Remembrance Day display at the Red Deer Museum revisits 1916

The ‘I Remain Your Loving Son’ exhibit presents snapshots from the Great War

When Colin Broughton went to fight the Kaiser’s forces in the trenches of France, his letters home were published in the local newspaper.

With friends and neighbours following Broughton’s letters in the Red Deer News, the whole community’s hopefulness about the First World War was badly shaken when the 25-year-old was killed in the Battle of the Somme, said the museum’s curatorial assistant, Miranda Riley.

Broughton was among 50 young men from the region who fell in that notorious offensive that lasted from July 1 to Nov. 19 1916. In the end, allied forces gained 10 kilometres of ground at the expense of a million soldiers getting killed or injured in the bloodiest battle in recorded history.

Riley said losses from The Somme were a massive blow for Red Deer, since a total of 850 soldiers from the area had enlisted to fight in the entire 1914-1918 Great War. But lessons learned from that battle changed some of the tactical ways war was fought, and there were less losses at Vimy Ridge.

Several of Broughton’s messages to his parents can be read in this year’s Remembrance Day display at the museum, which commemorates events from 100 years ago.

The exhibit I Remain Your Loving Son, contains copies of his published letters. While the originals are presumed lost, their texts were obtained from archived editions of the Red Deer News, said Riley.

“They’re interesting snapshots of what was going on there, what he was seeing and feeling,” she added — although Broughton might have spared his parents the worst of his experiences, since the letters are generally optimistic in tone.

Artifacts from another local soldier — Arthur Bowers — are also displayed, including the compass his parents gave him and the Silver Cross medal received by his mother after Bowers’ death in battle at age 22. Museum guests can see a photo of Sgt. Walter MacKenzie, a local soldier who made it home from the Great War.

Museum workers will be bringing out other old photos from their collection at an open house from 2-4 p.m. on Nov. 27, and are hoping members of the public will help identify some unnamed people in them. Refreshments will be served.

Other special Remembrance Day events are crafts and activities from 1-4 p.m. on Nov. 11, and a history of the Red Deer Legion talk by Bev Haines from 2-4 p.m. on Nov. 20. Everyone is welcome.

Just Posted

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Winter Games flame arrives in Red Deer

Roly McLenahan torch has arrived

Ready, set, go!

2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off Friday night with Opening Ceremonies

Penhold house fire under investigation

Fire quickly knocked down

Ontario government promises ‘action’ if Hydro One doesn’t cut proposed CEO pay

TORONTO — Ontario’s energy minister says the government will take “any and… Continue reading

WATCH: Canada Games Hall of Honour inductees offer advice to athletes

The inductees were honoured at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer Thursday

Canada avoids world’s top players in opening round of Davis Cup

MADRID — Canada has avoided a confrontation with any of the current… Continue reading

Canada’s McKeever swaps skis for tuxedo, nominated for Laureus World Sport Award

CALGARY — From a glitzy awards ceremony in Monaco to the nordic… Continue reading

Scrutiny, family woes pile pressure on pregnant Meghan

LONDON — When Meghan Markle became engaged to Prince Harry, the American… Continue reading

It’s a girl! Berlin zoo’s baby polar bear has 1st checkup

Berlin’s Tierpark zoo says its latest baby polar bear is “a perky,… Continue reading

Local Sports: Kaitlan Linnell achieves hockey dream

Coming up through Red Deer minor hockey Kaitlan Linnell had a dream… Continue reading

Michael Kors throws a ’70s bash with Barry Manilow on stage

NEW YORK — Michael Kors threw a fashion show worthy of Studio… Continue reading

CBC aims to double amount of kids programming on Gem streaming service

The CBC says it’s redirecting some funding to invest in programming for… Continue reading

Cleaning routine shows promise in curbing superbug infection

Think of it as decontaminating yourself. Hospitalized patients who harbour certain superbugs… Continue reading

Most Read