The boys came home

Cul­ture Sum­mer­side an­nounces new project

Journal Pioneer - - PRINCE COUNTY - BY MILLICENT MCKAY [email protected]­nalpioneer.com

Cul­ture Sum­mer­side is again bring­ing at­ten­tion to the sol­diers of the Great War.

In 2016, Cul­ture Sum­mer­side ran a project about the mem­bers of C Com­pany of the 105th bat­tal­ion who trained in Sum­mer­side in 1916.

Now, the cur­rent project, “1919 – P.E.I. Sol­diers Re­turn from the Great War,” will in­clude a lec­ture se­ries, com­mem­o­ra­tive event and the cre­ation of a book­let with as­sis­tance of cre­ative writ­ers and vol­un­teer re­searchers.

“It’s all about show­ing peo­ple in the com­mu­nity what was go­ing on 100 years ago, in this area,” said Jean MacKay, an ar­chiv­ist and cu­ra­to­rial as­sis­tant with Cul­ture Sum­mer­side.

While many wounded or oth­er­wise dis­charged sol­diers ar­rived home in 1917 and 1918, the ma­jor­ity of Cana­dian troops (over 267,0000 were still in France and Great Bri­tain when the armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1919, de­mo­bi­liza­tion took place and Is­lan­ders could look for­ward to com­ing home.

“This project is based on the 100th an­niver­sary of when those men came home. We want peo­ple to know that while there was the an­tic­i­pa­tion of get­ting the men home, there were also fam­i­lies

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it all cul­mi­nat­ing into the fi­nal event as well as the other lit­tle part that play to­gether in the project.”

Jean MacKay

that were joy­ous to be re­united and oth­ers that were dev­as­tated be­cause their loved one didn’t come home and are buried over­seas. That’s why we have places like Vimy Ridge and Menin Gate.” The 2019 project is funded by the Depart­ment of Cana­dian Her­itage. MacKay said re­ceiv­ing fund­ing was a year in the mak­ing.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it all cul­mi­nat­ing into the fi­nal event as well as the other lit­tle part that play to­gether in the project.”

Cur­rently, vol­un­teers are be­ing sought to take part in re­search by read­ing on mi­cro­film sev­eral Is­land news­pa­pers that ex­isted in 1918-1919. The find­ings will act as the back­bone of the in­for­ma­tion book­let that will be pub­lished in recog­ni­tion of the re­turn of the sol­diers. A sec­tion of the book­let will also con­tain se­lec­tions of cre­ative writ­ing to be in­spire by images found in the news­pa­pers.

In ad­di­tion, a lec­ture se­ries is be­ing planned for late spring. One pre­sen­ter, Louise Mor­ris, who has done ex­ten­sive re­search on mem­bers of the 105th Bat­tal­ion will pro­vide some his­tory on the men of C Com­pany, who were mainly from Prince County.

The project will cul­mi­nate in a pub­lic event on Sun­day, May 26, with an em­pha­sis on com­mem­o­rat­ing the re­turn of the largest group of re­turned sol­diers, who re­turned on May 18, 1919. The af­ter­noon will in­clude mu­sic, drama, the book­let launch and serve as a last­ing re­minder of the year the sol­diers of the Great War came home.

Those in­ter­ested in vol­un­teers can call 9020-432-1332 or email ar­[email protected]­mer­side.pe.ca.

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