In commemoration of Remembrance Day, the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre (BCM&CC) has launched a series of short educational videos online, produced in collaboration with The Young Canuckstorian Project team and the 340 Griffin Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
The collection of resources was produced as part of a project titled Young Canuckstorian: Bruce Remembers. The launch includes six commemorative video vignettes that highlight the experiences of First World War Bruce County soldiers, nurses and women on the home front, as reflected in their diaries and letters that are housed in the BCM&CC Archives.
Working with Young Canuckstorian project founder Mickey Maple and BCM&CC Archives staff, the Cadets wrote and voiced scripts for the videos, which include details of daily life during the war—experiences in the trenches, on the front lines, in training camps, and in respite or recovery in nearby towns and villages. The program encourages young people to learn and love history, and inspires research and a connection with local heritage.
“The great achievements of Canadian soldiers on battlefields such as Ypes, Vimy and Passchendaele ignited a sense of national pride and confidence that Canada could stand on its own apart from the British Empire on the world stage,” said project founder Mickey Maple. “From those amazing stories of achievements and from the personal human side of things are the stories that happened in our own back yard. Many of those stories have been lost, however local county Archives have done their best to preserve these stories with documents and artifacts that allow us to go back in time. Many people have asked me what was the inspiration for the Young Canuckstorian project. The inspiration for me was from a poem written by a surgeon from Guelph on the battlefield at Ypes in World War I …
“There are many people who worked tirelessly behind this scenes to make this project happen,” added Maple. “The Museum, Deb and her staff in the Archives and our generous sponsors. But I have to personally thank Cadet Flt. Sgt. Rob Hope, Cadet Cpl Elliot, Cadet Cpl Mba, Cadet Cpl. Little and Cadet Flt. Cpl. Toby. You have not only taken part in the project to preserve histories of these great men and women but to teach us and many future generations of their importance to Canada and Bruce County. You are Canuckstorians and to you, we throw the torch.”
The videos premiered in a private screening at the BCM&CC on Friday, November 10th with cadets, their families, Legion members and dignitaries from all three tiers of government in attendance.
Ben Lobb MP Huron-Bruce, who has twice been the reviewing officer for the 340 Griffin Air Cadets, commended the Squadron for its expanding numbers. “This is one of the largest Squadrons in our region and I am always happy to be asked to do the review. Congratulations on this very worth endeavour.”
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson told of her two great uncles who returned from the war but, like so many others, would not talk about their experiences. “It’s through generous sponsorship, caring partners and a Museum that rivals its rivals and leads by example in so many different ways, that we are breaking strides to let people know because it matters. People need to be aware of what it means to remember.”
Bruce County Warden, Chris Peabody, a former teacher told the cadets that “When you are out in the world looking for a job, I can tell you that on a resume when you include being a Cadet, it’s like having a gold stamp and it will open doors for you in the future. On behalf of Bruce County Council, thank you for this wonderful project.”
Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau said that tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we will reflect on all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and defending our way of life that we have today. We remember those individuals who were part of their units and the broader group they represent who fought in wars because it’s important to reflect on their sacrifices and it’s our obligation to ensure future generations remember. We also thank that Museum and Archive staff for undertaking this important work.”
The videos are available for viewing online after November 10 at brucemuseum.ca and on The Young Canuckstorian Project YouTube channel. Visit bruceremembers.org for more information on Bruce County soldiers who fought in WWI.
A special thank you to Young Canuckstorian: Bruce Remembers project sponsors – Veterans Affairs Canada’s Commemorative Partnership Program, Royal Canadian Legion Walkerton Branch, Royal Canadian Legion Tobermory Branch, and Peter Meyer, in memory of his mother.
About Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre: The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre offers adult and children’s programming, special events, and is home to the Bruce County Archives & Research Room. Our mandate is to preserve and make available the documentary heritage of Bruce County.