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at the going down of the sun & in the morning we will


A special commemorative Remembrance Day edition

This year’s Empire-Advance Remembrance Day Special Edition continues our current theme of taking a look back through 135 years of local history It’s often been observed that veterans of World War II were a quiet bunch who didn’t want to talk about their war experiences unless they were together with their fellow comrades. Our pages of history throughout that time frame seem to reflect this. While our pages from the World War I era are full of letters from soldiers, weekly updates, casualty listings‌the pages of WWII are much quieter. It isn’t until we delve well into the later years that we find the experiences of WWII veterans gracing our pages. We present in this edition, reproduced stories from WWI that originally ran on the pages of the Empire-Advance from August 1916 to November 1918. Some of them are funny, some heartbreaking, some horrific. We will also take a look back on the history of our soldiers from WWII that were featured in our more recent editions. We are not trying to glorify war - we wish to provide a picture into the lives of our soldiers and the unbelievable sacrifices they made to stop evil aggression so that we might have peace.



ALL EUROPE IN ARMED CONFLICT Probability of Most Awful War in Recent History---War Dogs of Germany Cut Loose---France, Russia arid Great Britain Have Been Drawn Into It---Canada Will do Its Share to Support the Motherland---Dominion Parliament to Meet.

The Decision of Great Britain Was Given Out Tuesday Evening. “Capture or Destroy the Enemyâ€? is Message to Navy. Tuesday evening the wires flashed the decision of Great Britain in the European struggle. It was “Great Britain has declared war on the Germany.â€? The momentous news was I publicly announced in Virden at the Auditorium Theatre, and from there quickly spread to all parts of the town and district. The first feeling was one of awe followed by a determination that now the Empire has been forced into the struggle of life or death, no sacrifice can be too great. The message of our beloved King to the British Navy, “Capture or destroy the enemy,â€? strikes a responsive chord in the heart of .every Britisher. The Canadian Parliament will meet on August 18th to vote $50,000,000 as a war fund, but our government not awaiting the assembling of parliament before acting. Everything is ready to mobolize, equip and transport our troops to Europe if the fleet makes such transportation possible. Today our militia will be called out and 60,000 Canadian soldiers will gather ¡round their colors. By the time parliament-meets the first division will be ready to embark and will probably join the British army in ¡Belgium. Colonel Sam Hughes will command, with Colonel Morrison in charge of the artillery, and Colonel Steele will probably command the cavalry. The cities of Canada were scenes of the wildest confusion when the British decision was announced. Flags were flung to the breeze, while the enthusiasm of vast crowds broke into song and cheer.


Cost of European War Is Estimated At Fabulous Figure.

Local militia officers and men have shown the spirit of true soldiers by volunteering for active service to aid the Empire in the present emergency. Ever since the first announcement of the war local feeling has been aroused and the keenest interest taken in every detail of news received. The action of the military men in volunteering reflects the feeling of the whole town and district. Among the officers who have volunteered are Col, E. A. C. Hosmer, Brigade-Major Geo. Clingan, member-elect in the provincial legislature, Major Palmer, Captain McLaren and Lieut. Gerrand, of “A� Squadron, Manitoba Dragoons.

The cost of a general war in Europe, involving seven of the mighty powers, would be $19,755,.625,000 a year, according to Dr. Charles Richar, statistician¡ of the University of Paris. If such a war comes, and lasts at least five years, as diplomats are certain it will ¡do, the cost of the war without indemnity claims would reach the amazing total of $98,788,125,000 These figures are based on the cost of¡ a general war involving only Germany, England, France, Russia, Italy, Austria, Servia and Roumania. A war of this kind, it is feared, would not end in involving only the eight countries named, but would draw every European nation, large and small, into the conflict, and increase the . war cost far beyond the sum estimated. Germany’s expenditure for military and naval purposes this year have already exceeded $500,000,000.

Army And Navy Reservists Awaiting the Call. There are many army and navy reservists in Virden and the district who are anxiously awaiting the call to arms in defence of their beloved country. In most cases they will welcome the blue sheet which tells them to return to assist with their lives if necessary, in maintaining the integrity honor and prestige of the good old flag which “for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze.� and has always stood for the protection and freedom of those beneath its folds, the flag that never yet turned its back on a subject or friend.

Thank You

For our past, present, and future Freedoms

Thank You


YOUR sacrifice for OUR freedom

346 King Street, Virden 204.748.3331 | kullbergs.ca

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THANK YOU For your service. For your courage. For your sacriď&#x192;&#x17E;ce. For Our Freedom.

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We remember, and salute all of those who fought and worked for freedom.

And they who for their country die shall ď&#x192;&#x17E;ll an honoured grave, for glory lights the soldiers' tomb, and beauty weeps the brave

AUGUST 13, 1914

AUGUST 20, 1914


Volunteers Rounding Into Shape.

Names of Those Who Volunteered, Have Passed Medical Examination and May be Called on Any Time.

During the past week the oversea contingent of volunteers have been drilling hard and are rapidly developing into well trained soldiers, They are doing practically nine hours drill a day, including several hours at the range, where they are quickly learning to handle a rifle with deadly effect. A. Burman, a former ·drill sergeant in the old country, is the instructor in infantry drill and to his efficiency is due, in a large measure, the splendid progress of the men in assimilating the instruction given them. With a continuation of present progress they will be a credit to their instructors and themselves.

There has been considerable activity at the armoury during the past week, when a large number enlisted for active infantry service in support of their country. This enlistment has nothing to do with the 12th M.D. except that it includes individual members who offered their services for immediate use as infantrymen, In addition to this the officers of “A” Squadron, 12th M.D have volunteered the squadron at full strength in the event of the 12th being called. Major Palmer stated, yesterday that over 100 men could be secured for”A” squadron if it is required. Members have reported that they are ready for the cal1, from all parts of the .country, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and one member who at present is residing in Chicago Since receiving instructions from Ottawa to get the name of available men from “A” squadron, Major Palmer has been kept busy getting in touch with the men and taking on recruits. There are a few members, however, whom he has been unable to locate, and he would be pleased to hear from them. There are several members who have not completed their term but have been excused from camp·. If the 12th are called out they will be expected to respond, and should report to the officers Lieut. Gerrand Miniota at once. A phone has been installed in the arSergeant Bissett “ moury and is available for any men desiring Corporal Myers “ information by asking for Major Palmer or Q. Private Miles “ M. S. Bowles. Lieut. D. M. Handv Virden The following is a list of those who volunSergeant Major Holiday “ teered for immediate service as infantrymen J. McEwen “ and who were medically examined Tuesday W. Cameron “ evening. Their names have been sent to OttaA. R. Warren “ wa and any or all of them may be called at any F. G. Warren moment: There were several others but they were unaH. E. Youngs “ ble to pass the severe examination. In two casA. Wade “ es the applicants were a trifle too short. F. Timaeus “ The Rifle Association has consented to offer A. Ross “ facilities for those wishing to improve their R J. Dingwall “ marksmanship and will render every assisS. Delaney “ tance at the range. When the boys are called, T. Stewart “ Virden will not let then go without some eviW. L. Pigg “ dence of appreciation of their willingness to G. P. Lindsay “ serve the empire even to the extent of giving up their lives.

AUGUST 27, 1914

LOCAL CONTINGENT GIVEN SEND-OFF Monster Crowd at Depot to Say Good-Bye. Boys Leave for the Front Accompanied by Best of Good Wishes. Amid scenes of much enthusiasm, in which a monster crowd of patriotic citizens from the town and country participated, the local overseas contingent entrained Saturday night, en route for Valcartier and ultimately for the line of battle. The rain had no effect in dampening the desire of the people to show the boys going to the front that they were leaving with the best good wishes of those left behind. There must have been close to 2000 people on the platform and around the station. The band at one end played patriotic airs and the crowd caught up the strains and sang, with great spirit, the songs associated with the glories of the Empire in war and peace. It was especially inspiring when the great crowd, led by the band, sang the national anthem with an earnestness and sincerity expressive of heart’s desire.


Each November poppies blossom on the lapels and collars of almost half of Canada’s entire population. Since 1921, the poppy has stood as a symbol of remembrance, our visual pledge to never forget all those Canadians who have fallen in war and military operations. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 8 strives to keep the memory alive of the 117,000 Canadian men and women who paid the supreme sacrice in the service of Canada during war, and on subsequent operations since Korea through the annual poppy campaign and the Remembrance Day services. The money raised during the campaign is used within our local area and in our community to help those who have a need. As well, we provide bursaries for education and medical equipment. With no public Remembrance Day service in Virden this year, we ask that you take part in a two-minute silence at 11:00 a.m. on your doorstep. Poppies will be available, with black centre pins, through the Legion clubroom.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. No. 8 540 Eighth Avenue, Virden | 204-748-1668

We Rememb

AUGUST 27, 1914

OCTOBER 1, 1914

MARCH 23, 1915



Letter from France.

Prepared to Strike Quickly, Japan Consulted Her Ally, Great Britain, Before Taking Action. Japan has come into the war of the nations. The Emperor of Japan has declared war on Germany, and the Japanese fleet and land forces are ready for the struggle around Kiao-Chau, the German protectorate in China. The declaration of war upon Germany was issued at 6:00 pm Sunday.

AUGUST 27, 1914

War Feeling in Scotland. The following letter received by a prominent local farmer from his brother in Scotland gives an indication of the war feeling among the men in the Land of the Heather:“Dear ---: It has fallen like a bolt from the blue. I have only just finished taking in the Reserves of the .O.S.B. Grand men! Not one single man tried an excuse, but plenty covered ailments to go. God help the enemy in their front! I never saw such grim determination in a body of men. It was magnificent. When they marched off to the pipes and drums and the wild cheers, I confess I cried like a bairn and cursed my luck that I had to stay home. However the Admiralty have told me to look after any wounded that may be landed here so I will do a useful bit. It is terrible, but Kaiser Billie has chewed off far more than he can digest this time. “All have gone, Regulars and Teriers. Things are very dear and we are very unhappy, but the Navy will get us out on top, we pray. I hear we have sent troops to Belgium yesterday. “One man, when I explained his teeth were too bad, cried. He came back after a bit and said ‘I hope, Colonel, you didn’t think I wanted to bite the d__d Germans. I am going to shoot them.’ I let him go”

First Expeditionary Force From Canada Left Last week Convoyed by British Warships. Minister Of Militia Pleased.

OCTOBER 8, 1914

SALE OF HORSES FOR THE WAR Large Number Offered and Good Percentage Purchased. All Parts of the District Represented at the Sale. Prices Up to $175. Monday proved a busy day in town due to the fact that representatives of the British War Office were here purchasing horses for military purposes. From early morning until late in the afternoon horses were presented to the buyers, who quickly examined them and chose the ones most suitable for their requirements. About 120 horses were offered, out of which 50 were purchased at prices ranging from $140.00 to $175 00 each. The result will mean considerable to the district, every part of which was represented it the ·sale. Between $7,000.00 and $8,000 00 were paid out and the buyers were delighted with the general excellence of the horses offered. Those selling were equally well pleased, as the market for the class of horses wanted in this case is very limited, and the saving in feed during the winter would make the returns equal to at least $25.00 more than the price received. The credit for securing this sale for Virden must be given to Mr. H. C. Simpson, who used his influence to this end successfully, notwithstanding that the policy of the buyers was to only visit the larger centres. It would have been impossible for many of those all who sold to have taken their horses taken to Brandon on a mere chance of selling, and but for Mr. Simpson’s interest in the matter they would have had to do so ·or lose the opportunity of a sale A pleasing feature of the above sale was that the farmers received every cent paid for their horses. No one received an any commission or profit whatever. There are hundreds of the same class of horses in the district available for the same purpose and when more are required Virden should certainly be retained on the list of -markets for buyers to visit. The horses were shipped east on Tuesday morning.

For those Brave gave their lives So we could Live ours

Lest We Forget

The following letter, while over a month old, was received during the past few days and will be read with interest by our readers. It shows that our boys were ready and anxious to get down to business for which they left their homes and friends, and like true soldiers, were not discouraged by the sound of the guns in the distance. Ere now they will have had their baptism of fire, and we are certain the records will show that they acquitted themselves like men of whom we have reason to be proud. Feb, 19, 1915 The Virden Auditorium, Virden, Man. Since writing you last we have travelled many miles and are now in France. We are within hearing distance of the large guns and expect to be in the trenches in a few days. The Virden boys are O.K. and in the very best of spirits. We are anxious, as well as the rest of the Canadian Contingent, to get a crack at the Germans. Our address from now is :Regimental number and name, British Expeditionary Force, 1st Canadian Contingent, 2nd Brigade 5th Battalion, No. 1 Company, France Will be pleased to hear from any of the Virden people. Yours Truly, John Gilliard

MARCH 23, 1915 No War Stamps Yet. To avoid misunderstanding it should be noted that the war stamp taxes on letters, post-cards, cheques, express orders etc., are not effective until a date to be announced by the government which will no doubt be well advertised. The increase in the tariff went into effect on February 12th, the day after the budget speech. The stamp taxes on wine also went into effect immediately.

I wear a little poppy Red as can be, To show that I remember Those who fought for me ELKHORN MB



Home of the Free Because of the Brave

We honour those who have given their lives serving Canadians and helping people of other nations

MARCH 30, 1915

JUNE 8, 1915

AUGUST 24, 1915

Mud and Slush in the Trenches


Shoot Prisoners and Use Bodies for Sandbags.

Sergeant Len. Hobday Writes Card in the Trench, Thirty-five Yards from Germans. The following word from the front was sent on a pictorial post card, addressed to Mrs. Hobday, Winnipeg, from her son, Sergeant Len. Hobday. The face of the card shows a group picture of many former members of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, including Serg’t. Hobday and Herb Youngs, both well-known Virden boys. Belgium, 27-2-15 “A line from the trenches, 35 yards from the Germans. Shot and shell flying all around. Have been here a week. Return to our billets in France for a few days’ rest 28th of February (to-morrow) Fifteen mile march before us. It’s pretty cold here and very wet in places. Lots of the trenches are knee deep in mud and slush. Lots of fun if you fell down in the dark. Regards to all.”

MAY 11, 1915

FIRST VIRDEN MAN KILLED IN BATTLE James Francis Durham Gives Life For King and Country---Geo. Tapp is a Prisoner and Probably Wounded. The casualty list published Monday announced the first death in battle among the members of the first contingent who enlisted in Virden. James Francis Durham, better known as Frank, who was on the Balmoral hotel staff and very popular with all who knew him especially among his comrades, has joined the Canadian roll of honor. Private Durham came from Southampton, England and has no relatives in this country as far as is known. George Tapp, who was on the Central hotel staff, and reported for service with his company at Brandon immediately when the call for men was made, is reported to be a prisoner and is probably wounded. George is well known here and liked by all who knew him.

John Gilliard Writes of Glorious Work of the Canadian Troops in Which Virden Boys Had Part. France, May 13 Since writing you last we have seen some real warfare. Am very sorry to have to report the death of one of the Virden boys, Pte. Frank Durham, who was killed, and Privates Mills, Young, Ellis and Dingwall wounded in action, in the recent battle against the Germans at a place called Ypres, in which the whole Canadian division took part. We had a long, strenuous fight. While our losses were heavy we fought stubbornly and to us is given the credit of saving the situation, preventing the Germans from breaking through the Allies’ line, and in so doing have won a place for ourselves and for old Canada. Had I the time to and space I could now tell you a little about real war. One has no idea what it is like to be on the field of battle in this awful war without being here. I sometimes wonder how I escaped as we were under constant shell fire for nearly three weeks. Shells continually dropped about us and in our trenches, at times being so close that pieces of the earth were blown over us. Aeroplanes steadily flew over our lines directing the enemys artillery fire. The worst we had to contend with was the asphyxiating gasses used by the Germans At present we are billeted a few miles behind the firing line having a rest and being reinforced before returning to the trenches. The weather is dry and warm and the crops are looking fine. In closing I thank you for the Empire-Advance. The last couple of editions I received after coming out of the trenches. Yours Truly, Pte. John Gilliard [Private John Gilliard was reported as wounded in the casualty lists in Saturday’s Telegram]

The following excerpts are taken from a letter dated August 2nd, somewhere in France, to a lady in Virden. It shows the dastardly unfairness of the enemy which our boys have to fight. “I suppose I ought to think myself lucky that I have not stopped one (a bullet) yet. They have taken a heavy toll from our battalion this last three days. They have been using petrol, pitch and flares. They broke through our lines on the night of the 29th of July, but thank God we have regained all lost ground. The enemy must have suffered enormously themselves. Our chaps charged and slaughtered them wholesale. I will give you only instance of the fair fighting. They took about 300 of one regiment prisoners and straightaway shot 70 or 80 of them and piled them on the parapets of the trenches instead of sandbags. I tell you this - that if ever one or more of them begs mercy from me, I will feel no reluctance at stuffing their dirty throats. I suppose you have heard how they treated a couple of Canadian soldiers who fell into their hands. They crucified them on a door. And the United States looks calmly on as though they approve of that kind of warfare.”

NOVEMBER 30, 1915

JUNE 15, 1915

VIRDEN BOY DIES OF WOUNDS Archie Cameron of 1st Contingent Died from Wounds Received in Battle. W.L. Pigg Wounded.

PTE MCNALLY KILLED IN ACTION McAuley Boy Who Enlisted At Virden Last February Joins the Honor Roll of Canadian Heroes.

Lest We Forget 175 WELLINGTON STREET WEST, VIRDEN • 204-748-3200



For those

WHO HAVE GIVEN and those


Lest We Forget Turnbull’s Sales & Service

PIPESTONE, MANITOBA | 204.854.2576

Remember Them Because they gave everything for you

We honour those who have given their lives serving Canadians

and helping people of other nations

MARCH 28, 1916

APRIL 24, 1917

MARCH 5, 1918

Bert Hart Wounded



Thursday’s casualty list included the names of Barnet M. Hart of the 8th Battalion who is reported wounded. He will be remembered as the popular merchant and general booster of Woodnorth.

MAY 9, 1916 “Killed in Action.” The Lenore district has sustained a tremendous loss in the death of Alexander Ross His community has been deprived of a leader, sportsman and gentleman as well as a hero who has bravely given up his life for the Empire and Christian civilization.

APRIL 24, 1917

BRITISH PRESSING HARD IN WEST More Glory Won at Vimy Ridge. Canadians have reason to feel great pride in what was accomplished last week in France by soldiers of Canada, in company with British troops, at the battle of Vimy Ridge. When the British and Canadian guns opened the preparatory bombardment in the offensive sector, the entire stern section of Vimy Ridge, together with the crest and about a mile width on the west slope, was in the hands of the enemy. In fact the whole advantage was with the enemy, but this was nothing again the determination of our troops to achieve victory. Bombardment was followed by the inevitable charge, which resulted successfully and Vimy Ridge was soon occupied by our soldiers.

Prominent Citizens Endorse Suggestion to Have a Monument Erected in Prominent Location. The letter of Capt. H.C. Simpson last issue, conveyed a suggestion in reference to a public memorial in honor of the men who gave their lives during the great war and has already aroused considerable interest, as it should. It is the best tribute we can pay to the memory of men who sacrificed home, family ties and the comforts of civilian life to answer the great call of service for the principles of justice, honor and liberty which our Empire stands for and is fighting for on the battlefields of Europe.

Major R.W. Gyles Secures Enemy Machine Gun for Virden. Will Be Gladly Accepted By the Town The following letter, received by Mayor Carnahan, last week, will be read with much interest by citizens generally. The story of how the gun was captured would undoubtedly prove very interesting but it is not available. The thoughtfulness of Major Gyles is most commendable and this gift secured through his bravery, will be much appreciated: 46th Batt. Saskatchewan Regt. France 30th January 1918 The Mayor, Virden, Manitoba Dear Sir: A Machine Gun, captured from the enemy, was forwarded to you recently through the usual channels. This gun was captured by the Company commanded by Major R.W. Gyles from your town, and it is being sent to you at his request. I hope you will receive it in due course of time, and that you will accept it as a Trophy captured by the 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion and presented by the citizens of Virden. Yours sincerely H.J. Dawson, Lt. Col. Commanding 46th Can. Infantry Battalion.


KENTON BOY AWARDED MILITARY MEDAL Lance-Corp. B. Gibson Brown, who has been awarded the Military Medal, is the youngest son of John Brown, of Kenton, and was born on September 27, 1896. He went overseas with the 79th battalion on April 19th, 1916, where he was transferred to the bombers’ section of the 52nd battalion. He was wounded in action last September, on which occasion he was award the medal of bravery in the field. He has since bee in hospital recovering from his wounds, but expects to be back in the firing line soon.

For those who leave Never to Return For those who Return but are Never the Same For those that leave never to return. For those who return but are never the same.

We Remember

We Remember.


710 Seventh Avenue North, Virden, MB

300 Woodworth Ave, Kenton | 204.838.2213

Remembrance Day When you go home, tell them of us and say


I wear a little poppy red as can be, to show that I remember those who fought for me

VIRDEN DETACHMENT - 226TH BATTALION “GRIZZLY BEARS” The above detachment of men was recruited at Virden during the winter of 1915-1916, and forms a part of the 226th Battalion, known as the “Grizzly Bears.” Among all the detachments raised at Virden none have been superior in physique or in general military efficiency and when the time comes for them to face the enemy they will, like those who preceded them from Vifrden, give a good account of themselves. (Originally Published September 5, 1916)

NOVEMBER 5, 1918


NOVEMBER 27, 1918




The complete isolation of Germany as a result of the desertion and surrender of her allies is commented upon as the outstanding feature of the latest developments in the “colossal drama of victory,” the effect of this isolation upon her armies coupled with the desperate internal conditions in Germany, regarded almost everywhere as brining the end of the war very near, although in some quarters warning is raised that the German army and navy are still in existence and, in the hands of desperate men, are desperate and dangerous. The general tenor of comment, however, indicates, a belief that the Germans must sooner or later accept surrender to the Allies terms. There is considerable speculation as to the extent Germany will be able to oppose the carrying out of the terms Turkey has accepted. It is unknown whether German garrisons still hold the Dardanelles forts and other defences of Constantinople while resistance by the Germanized Russian Black Sea fleet is regarded as a serious possibility. Even if the forts are evacuated, passage of the straits, my not, it is suggested, be without danger, as it is assumed they are still mined and must, in any event, be swept before ships can pass through.

During the past three years many homes in Virden and district have been sadly bereaved by the terrible ravages of war; brave hearts have felt the loss of her loved ones who have given their lives for the great principles of truth and liberty, in which they believed. The bereaved at home have been no less brave in the splendid spirit of patriotic resignation displayed by them, and many a smiling face hides a sorrow broken heart. Last week was a sad one for Virden, when four of our brave men were reported killed in action and two wounded. To the bereaved relatives much sympathy will be extended in their great sorrow. Wilfred P. Young, who farmed near Scarth before enlisting with the 45th, was reported missing in October 1916. Last week he was reported killed in action. P.C.R. Day, who enlisted in the 226th, reported killed in action last week, leaves a wife and three little daughters to mourn the death of a loving husband and father. James Lang enlisted with the 181st at Brandon, and the report of his great sacrifice was reported in last week’s casualty lists. S. Paton, a popular member of the Virden detachment of the 226th, completes the quartet of Virden men who gave up their lives for the great cause. Pte. Paton leaves a sorrowing wife and three grown daughters. E.A. Mears, who enlisted with the 226th, was reported admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds in the head. Fletcher Sexsmith, another 226th man, of the Virden detachment, was admitted to hospital suffering from contusion in the side.

The past week has brought sadness to more Virden homes, from the battlefields of Flanders. Four young men who left Virden full of hope and patriotism have given their lives in the great struggle for liberty, honor and justice. The bereaved relatives will have the proud satisfaction of knowing that noone ever died for a greater cause or ever gave their lives more heroically. Private A.R. Warren, better known as Jack, eldest son of Mr and Mrs D. Warren, was killed in action on November 6th. This is the second son from this home to make the supreme sacrifice. Besides his parents and wide, he leaves three sisters and one brother to mourn his death. Pte. Jack Jones, only son of Mr and Mrs Jones, was officially reported killed in action. Jack was a very popular member of Virden detachment 226th. Much sympathy is extended to his bereaved parents and sisters. Private Cecil Muldrew, youngest son of Mr ad Mrs D. Muldrew, was reported killed in action on November 12th. He has another brother in France. Pte. Bert Cooke, who was reported severely wounded a couple of weeks ago, is now reported “died of wounds”. His brother George, who was with him when he was wounded helped to take him out.

We honour those who have given their lives serving Canadians and helping people of other nations

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will Remember them


373 King Street, Virden

We Remember all those who have given their lives

so the rest could live in freedom

In memory of many In honour of all

Thank You

NOVEMBER 12, 1918

The world war which lasted from August 1914 until Monday morning , November 11th, 1918, four and a quarter years, is over. Right bas prevailed against might. The armistice was signed by German representatives at midnight, Sunday, and the actual fighting ceased six hours later. The momentous news was flashed over the wires during the early hours of Monday, and bells pealed out the glad tidings which opened the flood-gates of joy that have been held in restraint for these awful four years. The salient point s of the armistice terms are as follows : The Germans evacuate all occupied territories. Agree to withdraw from the left bank

of the Rhine. Surrender all supplies of war, including 5,000 cannon. Abandon the treaties of Bucharest and Brest-Litovak. Surrender 160 submarines, 50 destroyers , six battle cruisers, 10 battleships , 8 light cruisers and other ships. Surrender all Allied vessels in German hands. Repatriate all Allied prisoners Among the financial terms are restitution for damage done by the German armies; restitution of the cash ta ken from the national bank of Belgium and return of gold taken from Russia and Rumania.

Within the past few hours a new Germany has been born. To-day Kaiser Wilhelm, who ruled his empire for many years with a mailed fist and has for years dreamed a monstrous dream of a Teutonized world , is a fugitive in Holland. With him is Crown Prince Frederick Wilhelm and practically the entire general staff at military headquarters. Thus completely has militarism been swept away in a few hours. The entire civil government has also disappeared. The militarist regime has been followed by rule by a combination of Social-Democrats and Soldiers’ and Workmen’s Councils, which is now in control of practically the entire empire.

The navy has also come under the new regime. Saxony, Wurttemburg and Bavaria, three of the four kingdoms of the empire have been declared republics , leaving all the kings of Germany without thrones. Frederick Ebert, a Socialist, who has succeeded Prince Max as Imperial chancellor, and Phillip Scheidmann, leader of the Social-Democrats, have issued appeals on behalf of the new government , promising peace as early as possible and asking the people to avoid rioting and bloodshed. They promise government to the people by the people. Up to date the revolution has been attended by remarkably little blood shed.

Valour is Stability Not of legs & arms But of courage and the soul



20 44-748 -748--2466 2466 • 15 GOODR IIDGE DGE R OAD, VI V IRR DEN, M A NIT OBA

ank You for our past, present & future freedoms

NOVEMBER 19, 1918

VIRDEN CELEBRATES END OF WAR All Businesses Suspended While Joy Reigns Supreme. Monster Procession, Huge Fire, Music, Speeches, Cheers, Tears Virden, in common with thousands of other communities on the continent, held a double celebration of the signing of the armistice, signifying the utter defeat of the forces of might. The first celebration took place Thursday evening, November 7th, when the premature news of peace was accepted as being based on fact and it was some celebration too. All business was at once suspended, and expression was given to feeling of gratification and joy. While may were disappointed because the first news was not authentic yet none regretted the demonstration as all felt that enough had been gained to warrant the celebration. When the real, true, sure-enough news was pealed out to the town by the Municipal bell, during the early hours of Monday morning there was no boisterous enthusiasm but there was a great feeling of splendid satisfaction in the knowledge that the sacrifices of our brave men had not been made for nought and also in the absolute conviction that the principles of Might had been dealt a crushing blow by the forces of Right. Notwithstanding the “flu” ban Mayor Carnahan decided that the real finish to the war must not be allowed to pass without some recognition and proclamation made Tuesday afternoon a public holiday. A number of live wire patriotic citizens got together and arranged a programme of celebration which included a monster torch light procession comprising the band, the fire apparatus and hundreds of automobiles as well as large crowds on foot. From the noise it would appear that everyone had a musical instrument of some kind or at least a

noise maker. To the ears and hearts of the people the great varieties of noises made in celebration of the victory were as sounds of a heavenly orchestra blending into the joyous thought - Peace has come. After parading the principal street the procession lined up at the corner of 7th Avenue and Nelson street where a huge bonfire was lighted and a company of sharpshooters fired volley after volley while the immense crowd cheered itself hoarse. A dray was commandeered for a platform and Mayor Carnahan called on the crowd to sing that splendid song of thanksgiving: Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Mayor, after expressing his satisfaction with the termination of the war and referring in terms of highest praise to the part taken in it by the men and women of Canada called on Rev. Dr. Cooke who, responded with what is generally recognized as probably the finest oration ever heard in Virden, in the course of which he paid a high tribute to the valor of our men overseas and the men and women at home, who have suffered, sacrificed and won. He expressed pride in being a Britisher and a Canadian found a ready response in the hearts of the hearers. He commended the earnest spirit of the celebrations which, recognized, and was thankful for the guidance of Almighty God. His speech was punctured with applause. Other speakers on the programme were introduced in the following order: J.A. McLachlan, Rev. G.W. Findlay, Jos. Gibson, W.M. Pineo, and Rev. H. Fier. All were listened to with deep attention and frequent applause greeted the expression of thoughts which voiced the general feeling. The hearty singing of the National Anthem closed the programme but the celebration continued until late into the night.

We Remember

11th hour. 11th day. 11th month. They sshall grow not old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them

1770 Anderson St Virden


A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself

MIDWESTERN REDI-MIX CONCRETE Virden • Elkhorn • Deloraine

Veterans Remember

November 7, 2009

This is kind of a bad time of year , say WWII veterans, Jim Moffatt and Aubrey Paul, of Virden. Memories come unbidden and Jim recalls the day June 11, 1944, just five days after D-Day, when the mail delivery truck rolled into their base, (about 20 miles off of the Normandy Beach) in France; it delivered a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;young-18 year old recruit who had completed basic training and qualified as a Signal. Moffatt said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I never saw him againâ&#x20AC;?. Signals typically had to be in a forward position to communicate the daily strategies and results. Gun Sergeant Jim Moffatt was with the 13t h Canadian Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, and had a 6-man crew. On March 23, 1944, Jim was wounded in his right shoulder as the allies were preparing to cross the Rhine River into Germany near the town of Wesel. He was taken to a first aid post and then to a hospital near Kleve, (in Germany, near the Dutch border). He was awake and keenly listening for the sounds of the air bombing and artillery attack, planned to preceed the fording

of the Rhine River as the Allies pressed into Germany. With a chuckle, Moffatt recalls making the stretcher trip from the field hospital with no clothes and a shirt for a pillow, wrapped in one blanket. He was taken by ambulance to a town in Holland where he stayed the night. They gave him a jacket there, but took it back when he was moved via train to a depot in Belgium. There, someone tried to trade him some lunch for the one blanket which was his clothing. On his stretcher, he was shelved on a rack in a Dakota aircraft and taken to another town in Belgium. Penicillin was such a blessing for the wounded of WWII. Sergeant Moffatt was on a train in France when the announcement came that the war was over in May 1945. He was on his way to Utrecht on a draft to go to the Pacific theatre Which then never materialized.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; He felt he was fortunate that he was 28 years of age when he entered the war, with a few years of life-experience on his own, since the age of 16. Jim said that some of his training was tougher than parts of the war, but the two and a half hours of steady bombing at one point in the

war was something he will never forget. Aubrey Paul was a Canadian Airforce pilot from May 1941 through the end of September 1945. He was a trainer at the Canadian air bases of Dauphin, Saskatoon and Virden . Paul smiled, he â&#x20AC;&#x153;joined up to see the world and got posted ten miles from home.â&#x20AC;? During ground school training he studied meteorology, airframe mechanics, and Morse code. Some of the practical flight school involved flying Tiger Moth aircraft, which Paul said was not an easy craft to handle, combined with the initial problem of air sickness. They received 60 hours training, 30 of it solo, and no night flying. Later, flight training took place from the Dauphin base #10 Special Flight Training School in a twin engine Cessna, where a further 60 hours included night flying, depending on Morse code for ground communication! Training for instrument flying was accomplished by cloaking the pilot in the cockpit with a canopy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was the survival of the fittestâ&#x20AC;?; they had to learn quickly, Aubrey Paul admits hesitatingly. He recalls one morning when they were sitting around at the base at Dauphin about 11:00 a.m.,

as the morning overcast lifted, a student and flight instructor were lost as they crashed on the runway. The young training pilots were sent up right away, so as not to lose their nerve; the shirt on his back was wetter than if it had come out of the washing machine as his plane sped past the debris and smoke on the runway. He also recalls another student who crashed on a training flight between Saskatoon and Dauphin. Aubrey got his wings, graduating with the rank of Sergeant Pilot, received a commission as a Pilot Officer and was later promoted to the rank of Flying Officer. Out of 55 who got their wings on August 28, 1942, there was only 14 left on August 28, 1943. Aubrey was 23 when he signed up in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;41. He returned home on August 28, 1945. Tragically, his dad was killed in a farm accident on September 15, 1945. As these veterans reflect on todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s military involvement, they say they really feel for the Canadians going over to Afghanistan; â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were fighting a uniform, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know who they are fighting .â&#x20AC;? By Anne Davison

Memories of the 4th Canadian Divison November 4, 2000 Alex Dionne joined up in 1941 at the age of 19. After training in Canada for 13 months, he was sent overseas, arriving in Liverpool August 19, 1942 (the day of the Dieppe raid). At Liverpool "it was constant training all the time," recalls Dionne. This included a signallerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s course he took-which enabled him to learn skills like wireless operation, lamps and Morse codein January of 1943. Dionne saw action â&#x20AC;&#x153;shortly after

D-Dayâ&#x20AC;? in an area just south of Caen, France. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From there, until we broke through (the Falaise gap) in France, it was really rough (fighting),â&#x20AC;? he says. Dionne's division was one of those assigned the "dirty job of cleaning up the coast where the Germans had been preparing for the invasion of England." He says this meant doing1asks like removing barbed-wire entanglements, tank traps, and mines. After this was finished in late September, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we had big push north into Belgium,â&#x20AC;? recalls Dionne. At

Leopold Canal the Canadians spent three weeks â&#x20AC;&#x153;observing the enemy across the canal,â&#x20AC;? until the October invasion of the canal. From there, Dionne ended up at Bergenop-Zoom in southwest Holland. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had hoped to spend Christmas and New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s away from action, but because of the German push at the Battle of the Bulge, we were called back to action.â&#x20AC;? Christmas, he says, was spent in Tilburg, Holland. That German push, which accelerated in February 1945, resulted in â&#x20AC;&#x153;very heavy fighting,â&#x20AC;? says Dionne.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning 243 Raglan Street West, Box 520, Virden, MB r0m 2c0


We Will

Remember î&#x20AC;˛em

There were other occasions of heavy fighting as well, but as the end of the war drew near, those became fewer and fewer. After a stay in Germany and one in Holland, Dionne began the return trip to Canada on the Queen Elizabeth in the fall of 1945. The weather was so bad during the crossing that â&#x20AC;&#x153;we were 36 hours late getting into New York,â&#x20AC;? which meant he spent Christmas on the boat. He says the Christmas dinner was â&#x20AC;&#x153;lovely. I never had it so good, at least for a long time, anyway.â&#x20AC;? After arriving in Winnipeg on New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eve, he came home to

The of the of the

Dunrea the next day. Dionne says he finds it hard to explain his wartime experience, because â&#x20AC;&#x153;this war had changed the world so much, when you came back home it was like a different world altogether.â&#x20AC;? He hopes many people will turn out to the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Aud, and he is asking everyone to observe a two-minute silence at 11:00 a.m., â&#x20AC;&#x153;wherever you are.â&#x20AC;? Alex Dionne served in the 4th Canadian Division during the last part of World War II.



Hour Day Month


523 Ninth Avenue South | 204-748-2692


With gratitude, Lest we Forget the freedom provided by the past and present service of our military.


They gave their lives so we can have ours

Local veteran recalls service during war November 4, 2000 I served in the Royal Canadian Navy Voluntary Reserve from March 1, 1944 to November 5, 1945- some 21 months. In that short period, I spent almost 18 months at sea aboard a corvette-commissioned HMCS NORSY DK520, with a complement of 100 Navy personnel. Our ship was used on the North Atlantic Ocean to escort large convoys of merchant ships carrying equipment, food and armaments to the war zones in Europe and Africa. There were several groups of war ships that carried out the duties of protecting the merchant-ship convoys as they went to and from their destinations. Canada lost several of these ships to German submarine torpedoes and shots from

German aircraft. Although the losses were not that great, lives of naval sailors were lost in the sinking of war ships. We sailed out of St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Halifax to Londonderry, Ireland, and occasionally to New York Harbour and the Azores Islands. The biggest ship convoy was composed of 67 merchant ships that we in the Canadian Navy escorted across the Atlantic Ocean. No losses occurred in those efforts. My duty station aboard my corvette was operating a radar detection device which was a new type of equipment at that time to spot any enemy submarines or aircraft that came near us. And so today, we remember those who gave their lives so that we may be free. Ken Seafoot in a talk given at the West-Man Nursing Home in 1999

WAR STORIES FROM MRS. MULLIGAN Members of the PPCLI Regiment from CFB Shilo listening to the war time stories of Vi Mulligan (second on left). They met for coffee after the Elkhorn Remembrance Day Service. Mrs. Mulligan served as an anti-aircraft gunner in England during WWII. (Originally published November 20, 2004)

Memories of a War Veteran November 10, 2007

The Canadian Arm , first division, came out of Italy at the seaport of Leghorn loaded on ships and sailed nonh past the Isle of Capri to Nice, France passing to the Isle of Monte Carlo. We camped overnight at Nice, France and in the morning set out for Holland. I was given a Jeep, a driver , my toolbox and a few repairs to be convoy mechanic . Just out of Nice we saw a shining object on the ground that turned out to be a small crescent wrench which I kept for the longest time. The road was good , but there were miles and miles of German traffic burned out and pushed off the road. We travelled north in France until we came to the

Vimy Memorial, then turned east through Belgium, arriving in Apeldoom, Holland in time to see some of the folks having their hair shaved for being friendly with the Germans. A few other soldiers and I were walking along when an officer stopped us and asked if one of us could drive a vehicle. I mentioned that I could and he ordered me - at gunpoint - to drive a truck. We drove to a place where the bagpipes were playing and soldiers were marching. We stopped and loaded the soldiers into our truck and drove off - how far I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. We stopped and something hit my truck. Upon inspection , it was a German eighty-eighty shell. It went through the hood taking out the carburetor, and the fuel pump and came into the cab. It skinned my leg

Lest we forget

and caused a big bulge in the cab but it did not explode! After an hour pause, the officer loaded the men into another truck and I was towed back to Apeldoom and l rejoined my group, which was Number 1 Light Aid Detachment. I still have a picture of the truck and l would like to hear from any other of the --- men that were also involved in that incident. Shortly after this incident the war came to an end and I was involved with the repatriation. The men who had joined up first and were in the war the longest came home first. I came back to Canada on the Aquatania and was pleased to return unharmed to make a new life for my English bride and myself. Submitted by W.H. (Bill) Jago

L e stW e F org e t


G reg N esbitt M L A fo rR id in g M o u n ta in sunrisecu.mb.ca

Four Things Support the World: The Learning of the Wise The Justice of the Great The Prayers of the Good And the Valor of the Brave

g reg n esbittm la @ m ym ts.n et| 204-759-3313 | 1-844-877-7767 #7 -515 -4th Avenu e (Bu rlingto n P la ce), Sho a l L a ke, M B



Remembering & Honouring our Heroes

Poland and the death camps November 11, 2000

Poland is country rich in history and traditions going back over 1,000 years. It is a nation that has, since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, been trying very hard to 'tatch up with the economics and lifestyles of Western Europe, with a few successes but more failures. However, during World War II it was the main location of the Nazi Holocaust - that is, the systematic, state-sponsored murder of Jews and others by the Nazis. It was to be the location, away from Germany proper, where, under Adolf Hitler 's orders, all Jews were to be eliminated as part of his plan to conquer the world. Indeed, by the end of the war, the Nazis had killed over six million Jewish men, women and children, with more than two-thirds of them being European Jews. Poland was the site of six camps, and to those who have studied the history of the Holocaust, they are names associated with the absolute evil that mankind was capable of: Treblinka, Birkenau, Chelmno, Sobibor, Majdanek, and Auschwitz. All these camps were created on major rail lines near large cities. Poland was chosen for three reasons. First, it had the largest concentration of Jews in Europe. Second, the Nazis knew that such an extermination operation could not be carried out in Germany, since they feared that public protest would result from it. Third, Poland had a long history of antisemitism and the Germans knew they could count on the population to help, not hinder, them. So in December 1941, the "Final Solution" began in these various camps. Over the next four years, the six million people who died were gassed, hung, burned, shot, starved, buried alive, and killed by insane medical experiments. Well over one million of the victims were children. What can I say about my time in these death camps that hasn't been said a thousand times before? I'm sure I can add little that is new, except my personal feelings when I stood alone on a railway siding at the camps or for a few terrifying seconds when either a person or a gust of wind slammed the door shut on me as I stood alone in the Auschwitz gas chamber. On the walls of these chambers you can still see the scratch marks where people died in agony as the poison gas quickly killed them. Over the main gate of Auschwitz hangs a sign saying “Arbeit Macht Frei”, which means “Work Brings Freedom”. However, the only freedom the workers found was in death. When a transport train of Jews arrived, the riders were quickly separated into those who would go immediately to the gas chambers and. those who

would be kept as slave labour. In order to calm the new arrivals, the Germans put up fake signs promising medical treatment and decontamination. These tricks worked time after time, for no one could believe that their numbers were being systematically slaughtered and cremated. One camp guard claimed in a post-war report that a group of 2000 people could be processed - from arrival to cremation - in an hour. Before the bodies were burned they would be searched one more time for valuables, which were removed. These included gold and silver tooth fillings. Often the unloading platforms were made to look like ordinary country railway stations, with flowers and shrubs being planted. At Auschwitz the camp orchestra would play popular music to calm the new arrivals’ fears. But for these people, this quaint railway station would be the end of the line for them, not a temporary transit camp as they were led to believe. The camps today have been preserved very well, and as · you walk through them, alone with your thoughts, you can easily imagine the horror, suffering and despair. I saw the wall where prisoners were shot, the torture cells, the memorial at Majdanek filled with tons of human ashes, the gas chambers and the crematorium ovens. Other than the few terrifying moments when I stood alone in the Auschwitz gas chamber, there are two other images that stand out in my mind. At one camp I saw room after room of prisoners’ personal effects that were stored and shipped back to Germany for civilian use, bearing the label “a gift to the German people from the German army”. These rooms contained hundreds of suitcases with names and addresses of those who perished carefully lettered by hand. Other rooms had mounds of artificial limbs, clothing and even toothbrushes, combs and shaving gear. However, it was the room filled with human hair, and the one with thousands of shoes that nobody · would ever wear again, that caused me to stop and linger. Among the hair was a long, thin blonde braid with a faded pink ribbon on it. It was that of a child, I’m sure, but who was that child and what might she have grown up to be? A wonderful singer? A doctor who discovered the cure for cancer? A caring and loving mother? We’ll never know. But we do know that over one million other children suffered the same fate as her. The shoe room contained a pair of bright red leather women’s shoes that even after 50 years still held their colour and feminine charm. My understanding of history often comes from the experience of being able to physically touch items representing a moment in time. I was able to put my fingers through the wires of the cage, touch the shoes, and as before, wonder for a

In Flanders elds the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, y Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We will remember them

few moments about who this victim was in life. Could she have been like the girls I know? Or · was she like my mother or sister? My mind raced with a flood of emotions. In another room I was able to reach across a rope barricade and touch the striped uniforms that camp inmates had actually worn. It was made of a coarse material and often was the last physical property of the Holocaust’s victims. My experiences were becoming too real for me. The figure of six million is one generally accepted by scholars but all agree that it is at best an estimate and that the true numbers of Holocaust victims will never be known. While in Poland, I talked and listened to many academics, survivors and people associated with the Holocaust. On one occasion, the following statement was-made: “no skinhead built and operated the death camps.” No, the people who came to believe the madness of the Nazi regime were educated and trained people from all walks of life in Germany. In fact, post-war research revealed that over SO German architectural firms had placed bids with the Nazi government to build the concentration camps! This said two things to me. First, the idea that the death camps were the work of crude, rough people is a myth, since most architects I have met are highly educated and creative people. Second, with that many firms competing, including all the draftsmen and printers who would have to make and handle plans and blueprints, the general denial of the knowledge of the existence of these camps is also a myth! My exposure to these camps has confirmed all that I have read, viewed or was told by my father · that for a brief period of time, the goodness that all mankind, possesses was overcome with absolute evil. Can you believe in man, after you have seen Auschwitz and the other camps? Shortly after the war, a Ger· man general at one of the death camps was asked, “Did you not worry about world reaction to the death camps?” He re· plied, “They would not believe you. They’d say you were mad... How can anyone believe this terrible business - unless he has lived through it?” Fifty-five years after this tragedy, I have relived it in my mind and in my spirit. I will never forget what was done, and I say that it must never be allowed to happen again. To the six million who died in the camps, and to all those who have died as the victims of racism and prejudice since 1945, we have a responsibility to always remember them and prevent further injustice, the way I see it! Story by Ed James

For those


We Remember

255 Wellington Street, Virden


On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month Please take two minutes to remember all of those who have risked and sacrificed their lives to allow you the freedoms you have today.


Profile for Virden-Empire-Advance

Remembrance Day 2020  

A look back at WWI stories from the archives of the Empire-Advance and soldiers experiences and more from later editions in our Remember The...

Remembrance Day 2020  

A look back at WWI stories from the archives of the Empire-Advance and soldiers experiences and more from later editions in our Remember The...