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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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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.

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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