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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read