The Elgin County Museum Presents: The 6th Annual Vimy Lecture
2 PM, Saturday, April 9, 2016
Elgin County Administration Building, 450 Sunset Drive
4th Floor Museum
Elgin County Museum welcomes Kent May, Re-enactor
This year, Elgin County Museum is featuring the centenary of WWI and Elgin’s contribution to the war both at home and overseas. 2250 Elgin men and women served during the war and 400 did not return. The museum honours these men with a Wall of Remembrance. Others are remembered through illustrated highlights of their experiences.
One of those lost was Ellis Sifton, a Wallacetown native who, on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, single-handedly eliminated a German machine gun emplacement at the cost of his own life. He was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross, one of four presented to Canadians that day. His VC will be on display during the lecture.
As well, Chatham re-enactor Kent May will enact Sifton’s life in the trenches and at Vimy Ridge. Along with Kent will be two special guests, Tracy Gordon, a WWI nursing sister who is part of a re-enacted Casualty Clearing Station. This was a point near the front lines where wounded received care on their way to a hospital. We are also pleased to have the owner of a WWI-era automatic knitting machine on hand to demonstrate what for women of the day would have been a very welcome device. Socks were one of the many “comforts” sent to the boys at the front. Women all over Elgin County knitted socks by the hundreds during the war. The museum will exhibit a number of soldiers’ letters thanking groups, like the Aylmer Travel Club for their socks.
Samples of “trench cake” – often sent to the troops overseas – made from a special recipe that didn’t need eggs – will be available for tasting.
The Museum’s Vimy Lecture is held annually on the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917.