By Emily Beliveau, Digital Project Assistant

115 years ago:
Canada sends troops to South Africa to fight with Britain in the Boer War (1899-1900). It is the first official dispatch of Canada troops overseas.

handkerchief commemorating the Boer War

Handkerchief with blue border from the South African War 1899-1900. EMPIRE WELDERG is written across top. Col. Baden Powel and Lord Methuen pictured in the top left corner; Gen. Gatacre and Gen. Hildyard pictured in bottom right corner; South African map in centre. The initials “RM” are embroidered in the lower left corner. Object ID: M951.0339.001.

100 years ago:
World War I starts. The 161st (Huron) Battalion, a unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was formed in 1916. We will be featuring much more WWI history related to Huron County over the coming years, following the 100-year anniversaries of various events.

victory medal front and back wwi

World War I artifact belonging to Gordon Cameron of Brussels who was born on July 3, 1897, and who died during World War I on August 27, 1918 in France.
This Victory Medal was awarded to British and Imperial Forces for Campaign Service during World War I. Never awarded singly, this Victory Medal was given to those who received the 1914 Star or the 1914-1915 Star, and to most of those who received the British War Medal. Over 6 million were awarded. Object ID: 2005.0027.409

95 years ago: 
Remembrance Day and Armistice Day are observed for the first time, marking the first anniversary of the end hostilities on the Western Front of World War I.


Canada at War by J. Castell Hopkins. Object ID: M951.0049.001. Image from a full-text scan available at the Internet Archive.

75 years ago: 
World War II starts. Over the past year, we’ve featured many images taken by J. Gordon Henderson at WWII air training sites in Huron County. A less-publicized component of the Henderson Digitization Project are the oral history excerpts that are also available online. Hear about wartime life in Huron County directly from those who were there.

Jeff Mellon on flight instructor liquor runs:

Donald Bruce on surviving a crash landing:

Transcripts and additional recordings available here.