Remembrance Day is approaching and we all know it’s going to look different this year. But Peachland Legion president Jean Saul says a project they’re working on with the local Rotary will serve as a public reminder of our town’s sacrifice during war.
For months, they’ve been researching and working on 21 white crosses, each commemorating a Peachland soldier lost during the
First and Second World Wars. And on Nov. 4, a small group including Legion President Jean Saul gathered at the Field of Crosses they created for a short, but meaningful service.
“We had to do a fair bit of research,” says Saul of researching the names and ages on each cross.
“Some of them we could not find a date of death, some of them we couldn’t find an age…but it will recognize all 21 people whose names are inscribed on the cenotaph, and they were all Peachlanders.”
Peachland, as you may know, has the sad distinction of losing the most men per capita of any Canadian town during the First World War. During the ceremony, Saul reminded those gathered they were young
people with their whole lives ahead when they died.
“Take a look at their names. Their ages,” she said.
Here they are:
Sgt. Harold Birkett
Pte. Frank Chapman
Corporal William Dryden
Pte. Ernest McKay
Pte. John Morrison
Pte. Charles Needham
Pte. George Neeham
Pte. Norman Pope
Lance Cpl. Alex Seaton
Pte. Archie Seaton
Pte. Emmett Shaw
Pte. Charles Sutherland
Pte. Arthur Theobald
Pte. Herbert Vivian
Private Royal Edwin Bartee
Warrant Officer 2 Raymond Hathaway Wilson
Flying Officer Frederick Henry Mills
Flying Officer George Robert Pringle
Pte. Robert Laidlaw
Pte. Harry Urquhart
The Legion’s last two bottle drives have been huge successes! A whopping 41,988 bottles, cans and refundable containers were dropped off at the IGA July 11. That means the Legion raised $4,101.58. And their Sept 12 bottle drive raised almost $3,900. That money goes towards helping other groups in the community. Dozens of hard-working volunteers put in long hours for those donations! The Legion wants to thank all Peachlanders for their support.
About the Legion:
We will never forget, and the Peachland Legion Branch #69 plays an essential role in ensuring our town knows and appreciates the sacrifice of all veterans. They do a lot more than hand out poppies and provide veterans’ support – in addition to their important role during Remembrance Day, the Legion contributes to many local groups. Most recently, they made a donation towards the repair of the historic mural across from Heritage Park, which was damaged by vandals.
Earlier this year, the Legion commemorated the 75th anniversary of Canadian Troops liberating Holland, which happened on May 2, 1945 – an occasion especially poignant as we lose more of our veterans from those years.
Legion President: Jean Saul
Branch phone number: (250) 767-9100
See Nov 6 story More info on Remembrance Day in Peachland
See Oct 13 story Only 50 allowed at this year’s indoor Remembrance Day ceremony
See May 4 story Tulips and troubling times: How is the Legion doing?