‘Won­der­ful piece of his­tory to find’

First World War hon­our roll dis­cov­ered in Waterville church at­tic be­ing re­stored, pre­served

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

A “mar­velous piece of his­tory” with great sig­nif­i­cance to the com­mu­nity of Waterville was re­cently dis­cov­ered and is be­ing pre­served.

Waterville Bap­tist Church clerk Ruby Lawrence said it was by chance that a First World War hon­our roll was found in the church at­tic this past Au­gust. A man do­ing in­su­la­tion work saw it and told lo­cal his­to­rian Randy Rock­well about the dis­cov­ery.

Rock­well con­tacted Lawrence about it and she told one of the church trustees. On in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the doc­u­ment, nearly a cen­tury old, was lo­cated and re­cov­ered.

There is an hon­our roll al­ready in the church with First and Sec­ond World War vet­er­ans named on it, she said. The “amaz­ing thing” about the First World War hon­our roll found in the at­tic is that it names the sol­diers, gives their dates of en­list­ment, their bat­tal­ions and ranks. There are as­ter­isks by the names of those sol­diers who died in ser­vice to Canada.

“It was a great, won­der­ful piece of his­tory to find,” Lawrence said. “We brought it to the church and it was de­cided that we would give it to the Aca­dia Archives so that it can be re­stored and pre­served for­ever for ev­ery­one to see. They were quite ec­static to get it.”

She said the hon­our roll had some wa­ter stains and other mi­nor da­m­ages but over­all it was in pretty good shape and every name was leg­i­ble. This might not have been the case if it had spent much more time in the church at­tic.

Lawrence said the Aca­dia Archives would re­store and pre­serve the doc­u­ment and give a dig­i­tized copy to the church.

“It’s good for your heart to know that it’s be­ing pre­served af­ter all these men fought and died, some of them,” Lawrence said.

She said the tim­ing of the dis­cov­ery couldn’t be bet­ter. The cen­ten­nial of the end of the First World War is next year and the com­mu­nity is in the process of con­struct­ing a mon­u­ment in hon­our of those who served erected by the post of­fice. Pas­tor Christina Bigelow got the ball rolling on the ini­tia­tive and a com­mit­tee has been formed. Lawrence said they hope to have the mon­u­ment ded­i­cated next year.

Lawrence, who is also a Royal Cana­dian Le­gion mem­ber, said she hopes ev­ery­one re­al­izes the sac­ri­fices made by our vet­er­ans and to hon­our them every day, not only on Re­mem­brance Day.

As she said at the con­clu­sion of a mes­sage she de­liv­ered at a Re­mem­brance ser­vice at the church on Nov. 5 called Real Heroes, those “five lit­tle words” that per­haps mean more than any­thing to our vet­er­ans are “thank you for your ser­vice.”

“Maybe we don’t re­al­ize it but to them, it does mean so much to know that they are rec­og­nized for what they have gone through,” Lawrence said.


Cather­ine Fancy of the Aca­dia Univer­sity Archives, Waterville his­to­rian Randy Rock­well and Waterville Bap­tist Church clerk Ruby Lawrence with a First World War “Roll of Honor” dis­cov­ered re­cently in the church at­tic.

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