Liberation of Bergen Belsen
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Kenneth Curry – Royal Canadian Air Force

Kenneth Dennis Curry, January 21, 1923 – August 6, 2017 , Calgary, Alberta, Canada

It is with great sadness that the Markle and Curry families announce the passing of Kenneth Curry on August 6, 2017, at the age of 93. Kenneth was born in Lodzia, Poland and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church under the name Kazimierz Carol Ciura. The Ciura family immigrated to Canada with Kenneth (Kazimierz) in August 1928. Ken grew up on a farm with his brothers Karl and Walter and sisters Angela, Wanda and Helen in Glenella and McCreary, Manitoba. Anxious to join his buddies and brothers in the war effort, Ken joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on February 2, 1943. He saw action in Europe and was awarded the C.V.S.M. with Clasp and the France and Germany Star. Ken was part of the liberation of Holland where he often talked about the kindness of the Dutch people and the way they treated their Canadian liberators.

While serving in Germany during the final stages of the war Ken was one of the liberators of the Bergen-Belsen Death Camp where they found more than 10,000 unburied dead. Although Ken did not talk much about his war experiences, he did often mention the time whereby he noticed movement during the burial of these victims and, due to his quick actions, he was able to save a 16 year old female from the mass burial and delightedly stated that she was helping out in the kitchen just three weeks later. Because of his ability to speak both Polish and German, Ken went on to work with the Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence service hunting escaping Nazi SS criminals by interviewing concentration camp victims. This work led him to transfer from the RCAF to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in October 1948 whereby he worked in the counter espionage wing of the RCMP from 1948 to 1956. He had many high-profile cases including collaborating with fellow RCMP members and the CIA to uncover a mole working in the RCMP. “James Morrison” known as Long Knife, who in 1955 sold out a Canadian double agent to the Soviets for $3,500.00 (about a year’s wages for a Mountie at the time).

Ken left the counter espionage branch of the RCMP in 1956 after being promoted in rank and went on to run three RCMP detachments in Melville, Yorkton and Esterhazy Saskatchewan. Many exploits of this part of his career are notable including his investigation of a murder case which resulted in the capture of a serial killer. He also represented the RCMP at a First Nations Treaty Ceremony with Sitting Bull’s Grandson representing the First Nations Band. After retiring from the RCMP in 1966, Ken moved to an acreage outside of Sherwood Park, Alberta where he lived happily until recently, due to ill heath, he moved in with his son David Curry and daughter-in-law Jan. Ken’s last days were at the Colonel Belcher care facility where he often said he felt honoured to be spending his last days with veterans of the RCMP and the Armed Forces. Ken was predeceased by his loving wife Rose Marie, of 60 years, his sons Stephen and Kevin. Ken is survived by daughter Deanna Markle, granddaughters Amy/Mike, Stefanie and (deceased Kevin) grandson Jean, granddaughter Tina, and son David/Jan Curry, grandsons Jason/ Shawna, Tyler, Myles and Darrin, brother Walter and sister Helen Carsted.

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This archive has been established after my own relative, Reg Price, took part in the liberation and subsequent humanitarian effort of Bergen Belsen in April 1945. Reg produced this famous sign at Belsen. As part of the 113th DLI, Reg and his comrades were at Belsen for 5 weeks and left when the last hut was empty and ceremonially burnt down. This archive compiles all available resources to build a lasting tribute to all the men and women who helped - any unit, any nationality. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love you to please get in touch. Email us: you Nick Price CreativesFacebookTwitter