Colby-curtis is ready for summer
The Annual General Meeting of the Stanstead Historical Society will take place on Saturday, June 14th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Colby-Curtis Museum, 535 DufferinStreet, Stanstead. Our invited speaker this year will be the well-known military historian, Dr. Desmond Morton,whose talk, entitled “So… What did Townshippers do in the Great War, Daddy?” will complement one of our two summer exhibitions, both of which will open on the same day as the General Meeting, June 14th.
The exhibition “Remembering our soldiers of the Great War,” will explore the fate of the men from Stanstead whoenlisted and served on the Western Front, and the importance of ritualized commemoration in the years that followed. It will be mounted in the upstairs rooms of the museum. Our second summer exhibitions, also opening on June 14th and appropriately mounted in the ‘Doctor’s Office’, will be entitled “Rural Medicine in StansteadCounty.” It presents rural medicine as seen through the practices of three Stanstead doctors: Dr. Moses French Colby, who practiced in the border area from 1821 to 1855; his grandson, Dr. John Child Colby (1908-1928);and the recently retired Dr. Gilles Bouchard (1963-2013)
Dr. Morton’s lecture will tell the story of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles: the principal unit from the Townships that served in the First World War. This cavalry unit was originally raised to replace British troops defending Egypt from the Turks but it was soon converted to an infantryunit for service on the Western Front. The commanding officer was the Conservative M.P. for Brome, George Baker. He and half the regiment were killed or severely wounded at the battle of Mont Sorrel, on June 2nd 1916. Baker was the only sitting Member of Parliament killed in the war. The regiment survived through reinforcements and remained part of the 3rd Canadian Division until theend of the war, suffering heavy losses at Passchendaele in 1917 and during the 100 Day Offensive that ended the waron November 11th 1918.