as his reach was observed far and wide up until his final days.