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Mount Brydges Soldiers Monument

In the early part of the year 1919 a special meeting of the ratepayers of the Township of Caradoc was called by the Reeve, James Peters.  The town of Mount Brydges was considering erecting a memorial in the form of a building or other structure in honor and memory of the men of the Township of Caradoc who had enlisted in any armed forces during the Great War of 1914-18.  It the desire of the people of Caradoc to honour the memory of those who had made the supreme sacrifice in defence of freedom, so dear to the hearts of all British subjects.  The meeting was presided over by the Reeve while the township clerk, John Brodie, was asked to act as secretary. After long and interesting discussion it was decided to appoint a committee to further consider the matter and report to a later meeting.

At the second meeting the committee recommended that a monument be erected on the grounds in Mount Brydges on which the town hall was located and that the names of all those from the township of Caradoc who had given their lives in the war should be engraved thereon. It was further recommended that a marble tablet be placed in the town hall on which should be inscribed the names of all the men and women who had served in any way.

Early in June 1920 this committee was able to report that the monument was completed. The statue surmounting the pedestal had been obtained from Italy. The names of all those from Caradoc who paid the supreme sacrifice were engraved on the base.

The unveiling was held June 16,1920.

Unveiling Soldiers Monument Mount Brydges

Unveiling Soldiers Monument Mount Brydges

Researched and written by John Sargeant

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For the next few months I will be focusing on artifacts that are on display in our current exhibition “Quilts and Coverlets: Piecing Stories Together”.  This month we will be looking at the Loom.

Full view of Loom

Full view of Loom

This working two-harness counter balance loom’s main purpose today is to make rugs.  It is also called a barn loom and it is the tradition type of large floor loom used around the world.  The history of this loom has passed down through 5 generations and a short summary is below.

It was originally built for Amerilla Graves, possibly by one of her brothers, shortly after she married John C. Robinson in 1856.  The loom had four harnesses at that time, and was used to weave homespun fabric for clothing and blankets.  It was used in their home located at Lot 14, Concession 7 Caradoc Twp.  Twelve children were born to the couple before John’s death in 1884 at the age of 48.  Before Amerilla died in 1913, the loom was moved to the home of her second youngest child, Maud Hunter.

In 1900 Maud married Eli Hunter, a dairy farmer, and lived on Victoria St. in Strathroy.  By this time, two harnesses were removed from the loom and it was only used for making floor mats.  Two of the Hunter children, Roy and Lucy, wove mats alongside their parents, and hundreds of yards were woven and sold.

After Maud died in 1929, the loom was used by her second child, Lucy, who married John Everett Hambly in 1927.  The loom was moved to Lucy’s home on English Street in 1934.  Lucy’s son Bill and two grandchildren, also learned to weave on the loom.  It remained in Lucy’s possession until she died in 1980.

It was donated to the museum in 1980 by Lucy’s grandchildren and restored in 1998 by Hans von der Recke of Katesville Woodcraft.

Currently the Strathroy Pioneer Treadlers, Spinners and Weavers Guild use the loom.   For more information on this group see their blog

Rug being made on loom

Rug being made on loom

Coming next month: The Ontario Quilt

John Brown 54333

The Brown brothers, Walter, John and Leonard — were members of Mount Carmel Methodist Church who served in the First World War. Of these three Caradoc natives, only Walter and Leonard would return home.

John was born on December 18, 1895 in Mount Brydges to Elizabeth and Robert Brown.  His enlistment forms, signed in January 1915, state he was a farmer with no previous military experience.

By April 18, 1915 he was sailing from Halifax on the S.S. Grampian, on his way to England.  He had only been in England for one month when he came down with the measles and had to stay at Moore Barracks Shorncliffe Kent to recuperate.  By September of the same year he was en route to France to serve in the Machine Gun Corp 4th Company.  After fighting for more than a year he was admitted to # 18 General Hospital in Camiers France in November 1916, where he stayed until January of the following year with P.U.O. (pyrexia or fever).  

He re-joined his unit January 17, 1917 and was promptly promoted to Corporal.  He continued fighting until that fateful day on April 9, 1917 when he was killed at the age of 21. 

He is listed on the Vimy Memorial in France.  His mother received a copper ‘death penny’ and scroll from King George in honour of John’s service. These pennies were a standard token of appreciation given to family members of those who perished in the war.  His mother also received a Memorial Cross and a C.E.F. Mothers in Sacrifice Medal.  He is honoured in the community on the Mount Brydges Honour Roll, and both the Strathroy and Mount Brydges Cenotaph.

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 For more information please visit the Strathroy Cenotaph website created by John Sargeant

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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