Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:13

Just in time for Remembrance Day–Records of Sacrifice at Esplanade

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Contributed by the Esplanade

The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre Museum and Archives in Medicine Hat, working with local military genealogist Chris Enslen, and with the support of local defence supplier Meggitt Training Systems (Canada) Inc., have arranged for all of the records of all the men who enlisted in Medicine Hat for service during World War I to be digitally copied.

More than 1,300 men signed up in Medicine Hat for service during World War I. They put their lives on hold; left their dreams, families and jobs in order to serve their country. All of them made sacrifices; too many did not return.
In what is believed to be the largest undertaking of its kind in the country, the records of their service are being brought home to Medicine Hat with the First World War Enlistment Records Project. Due to the large number of files the project is expected to take over one year to complete and is scheduled to be finished in 2013, just a year short of the centennial of when the first of the volunteers signed up.
The project is being supported by the local defense supplier Meggitt Training Systems (Canada) Inc. Their assistance will allow present and future generations of Medicine Hat students to examine the records of their predecessors who volunteered to preserve freedom and democracy. Genealogists and   the public will also be able to conveniently access materials at the Esplanade Archives Reading Room which have previously only been available in Ottawa.
The Esplanade Museum and Archives will also benefit substantially. “We are currently planning a major new exhibit to commemorate the centennial of the First World War and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Second World War,” said Museum Curator Robert Bruce Shepard. “Having these records will help us immensely with our research.”

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