Top News

Grand Bank native enjoying lead role with Royal Newfoundland Regiment

Lt. Col. Kevin Bond represented the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s Second Battalion at a ceremony in Turkey last year commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
Lt. Col. Kevin Bond represented the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s Second Battalion at a ceremony in Turkey last year commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.

Lt. Col. Kevin Bond’s time as commander of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s Second Battalion has been a reel of highlights.

The Grand Bank native took over the position in January 2015, right in the midst of the 100th anniversary of the First World War, which lasted from 1914 to 1919.

“I’ve been fortunate, I guess, as commanding officer, that I get to lead the unit for the centennial, for pretty much most of the World War One battles,” he said.

“That only comes around once in a lifetime and I get to be the guy doing it.”

Lt. Col. Kevin Bond and Princess Anne shared a laugh during a ceremony this summer in Corner Brook where the Royal Family member presented the Royal Newfoundland Regiment’s Second Battalion with new colours.

Twice last year Bond represented the regiment for ceremonies in Turkey, one in April commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, and again in September, as part of a delegation from the province marking the centennial of the regiment’s landing during the conflict.

Bond was also involved in coordinating Princess Anne’s visit to Corner Brook this summer.

The Royal Family member, the regiment’s colonel-in-chief, presented new colours – featuring three new battle honours – to the Second Battalion during a formal military ceremony at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus June 29.

Bond, who said the event brought together soldiers from across the province, called it the pinnacle of his career. Princess Anne’s visit also marked the kickoff of centennial commemorations for the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel.

“It was pretty big for us and pretty big for me,” Bond said.

Military history

Bond has family ties to the military, including his father Clarence, but he went to university after high school. A chemist by trade, he joined the Reserve Forces’ 56th Field Engineer Squadron in 1995 while working with College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in St. John’s. Through training, he became an engineering officer.

At one point around 1997, he thought he was headed for the Regular Force, but wound up relocating to the CNA campus in Corner Brook for work and switching to an infantry officer with the Second Battalion.

Bond’s military career has involved him in domestic operations dealing with major storms and the fallout of 9-11, as well as training others for deployments overseas.

“I like the structure of the army,” Bond said.

For Remembrance Day this Friday Bond will present a wreath on behalf of the regiment at the war memorial in Corner Brook.

Veterans of the World War One and the Second World War will always be a focus of Remembrance Day, but Bond acknowledged recent history has added to the observance.

On Nov. 11, his thoughts are with fallen soldiers like Cpl. Brian Pinksen, a member of the Second Battalion, who was wounded by an IED while on patrol in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar in 2010 and died shortly after from his injuries.

“For me personally, I remember the soldiers that we’ve sent over to Afghanistan for the most part,” he said.

pherridge@southerngazette.ca

Recent Stories