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Remembrance Day Remembrance Day Services in the Elk Valley

Friday, November 11 Come out and honour our veterans Fernie, BC: Royal Canadian Legion Branch #36 10:30 a.m. Parade form up at the Legion 10:40 a.m. Parade marches to the Cenotaph 10:55 a.m. Cenotaph Service begins 11:00 a.m. Two Minute Wave of Silence begins 11:20 a.m. Parade re-forms and marches back to Legion An Ecumenical service will follow in the Legion Hall.

Sparwood, BC: Royal Canadian Legion Branch #81 10:00 a.m. Church Service, seniors drop-in centre at 101 Pine Avenue 10:45 a.m. Parade formation after service 10:55 a.m. Cenotaph Ceremony, march back to the drop-in centre, hot chocolate for the participating youth. Snacks at Michel-Natal Branch 81, 117 Centennial Square.

Elkford, BC: 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

Church Service, Alliance Church, 1803 Alpine Drive Parade formation after service Cenotaph Ceremony Light luncheon to follow at United Steelworkers of America Hall 12 Water, Elkford

Lest We Forget On November 11th, we pause to remember those who have served and are currently serving our country both at home and overseas. We will never forget.

Lest We Forget


THE FREE PRESS, Thursday, November 10, 2011 Lest We Forget


This year, for the first time in Canada, British Columbians can use their mobile phones to text donations to the Legion’s Poppy Funds.

“For many years, British Columbians have been proudly wearing their poppies and showing they remember,” says Jim Howard of Vancouver’s Poppy Fund. “This year we’ve added a new and easy way for you to give.”

“You simply text the word POPPY to 20222, reply YES to confirm, and a $5 donation will be added to your mobile phone bill,” explains Howard. “We receive 100% of the donation.”

The mobile giving program, made popular by disaster relief efforts in Haiti and Japan, is

part of a brand revitalization project at The Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command. Newly appointed Executive Director, Inga Kruse says the Legion is giving their brand a facelift that includes the introduction of new technology and new, more modern ways for supporters to remember, join and give. “We want people to know we’re more than a social club,” explains Kruse. “Any Canadian over the age of 18 can join the Legion—you don’t have to be ex-military.”


For years, you’ve supported the Legion. And proudly wore your poppy. This fall, a new generation of veterans are returning home, and your gift has never been so important. Veterans will turn to the Legion for affordable housing, career counseling & trauma relief. And we’ll be there with your support. Simply text the word “POPPY” to 20222 on your mobile phone and $5 will be sent directly to the Legion’s Poppy Funds.

The Legion in BC has 65,000 members, contributes $6.5 million to community programs each year and Legion members volunteer over 600,000 hours annually. One of the key programs that benefits from poppy fundraising is the Veterans’ Transition Program at the University of British Columbia, where returning veterans can receive free support, counseling and trauma relief as they transition home and back to civilian life.


R e m e m b e R.

J o i n.

All photos by Jenna Jensen and The Free Press photo files.

Guardian First Aid Service LTD Phone: 250-865-2650 Cell: 250-425-5946 Fax: 250-865-2652 Email:

Remembering and honouring those who have served us.

Legion BC Text to Donate Ad Publication: the Province Size: 9 col x 50 lines - B/W

G i v e.

THE FREE PRESS Thursday, November 10, 2011


Lest We Forget

World War One Files from the Fernie Free Press and The Fernie Historical Museum May 2, 1915

NEW RECRUITS The recruiting for the 54th Kootenay Battalion during the past week has been very satisfactory and Capt. Moffatt is well pleased with the class of men who are offering themselves. About sixty have already passed their medical examiner and a number have volunteered who have not yet come before him. A number of men have been turned down owing to their teeth; in fact our contingent would have almost reached the allotted 200 if it had not been for this defect. It would seem to us as though a fund should be raised to provide dental treatment for those who are willing to offer their services to their country. It seems rather hard to expect a man to put up from $25 to $100, probably all the money he

has to secure this treatment. It has been suggested that the funds raised at the smoker this evening should be used for this purpose. And if such is the case, a liberal collection should be secured. If you cannot go yourself this will be a grand opportunity to provide a substitute who is eager to take your place. Following are the names of those who have enlisted to date: Capt. Moffatt Lt. K. C. Corasan James Stacey Thomas Slater Cooper Stevenson John Kellock Henry E. McKay Harry F. Armstrong James Allen Jack B. Harris Bernard J. L. Dufficy Robert Laurey Andrew Black John P. Gregory John L. Palmer Robert Railton

Peter Kennedy James Blakemore John A. Price Thomas Sheridan Andrew J. Corrigan Duncan J. Cody Alexander Houle George Kelly Jack Randall Chas H. Hunnable Patrick J. Joyce Wm. Forsythe George P. Eddie James Dobie Wm. Anderson Geo W. Cody Geo Y. Linn Walter Harrison R. M. McLennan Thomas Doray W. E. Duthie David Gash J. L Quaife Wm. Smith J.W. Shorthouse Wm. Wheeler Joseph Biggs Edward Moon W. H. Carson E. G. Westby

John White J. A. Fisher W. Smith F. H. Collinge Joseph Morin C. M. Sinclair R.H. Parnell Geo S. Anderson Edward Roberts


Remembered in honour of those who served.

In honour of our fallen heroes, we have contributed to the National Wall of Remembrance Association.

Cherished Memories Funeral Services Ltd.

Phone: 250-423-7944 891 4th Ave, Fernie BC


Telephone Number: 1-855-278-EKSS Emergency Number 1-250-278-EKSS


THE FREE PRESS, Thursday, November 10, 2011 Lest We Forget

Glorious Victory – Honorable Peace

Rocky Mountain Rangers (RMR’s) Coal Co. Field Harry Williams, James O’Neill, Bill McNay and Andy Walner

Fighting in World War I ended on November 11, 1918, but war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. Celebrations marking this were held across

the British Empire on July 19, 1919. In Fernie the day was marked with a large parade led by the Fernie Pipers – Messrs. Graham, Watson and MacNeil and followed by the Veterans of the District – some two hundred strong and numerous floats and bands. Fernie and District Historical Society – Fernie, B.C. Troop Train in Fernie W.”W.I. Banner on side of train reads” Cranbrook 6091 & Fernie” “Kootenay answers the call. 5 COY No 8 Platoon

In honour and remembrance of our fellow Canadians who defend our freedom. Sparwood- 250-425-7772

Fernie- 250-423-7719

May we Never Forget

250-423-1037 992 8th Ave, Fernie, BC

This Remembrance Day, remember those who made the ultimate sacrafice in the name of our freedom for our country.

THE FREE PRESS Thursday, November 10, 2011


Lest We Forget

World War Two Files from the Fernie Free Press and The Fernie Historical Museum September 18, 1940

FERNIE BOYS IN AIR RAID Jimmy Galloway writes from England of his recent experience in an air raid: “Things have been pretty quite today-only one air raid alarm so far- but sometimes they come at night and drop delayed action bombs that don’t explode for twelve or more hours. Every once in a while one goes off and they sure do some damage. I have a little camera that I took some snaps with but we can’t get these kind of pictures developed right now. Maybe later. There really isn’t much news so I’ll tell you about my first big air raid- that is, the first one that I was in the middle of and believe me I was scared. A concert party from London offered to come to our camp to entertain the boys, so a truck had to go to Sutton and pick them up on account of poor train connections. Alf. Thompson went to look after things, Tommy Biggs went for the ride, and I was driving a big 4-wheel drive ammunition truck. We picked them up alright and started back for camp about fifteen miles away. It’s all the suburbs of London around there anyway, just like a long main street, and when we got close to Croydon we could see all the people standing around and looking up in the air and then start running for shelter. Biggs looked up and there they were, about 25 big silver bombers about the size of our Trans-Canada mail planes, if not bigger.

We made a run for it but got stopped by police and had to pull in. There were six or seven women in the party and we had to find shelter for them. We got a couple of guys under the truck and took the women to a deep ditch behind a garage and then lay back to watch the scrap. The air was full of planes twisting and maneuvering, machine guns clattering and the bursts of ack ack ground defenses. Several went down in smoke, and some of the pilots bailed out safely. One Jerry went down just over the trees with smoke coming out of his tail. I thought he was going to machine-gun us but he couldn’t have seen us. This was all dive-bombing. They carry big bombs of about half a ton and just dive at the target and kind of throw the bombs at it. It’s pretty accurate too. Well, they finally fought themselves away from us and when the “all clear” came we went to camp and had the concert just the same. I had to take them back to Sutton after but we decided to take each one home and there we were, all over London till five in the morning dropping actors and actresses at their homes with a three-ton truck. They were tickled pink too. We were the first Canadians they had met and we went in and had a drink with a couple of them and one place we had a tea about three o’clock in the morning. I had a couple of peroxide blondes in the front with me and it was ‘Thumbs up’ as we English say. We were invited especially to once place by the lady who managed the show. She had two nice

daughters in it, one 11 and one about 20. They were sure fine people and had lots of nerve- they never said a word during the raid, not even the little girl, and I was plenty scared even though I couldn’t show it. I better slow down on this it’s getting too gabby. Anyway we had another big raid a couple days later and one Jerry had the nerve to come down and machinegun us. Nobody got hit me especially. When he came through the trees about fifty feet from the ground with his guns rattling and the two big yellow eyes in front looking straight at me I dived head first into a trench that was only big enough for one. There were two guys already in it but we managed comfortably. He was landing with his motor conked off and glided into a field not far from us. By the time he landed the machine gun had stopped as the rear gunner had gone west and the pilot got out with a Tommy gun. That was his final mistake. A Lewis gun makes an awful mess of a guy. Mike Stelliga came in a few minutes after this raid from some place and from where he described where one big bomb landed I thought it sounded familiar. Alf and I and Archie went that way next day and found that the place where we had taken shelter with the concert party on Thursday wasn’t there anymore. Where my truck was parked was a hole about twenty feet deep and about thirty or forty across. Well, and so ends the bedtime story. This is a dirty, dusty camp but we move again Monday for a new location and thank

goodness. I just hope I can duck long enough to get another leave to Scotland, so so long and cheerio and hope to see you all soon. Bandmaster Frank Vernon has enlisted most of the Fernie Band in the Canadian Army. Twenty-three of the boys have already been accepted. Full particulars will be published next week.

From generation to generation may we always remember those who served and continue to serve.

(250) 423-6868

We honour

and remember

our Veterans.

“Always Fresh, Always Tim Hortons.” 1701 – 9th Ave., Fernie, B.C.


THE FREE PRESS, Thursday, November 10, 2011 Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

Teachers and students acknowledge the commitment and sacrifices made by members of the Canadian military and their families on

A day to remember...

Thank you to those who sacriďŹ ced for our freedom.

250-423-9211 1492 Hwy. #3 FERNIE

Remembrance Day ...and hope for peace in the future.

a message from the fernie district teachers’ association

THE FREE PRESS Thursday, November 10, 2011


Lest We Forget

Please wear a poppy by Don Crawford, 1960’s"

Please wear a poppy," the lady said And held one forth, but I shook my head. Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there, Her face was old and lined with care; But beneath the scars the years had made There remained a smile that refused to fade. A boy came whistling down the street, Bouncing along on care-free feet. His smile was full of joy and fun, "Lady," said he, "may I have one?" When she'd pinned it on he turned to say, "Why do we wear a poppy today?" The lady smiled in her wistful way And answered, "This is Remembrance Day, And the poppy there is the symbol for The gallant men who died in war. And because they did, you and I are free That's why we wear a poppy, you see." "I had a boy about your size, With golden hair and big blue eyes. He loved to play and jump and shout, Free as a bird he would race about. As the years went by he learned and grew and became a man - as you will, too." "He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile, But he'd seemed with us such a little while When war broke out and he went away. I still remember his face that day When he smiled at me and said, Goodbye, I'll be back soon, Mom, so please don't cry." "But the war went on and he had to stay, And all I could do was wait and pray. His letters told of the awful fight, (I can see it still in my dreams at night), With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire, And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire." "Till at last, at last, the war was won And that's why we wear a poppy son." The small boy turned as if to go, Then said, "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know. That sure did sound like an awful fight, But your son - did he come back all right?" A tear rolled down each faded check; She shook her head, but didn't speak. I slunk away in a sort of shame, And if you were me you'd have done the same; For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed, Though our freedom was bought - and thousands paid! And so when we see a poppy worn, Let us reflect on the burden borne, By those who gave their very all When asked to answer their country's call That we at home in peace might live. Then wear a poppy! Remember - and give!

–akis“nuk First Nation Lower Kootenay St. Mary’s Tobacco Plains

Friday, March 20, 1942.

TOMMY ATKINSON Mr. and Mrs. Gillett of West Fernie received a letter on Monday, March 16th, from the Middle East. It was mailed on Nov. 3rd, 1941 and was intended to be a Christmas letter, as it contained greetings and a photo, in place of a Christmas card. He tells them the only Canadian he met out there was a R.A.F man, while he was in hospital some little time before writing. Tommy says he forgot the place, but it was somewhere near Fernie where he had lived before going to England in 1936. His name was Best. We say he might meet more Canadians later. They will likely be sent out to more places from now on. This snap was taken at Le Havre in France, before the evacuation. Tommy wishes to be remembered to all Coal Creek people, also West Fernie people, among whom he spent his early years. He tells the Gilletts they are in a different country at present not quite so hot but which suits him much better.

Mayor Cindy Corrigan would like to remind us all to

take time to remember the men and women who served then and serve now.

Thank You. Yesterday’s Sacrifices, Today’s Freedom.

March 29, 1945

TWO FERNIE MEN HONORED Two former Fernie boys have been honored with Distinguished Flying Crosses. They were awarded for completing various capacities, many successful operations against the enemy in which they displayed skill, fortitude and devotion to duty. They are Flight Lieutenant Allan Emmott, son of former Constable Emmott, of Fernie, and FO. W. L. Cox of Cranbrook who enlisted from Fernie.

302A 2nd Avenue, Fernie BC 250-423-7236


THE FREE PRESS, Thursday, November 10, 2011 Lest We Forget

March 30, 1945

Answers Last Roll Call On Saturday last there passed away in Calgary one of Fernie’s brightest and most promising young men in the person of Flying Officer Harold Douglas Minton, aged 23, son of the late Lieutenant Harold Minton and Mrs. Millie Minton, of Fernie. A member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, he had only been overseas a few months when he was injured in a landing accident. His injury seemed very unimportant, but later complications developed

and his case became serious. He was invalided home to Canada on the hospital ship Lady Nelson. Brought west to the Colonel Belcher Hospital at Calgary, everything that medical science could do was unveiling and he passed away on March 24th. His wife and mother went up to Calgary and remained with him until the end. Deceased was a young man of sterling character, loved and respected by all who knew him. With the exception of a short time when the family resided in Nelson, he spent all his life in Fernie. He was particularly active in High School affairs during his student days and was an outstanding member of the debating team. He was married on January 1st 1944, to Ada Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Littler, of this city. The funeral was held in Fernie on Tuesday from Christ Church, the beautiful service being conducted by Archdeacon B. A. Resker, of Kimberley. It was most impressive and the church was crowded to the doors.

The floral offerings were numerous and very beautiful. In the funeral procession was a contingent from the local branch of the Canadian Legion, a firing squad from the Rocky Mountain Rangers, and a bugler from the High School Air Cadets. The pallbearers were Harold White, Whir Brown, Norman Bartlett, Richard Large, Thomas Wilson and D. M. Mitchell. At the cemetery they laid Douglas to rest beside his father (an air veteran of the first Great War) in a beautiful spot overlooking the Elk Valley. The sympathy of the whole community goes out to the bereaved family. Mrs. Minton has indeed been sorely tried by grief. In a few short years she has lost a husband, a father, a sister, and now a son. The surviving members of the family are his wife, mother and sister, Mildred, in Fernie, and his brother, Lac. Jack Minton, in the overseas airforce.

Lest we forget the sacriďŹ ces of those who fought for our

491 Victoria Avenue (2nd Ave.) Fernie, B.C. 250-423-7016

freedom and continue to defend it.

From: Mayor McKerracher, Council and District of Elkford Staff

To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be your to hold it high.

March 9, 1945

FERNIE BOY KILLED IN ACTION In last week’s Free Press we announced that Mrs. Helen Stefak had received word that her son, Pte. Peter Stefak was missing. A further telegram this week gave the sad news that he had been killed in action. Peter Stefak was a well known Fernie boy having spent all his life

THE FREE PRESS Thursday, November 10, 2011


Lest We Forget

here. He has been over seas for about a year. The list of our lads who have given their lives for their country is steadily growing. Mrs. Stefak and family have the heartfelt sympathy of the whole community.

inch gun fire and 2880 rounds of oerlikon fire, topped off by final depth charges as the submarine fought back. Wm. Bigrigg E.R.A. of Fernie is one of the crew aboard the H.H. C.P. Annan. January 30, 1942


April 13, 1945

FERNIE MAN IN AT THE KILL Ottawa Ont. April 3 in a spectacular running fight with a damaged but still dangerous German submarine, the Canadian frigate Annan sent the U-boat down for the last time, Angus L. MacDonald announced today. Only seven Canadians were wounded in the action, which took place on the north Atlantic. Many Nazi survivors were picked up including the captain and two other officers. The submarine was forced to the surface with depth charges. The Annan closed to within less than 3000 yards for the kill and blasted the U-boat with 54 rounds of four

Flight Lieut. W. J. Dyson mention in the following article, was well known in Fernie, where a few years ago he worked for the Kootenay Telephone Lines. He played on the Fernie hockey team one season. “Aboard an R.C.A.F transport plane which crashed and exploded near MacGregor, Manitoba, late Monday night, Flight Lieutenant W. J. Dyson, of Calgary, was one of seven persons who met instant death. The names of the other six victims of the crash have not yet been released. A light snow was falling as the big plane, roaring eastward, hurtled down on the farm of Carl Anderson, three miles northwest of MacGregor. The wreckage was being examined today by Air Force officials. Flight Lieut. Dyson, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Dyson, 1616 Bowness road, was born in Winnipeg in 1906, and took his training in Eastern Canada. In February 1941, Flight Lieut. Dyson was injured in an airplane crash south of Ottawa. The flying student whom he was instructing was killed in the accident. Flight Lieut. Dyson was a member of the Masonic order, and was well known in the sports circles. He is survived by his wife, who lives in Victoria, his parents, three sisters and two brothers, of Calgary.

To those dedicated servicemen and women, we say thank you.

Coalminer's Gallery & Picture Framing 4165 Highway 43, Elkford, BC 250-865-2236

Marian B. Gravelle Notary Public

Sparwood Office: 114 Centennial Square Toll Free:1-800-668-7729 Fax: 250-425-2204 Fernie Office: 78 Ridgemont Drive Phone: 250-423-2161 Fax: 250-423-6149

“Lest we forget”

Remembrance Day Services Friday, November 11

Come out and honour our veterans

Sparwood, BC

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #81 10:00 a.m. Church Service, Seniors drop-in centre at 101 Pine Avenue 10:45 a.m. Parade formation after service 10:55 a.m. Cenograph Ceremony, march back to the seniors drop-in centre, hot chocolate for the participating youth. Snacks at Michel-Natal Branch 81, 117 Centennial Square.


THE FREE PRESS, Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lest We Forget

August 10 1945

The Second Great War Has Finally Ended Fernie, like every other town and city in America, went wild on Tuesday when the glad tidings rang out that the war was over. The dark cloud that has cast a terrible shadow over the world for nearly six long years, has been lifted and tens of thousands of anxious families with loved ones on the battle fronts may breathe a sigh of relief. The messages from overseas will contain nothing but joyful news. Yes, the war is over; and, we believe, all wars are over. The atomic bomb will take care of that question for all time. Fernie celebrated the great

news with everything they had. Whistles blew, bells rang, bonfires were lighted and a good strong dance on Victoria avenue was carried on for many hours on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Our crowd, not like some other places, kept well within the law and everybody had a wonderful time. The mines were idle for two days and it seemed that no body cared if they ever worked again. President Truman made the announcement at 6 p.m. C.D.T. press conference in the White House even Prime Minister Attlee broadcast a similar message over the B.B.C. from London. Moscow radio also carried the news for which the world has wailed breathlessly for days. Orders went out immediately to silence the guns in the farflung Pacific theatre. Prime Minister Mackenzie

King proclaimed next Sunday as a day of prayer and solemn thanksgiving “for freedom against Japanese aggression the victory granted to the cause of and for the termination of active hostilities in the Great War in which Canada and other of the United Nations have been engaged.” The day also will be observed as a “Day of Remembrance” of the heroism of the men and women of Canada and the other United Nations who had given their lives in the war. It also would be a “day of rededication under Almighty God in the effort for the restoration, on a firm and enduring basis of justice and rights, of peace and accord among the nations of the world.” Mr. King said that there was “no day in history which means so much to the people of Canada and the people of the world as today- a day which closes an old order and opens the era of a new one.” “We must, from this moment on, do all we possibly can for the human brotherhood and bring about an era of enduring peace.”

May 28, 1946

FERNIE MEN HONORED Ottawa May 28th, a total of 564 officers and other ranks serving in the Canada Army overseas have been decorated in recognition of gallant and distinguished services with awards in Mentions of Dispatches. The 1st approved by his majesty the King included: Letcher, John Calvin, Captain; 35; wife, Mrs. Beatrice Mary Letcher; Fernie, BC. A ello Emilio; Captain; 32; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Afello; Fernie, BC. The Canadian National Council on Physical Fitness has endorsed the principle of establishing community recreational and cultural centers as war memorials.

2011 Remembrance Day