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Here at Museum Strathroy-Caradoc we have had a very busy summer so far even though it seems like it just started!  We are working on two projects right now that have created much interest in the community.

Sir Arthur Currie Project:  As some of you already know, we were awarded a grant from the federal government in order to fund the creation of a travelling exhibit about one of Strathroy’s most famous natives, General Sir Arthur Currie.  This exhibit will highlight Currie’s life as he lived it in Strathroy, his efforts in World War One and his life in Montreal.  We are currently working with our partners to create a semblance of a “creeping barrage,” one of the military tactics for which Currie was reknowned.  A creeping barrage is an artillary barrage that slowly “creeps” up the field of  battle towards the enemy lines. The primary usage of the creeping barrage is to  create cover for the soon-to-be advancing soldiers rather then kill enemy  troops.  For a history of how the creeping barrage was used, click here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.S. Williams Collection: As mentioned previously in a blog posting in November, the R.S. Williams Collection was discovered above a local business in Strathroy, ON.  Since its discovery, we have received $1000 from the provincial government in order to help clean and properly store the negatives.  Using guides from the Canadian Conservation Institute, we will be cleaning and storing the first 1000 negatives.  Varying in size, these negatives will be cleaned using a 4-step process.  Using three wash tubs, the neagtives will be placed in three different solutions: distilled water, distilled water and ethanol, and distilled water and PhotoFlo.  The distilled water is used so that minerals from regular do not damage the emulsion on the glass.  The ethanol helps to remove any dirt or grime that has affixed itself to the emulsion and/or glass over the years.  Finally, the PhotoFlo helps to prevent streaking.  Once the negatives have been treated in all three formulas, they are placed vertically in a drying rack, being careful to lean only the glass side of the negative against the rack.  This whole process will take about 8 1/2 hours per negative.

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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

James Kellestine 802040

James was born on June 12, 1880 to Warren and Lavina Kallestine. He grew up on Metcalfe Street in Strathroy and worked at the Strathroy Furniture Factory.  He was married in November of 1910 to Grace Odell and had 3 children before he headed to war.  He enlisted on November 27, 1915 with no military experience and commenced training at Camp Borden in July of the following year.  He embarked from Halifax to Liverpool England in August 1916 with the 135th battalion on the S.S. Olympic. 

When James Kellestine made out his will in August of 1916, Asa John Patterson was a witness. 

During the war he fought in different battalions in France and was killed in Action on April 9, 1917 at Vimy Ridge at the age of 37. 

The Age May 10 1917 Kellestine notice

He is buried at the Nine Elms Military Cemetery in Thelus France.

After his death his mother received a certificate of service and his widow received the memorial plaque and scroll and the memorial cross.  He is honoured on the Strathroy Cenotaph.   

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

Asa John Patterson 802074

Asa John was born on October 21, 1895 to Martha Patterson, and he lived at R.R. #2 Longwoods Road.  He enlisted on November 26, 1915 and his attestation papers state that he was a student. He also had prior military training with the 26th Regiment (Middlesex Light Infantry) whose headquarters were in Strathroy.  He left Halifax for Liverpool, England in August 1916 with the 135th battalion on the S.S. Olympic

During his time overseas he was transferred to two different battalions, the 134th and the 15th. 

He was killed in action in the attack at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917 and buried at the Nine Elms Military Cemetery  in Thelus, France.

After his death his mother received a memorial plaque and scroll, and the memorial cross. He is honoured on the Memorial Wall at the Caradoc Community Centre, and on both the Mount Brydges and Strathroy Cenotaphs. He also is commemorated on the Memorial Window at St. John the Evangelist Church in Strathroy.

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

Below is a comment from John Sargeant requesting information on Asa John Patterson.

Charles Perring 802719 

Charles was born to Mrs. Amelia Perring of Walworth South East England on March 4, 1895. When he enlisted on January 14, 1916 he was living in Mount Brydges as a farm labourer.    

On August 22, 1916 he embarked from Halifax to Liverpool England with the 135th battalion on the S.S. Olympic.  During his time overseas he was transferred to a number of different battalions, including the 134th and the 15th

The photo to the left shows Perring on the left with other Strathroy Boys in the 135th.

To further his skills as a soldier he was sent to Grenade School in February 1917.  He continued fighting until that fateful day on April 9, 1917 when he was killed in action in the attack southwest of Thelus, France. He was 22. 

He is buried at the Nine Elms Military Cemetery in Thelus, France.  After his death his mother received a memorial plaque and scroll, and the memorial cross (see below).  He is also honoured in the community on the Mount Carmel Church Shield – Our Heroes, the Mount Brydges and Strathroy Cenotaph, and the Memorial Wall in the Caradoc Community Centre.

 
 

Museum Strathroy Caradoc Collection
For more information please visit the Strathroy Cenotaph website created by John Sargeant.
 
 

Last Saturday was the 94th anniversary of Vimy Ridge.  This First World War battle was fought between April 9 and 12, 1917, in the west of France, with 3,598 Canadian soldiers killed and 10,602 wounded.  This year’s anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge is the end of an era, with no surviving WWI veterans in Canada.  Vimy marked the first time all four Canadian divisions fought on the same battlefield.  They were led by Strathroy-native Sir Arthur William Currie, who was the first Canadian-appointed commander of the Canadian Corps.  For the month of April there will be a display on Vimy associated with the Currie items on loan from the Canadian War Museum.

 

All this month we will honour 5 Strathroy area soldiers who lost their life at Vimy; John Brown, Charles Perring,  James Kellestine, Asa John Patterson, and Cyril Lowe.

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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