Today’s Cumberland Soldier of the Week is Mi’kmaw Elder Doug Knockwood of Newville Lake, N.S!
Doug Knockwood was born on December 11th 1929 in Springhill, N.S. He was raised in Newville Lake by his parents and grandfather. When he was 5 years old, he was forced to enrol into the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School by the Federal Government. For the next year and a half, before his father managed to get him out of the school, Doug experienced physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of the teachers and staff. This experience was not uncommon for many indigenous children across Canada.
While serving as a Springhill Army Reservist in 1949, Knockwood joined the regular force out of a desire to serve in the Korean War. He would join the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade, but was discharged before making it to Korea for medical reasons. Once he was well again, he enlisted and was sent to serve in Germany as a member of the Black Watch. Elder Knockwood was eventually discharged again as he came down with tuberculosis, but not before proudly serving his country.
He went on to lead an extraordinary life, beating tuberculosis multiple times, overcoming alcoholism and addiction, and healing from his childhood as a Residential school survivor.
Elder Knockwood passed in 2018 at the age of 88. We thank him for his passion and service. We will remember him!