Wayne VanVolkenburg writes:
This is a photo of Verdon Badgley, the cousin that I never got to meet. He is lying down, second from the right, front row. Verdon's mother was Theda VanVolkenburg, my aunt, from north of Cordova. His father died Oct. 21, 1918 and Verdon was born on Oct. 11, 1918. So Verdon lived with his grandparents at the farm north of Cordova for a period of time, while his mother looked for employment in Oshawa. He was living at the farm at the time of the 1921 census. His mother remarried on Nov. 5, 1921 and likely Verdon moved to Oshawa shortly after and lived there until he joined the military.
This photo was taken in Italy in 1944, just days before his death near the Coriano Ridge during the Battle of the Rimini Line. He had enlisted on 22 July 1940 at Toronto with the 2nd Canadian Motorcycle Regiment, serving with the Governor General's Horse Guard, a regiment that has been serving Canada as a reserve regiment continuously since World War II. It was in 1941 that the regiment lost its horses to become a mechanized regiment of tanks.
The Gradara War Cemetery is located between Pesaro and Riccione, Italy. There are 1,191 commonwealth burials at this location.