Military member pens song in remembrance of corporal who lost life in Bosnia

Written from the heart and with the hope that music heals all, “Going Home,” written by Cpl. William Right, is an original song with the universal message of loss, healing, and hope.

“It’s about the soldier, it’s about other soldiers, it’s about all soldiers and, that in times of death and mourning, this song is supposed to comfort the soldiers,” said Cpl. William Right, CD, Member of the Regimental Band of the Governor General’s Horse Guards.

The Canadian Forces Decoration, Queen Golden Jubilee, and Queen Diamond Jubilee recipient was first inspired to create this song after coming across a social media post of his previous commander LCol. Christopher Stewardson.

The post led Right to discover that in 1998 Stewardson, then a lieutenant, was deployed on a six-month peacekeeping mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Operation Palladium. During this operation, Stewardson was the commander of a Cougar vehicle with Cpl. James William Ogilvie as driver and MCpl. Dan Noiseaux as a gunner.

On Aug. 31, the three soldiers were returning to Camp Maple Leaf after a four-vehicle armoured reconnaissance patrol, when the vehicle lost control. The Cougar veered off the road, flipped several times and ended up falling down an embankment. Cpl. Ogilvie was ejected from the vehicle and tragically succumbed to his injuries.

Right was deeply impacted by not only the story but the effect it had on Stewardson, all these years later.

“He’s still suffering because he was the commander of this Cougar. So, he takes it very personally. He lost a soldier,” said Right.

Right reached out to Stewardson and shared his idea of writing a song to honour the memory of Cpl. Ogilvie.

“He was touched and honoured, and I spoke to him for a bit..aside from what I read I just wanted to hear what he had to say about it, and what he told me kind of ended up being the lyrics of the song,” recalled Right.

With musician Mark Powney as soloist, and musician Nichelle Wong singing backup vocals, along with the regimental band, “Going Home” was debuted at the regimental memorial dinner, led by the GGHG Director of Music, Capt. P.J. VanAuken CD, AdeC on Friday, Nov 04, 2016.

Throughout this journey, Right believes Capt. Arjeh Van der Sluis, CD, and LCol Scott Duncan, CD AdeC, Commanding Officer GGHG have played a crucial role in providing support and encouragement.

The lyricist hopes that the song may be a source of comfort to others who may be suffering from Operational Stress Injuries like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has certainly found it, personally, to be a source of comfort and healing since the passing of his father’s, Harold, death in June of last year.

“It’s my hope that this helps those who were involved and other soldiers because I think it could be anyone,” stated Right.

Right believes the song resonates with all those that have served in the military.

“It’s a universal song of giving hope, of going home to my family. The chorus is very powerful,” said Right.

Besides describing the events that transpired on that tragic day, the song also gives comfort through lyrics like “Next time you look up into the sky, remember I’m there by your side.”

“Just the meaning behind that is: I know you’re grieving, but I want you to know I’m here with you. Even though I’m not physically there, I’m here spiritually for you,” noted Right.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine