The view of Bradley Lake from the Beaver floater plane.

Ponoka County resident visits geo-memorial for fallen uncle

Trip was a long-held desire

Ponoka County resident Howard Bradley realized a long-held “bucket list” item after visiting a lake in northern Saskatchewan in September that was named after his uncle, who was killed in action in WWII.

“It was quite an experience to say the least,” said Bradley.

RCAF WO2 Howard E. Bradley, who is Bradley’s namesake, was born in Moose Jaw, Sask., and died on July 13, 1943.

Since 1947, Canada has been naming its lakes after its fallen soldiers in WWII and Korea. The Saskatchewan Geographic Names Board has honoured 3,922 from that time, as part of its Saskatchewan Geo-Memorial Project.

Since being put on to the idea by his father’s youngest brother (who has since passed away) five or six years ago, Bradley has wanted to visit Bradley Lake.

Just the logistics of getting there took some planning and co-operation from a small airline company, Trans West, which eventually gave him a discounted price on the seats.

Finally ready to make the trip, Bradley brought three of his grandsons, young men aged 22 to 31, with him to pay their respects.

Bradley says he made it clear it wasn’t a fishing trip, but a reflective homage of a kind to the “supreme sacrifice” of the soldiers who gave their lives.

A regular flight brought them so far and then Bradley had to charter a small, 1959 Beaver floater plane to take them further north to Bradley Lake.

The pilot had to circle the area a few times to scope out a landing place, and then taxied them to shore.

The pilot stayed with them for about four hours, while they built a little cairn and placed letters he and his grandsons had written into a “pelican case” – a waterproof suitcase used often by the military.

Although it’s not known exactly how many lakes exist in Canada, it’s thought to contain more than 2 million, which means geo-memorial projects like this could stay busy for a long time to come, with 42,000 Canadians killed in WWII alone.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Howard Bradley and his grandsons built a cairn to honour his late uncle who died in service in WWII.

Bradley Lake is north of the larger Turnbull Lake. Google Maps image

Just Posted

International Day of Older Persons celebrations planned on Oct. 1

The Town of Ponoka and the Ponoka branch of the Royal Canadian… Continue reading

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Ermineskin Kindergarten has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The school has shut down and Cohort 2 is in self-isolation

Ponoka County discusses Poulsen’s Pasture

Policing costs, Bobtail Road bridge replacement and other Ponoka County council briefs

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Best of Ponoka Readers’ Choice Awards 2020

Here is your chance to show your support for the outstanding services… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Wilkinson aims to be B.C. premier after cabinet role, working as doctor and lawyer

The B.C. election is Wilkinson’s first as the Liberal party leader

First Nations police services look to throne speech pledge for higher, stable funding

‘I won’t be happy until I hear two words: royal assent’

8 charged, $260K in drugs and cash seized in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Millet Agriplex to become a hub for indoor soccer

Wetaskiwin Soccer Club will be operating out of the Millet Agriplex this season.

Most Read