Switzer Genealogy
Descendants of Hans Jacob Schweitzer
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Alexander Frederick Switzer

Male 1914 - 1941


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  • Name  Alexander Frederick Switzer 
    Born  1914 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  27 Aug 1941 
    Buried  Wesley United Church Cemetery, Pembroke, Renfrew, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Activist saves medals
      Local News

      By STEPHEN UHLERUpdated 3 days ago

      The medals of a fallen Pembroke airman have been preserved due to the actions of an activist dedicated to recovering military decorations, who is now looking for help from the community to cover the cost of repatriating them.
      Alexander Frederick Switzer, the son of Philip and Isabel Switzer, was only 27 when he died in Aug. 27, 1941 while training as a pilot in the Number 5 Service Flying Training School in Brantford, Ontario, the result of an incident involving the crash of two Anson aircraft. He is buried in Pembroke, and his name is among those carved on the plaques standing with the Cenotaph.

      The medals awarded to him -the War Medal and Volunteer Service Medal, both in extremely fine condition and on original ribbons, are included with a Memorial / Mother's Cross -are mounted on conjoined ribbons as well as a pin clasp.

      The decorations appeared on eBay for sale, and caught the eye of Dave Thomson, a St. George, Ontario auto parts dealer, who to date has reunited more than 500 communities and families with lost military medals.
      After contacting Branch 72 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Mayor of Pembroke's office to inform them of his actions, he secured the medals from a Burlington dealer of war memorabilia, and is now hoping the community will come together and help cover the $300 cost to repatriate them.

      While stressing he is seeking no funds from either the Legion or City Hall, he is hoping the community would be moved to chip in and help him recover some or all of his costs. Mr. Thomson's goal is to reunite the medals with the airman's family and hometown community at no cost to them, possibly with the decorations being put on display at the local Legion as a memorial to him, depending on what Mr. Switzer's descendants desire.

      "I still think he needs and deserves the same honours of those who fell overseas," Mr. Thomson said. "It's the same whether he went down in a bomber or a training aircraft. "We have to do right by him." Mayor Ed Jacyno said he thinks what Mr. Thomson is doing is a noble thing, and noted while the city itself wouldn't be sending any taxpayers' money to this, as an individual he is willing to contribute towards these expenses himself. "I'd be prepared to make a donation to the cause," he said, and wondered if perhaps the Legion itself would be willing to contribute. Mayor Jacyno said he'd be willing to match any contribution the Legion membership makes towards the cost of the medals.
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      Bob Denault, Branch 72 president, said they have been contacted by Mr. Thomson and are well aware of his work at recovering veterans' medals.
      "It's a real good thing to do," he said, wondering if perhaps there are relatives out there who didn't know about the existence of the decorations.
      Mr. Denault said the Legion branch itself wouldn't purchase the medals outright, including off eBay, but it is willing to display them if donated by other parties.

      "We have one of the biggest (displays) in the Valley," he said, and would be happy to display the medals if that is what the family wishes. He added many people tend to frame the decorations and hang them on the wall at home, as they cannot be worn by anyone but the service person to whom they are presented.

      Anyone wishing to make a donation to help Mr. Thomson cover his costs, or have any information about the descendants of Alexander Switzer, can contact him at 519-448-1967. Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.
    Person ID  I10329  Switzer Family
    Last Modified  9 Nov 2010 

    Father  Philip Alexander Switzer,   b. 29 Nov 1874,   d. 1960 
    Mother  Isabella J. Sanderson,   b. 3 Oct 1876, Omemee, Victoria, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1957 
    Family ID  F153  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Wesley United Church Cemetery, Pembroke, Renfrew, ON, Canada Link to Google Earth
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  • Headstones
    Philip Alexander Switzer, Isabella J. Sanderson and three of their children, Adeline A. Switzer, Alexander F. Switzer & Maxine I. M. Switzer
    Philip Alexander Switzer, Isabella J. Sanderson and three of their children, Adeline A. Switzer, Alexander F. Switzer & Maxine I. M. Switzer
    Alexander F. Switzer
    Alexander F. Switzer

    Census Images
    1911 census - Switzer/Sanderson
    1911 census - Switzer/Sanderson