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Archive for the ‘collections’ Category

From the Collection – Artefact from WWI

April 19th, 2013

This military headdress and cap badge belonged to a member of the 38th Battalion during the First World War. Popularly known as the 38th “Ottawa” or the “Royal Ottawas” this Battalion was organized in 1914 as an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The 38th saw action in numerous battles including the Somme, Vimy, Ypres, and Passchendaele and was awarded an amazing 299 individual decorations for bravery during the war. The 38th returned home to Ottawa in June of 1919 and the unit was demobilized, having nearly 4,000 officers and non-commissioned members passing through its ranks between its arrival in France, August 1916, and the armistice in November 1918.

Following the war the history and honours of the 38th Battalion would be perpetuated by the 43rd Regiment, keeping their heritage alive as they continue on to this day as The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.

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Spread the Word About Women & the War

January 2nd, 2013

Kurt Johnson’s New Year’s wish is to help spread a better appreciation of the contributions of women to our colonial history.  We think he’s well on his way with this fabulous article in The Ottawa Citizen.

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The Stittsville News Turns 55 Today

December 12th, 2012


Over the years the Museum has received excellent coverage in the Stittsville News including this front page photo from February 1992 taken at the Museum’s “Living Off The Land” Exhibit at its Heritage Day Open House.  

The very first issue of the Stittsville News was published on this day 55 years ago.

The newspaper was founded in 1957 by Howard Maguire and in 1975 John Curry became the owner. John has been dedicated to telling Stittsville’s stories ever since. Although the Stittsville News was sold to Metroland News in 2011, John continues to be an ambassador for his community and can regularly be found around town with pen and paper in hand.  Over the years Goulbourn Museum has benefitted greatly from John’s dedication to spreading the word of our news and events. 
Happy Anniversary to the Stittsville News, and a special thank you to John Curry for truly putting the word “community” in this community newspaper.

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Exceptional Women of the War of 1812 Lecture at Richmond Library

December 5th, 2012


Kurt Johnson

Discover how four women from Richmond and Goulbourn Township endured the hardships and dangers of wartime in Upper Canada. 
 
On Dec. 12th our very own Kurt Johnson will be giving a lecture at the Richmond Branch of the Ottawa Public Library about Exceptional Women of the War of 1812. He will be recounting the stories of pioneer women who, along with their soldier husbands, experienced trials and tribulations during the War of 1812. 
 
The lecture begins at 2:30 p.m. Click HERE for more information or to register.

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Letters from the Front – Part 7

November 19th, 2012


Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.
This is letter number seven.
The Goulbourn Museum’s wartime display at the Stittsville Library.

Somewhere in France – December 31, 1916
Dear Mother:
                Just came out of the trenches after being in for six days which included Christmas.  It was certainly a new Xmas for us.  It continued raining throughout the day; everything was quite quiet all day until coming on night when they opened up their artillery quite freely, keeping this up longer than usual.  On our side, the bombardment didn’t cause much harm.
                Got two parcels from you sent some time ago.  Had a letter from Earl the other day.  He was getting along splendidly.  He is a lucky lad all right as he will miss all the bad weather and will hardly be back here again.  Sid and Ervie are both fine.  Haven’t seen Arthur but have seen some of his Battalion who told me he was fine.  Did you get any of those Xmas cards I sent?
                I got a letter from you, Jonathan Craig and a Xmas card from Irene Neelin.  We haven’t yet seen the plum pudding they spoke of in the papers but we may get something extra tomorrow.
                I suppose you have nice cold weather in Canada.  How are they getting along their rink which I heard was to be started some time ago?
                The trenches are very muddy this time of the year, being half full of water in some places.  Have been using long, hip rubber boots when in the worst parts of the line.  On Xmas day we nearly had a few Fritzies coming over.  We were out in a saf, which is a trench running out in front of the main line, which is really a strong point.  We didn’t do any sniping Xmas day, but put on a hot celebration that night.  You speak of us getting our furloughs. They are yet to come.
With love to all,
Sefton

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Letters from the Front – Part 6

November 15th, 2012

Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.

This is letter number six:

















Somewhere in France – September 22, 1916

Dear Mother:

                Received your letter written Sept. 5th the other day, being very glad to hear from you all.  Today I got letters from Clystal, Jonathan and Austin Dilworth.

                I suppose George is back from the Fair.  If he went, I hope he made out good; anyway it would be a good time for him.  I am writing this in a dugout on my knees.  By the time you receive this, the Richmond fair will be over.  Hope there is fine weather for it.  It has been very wet here lately, making the trenches very muddy and miserable.

                We are now unable to send mail regularly as we were before.  As you know, it has to be censored by our own officers.  How did Pa and George get along with the grain?  There must have been a splendid crop on the six acres.

                They are now holding the Germans down very good but they are sure hardy guys.  There is great talk of the war being over by Xmas, so they are rushing things at all points.

                I am sure that Eric would have a splendid trip west, together with the other Richmond lads.  How are Channon and Willie getting along?

                You mentioned in your last letter about Sam McFee’s brother getting shot in the leg being an accident, but it wasn’t.  It was a bullet from a machine gun that hit him while out working.

                I hear Miss Cowell is Evyleen’s teacher, also George’s.  Did you ever get my old 77thbadges which I sent just before leaving Bramshott?  If sending any underwear, send full length.  You were talking of sending money.  Well, we can get Canadian money exchanged here.

                Must close for now.

Best love to all,
Sefton

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Letters from the Front – Part 5

November 12th, 2012

Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.

This is letter number five:

The complete letters from Pte. Sefton Stewart are on display at the Stittsville Library.











August 25, 1916
Dear Grandfather,

Received your letter August 23rd, being very much pleased to hear from you.  I suppose on hearing of us in Belgium will be a surprise to you.  Our visit in England was much shorter than I expected.  We are now over in France and Belgium about two weeks.
On this front they seem to be holding the Germans very well, but things have been quite quiet lately.  The other day, they put over a number of large shells around our quarters, not doing much harm.  The report of these large guns was hard on the nerves at first but we are getting used to it.  Already there have been five killed and several wounded out of our Battalion.  I suppose you think well of the Scottish Battalion.
Have you been down home lately? I think you should go down and keep mother company.  You are already aware that we can’t give any information that would put anybody wise to our situation…
Best love,
Sefton

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Letters from the Front – Part 4

November 10th, 2012


Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime.

This is letter number four:
August 24, 1916 – Somewhere
Dear Mother,
                Received two of your letters today, one from George, and one from Clystal.  The mail is delayed some on account of our Battalion being divided.  It is certainly interesting to travel over this country, seeing the fine property all in destruction.  The Belgians seem a very quiet, friendly race of people.

                I suppose you have already heard of the casualties out of the 73rd.  These were out of the other company who are separated from us.  They were coming out of the trenches, being green on the job, and got shelled.  A company is now out with a working party taking supplies up to the trenches and repairing.  Of course, all this is done during the night.  When you get into the dugout, it is something like an underground world, everything being up to date.

                How are they getting along with the harvest?  You had a very good hay crop.  That is a good idea working together with the Neelins.

                Tonight I am not out, so am taking the opportunity of writing under the light of a candle.

With best love to all,
Sefton

PS.  The Allies seem to have the best of the Germans, but today they put quite a few shells over, not doing much harm.  It is thought the war will be over about Xmas.

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WOMEN’S DAY: Fashions of Yesteryear on Display at Watson’s Mill Nov. 3-11

November 2nd, 2012

Come to Manotick for the ultimate Girl’s Day Out! Bring your friends, neighbors, and relatives for refreshments, in-store specials, prizes and much more! Arrive early in town and receive a complimentary gift, while supplies last.  Women’s Day is an annual one-day festival in Manotick, held annually on the first Saturday of November.  It is sponsored and coordinated by the Manotick BIA and brought to you by your local merchants.

For the occasion, Watson’s Mill is hosting a special exhibit featuring period clothing.  The exhibit showcases beautiful reproductions and some original pieces, borrowed from the collections of Watson’s Mill, Rideau Township Historical Society, Goulbourn Museum, OsgoodeMuseum, Vanier Museoparc and Nepean Museum.  Visitors will see a large variety of pieces spanning from the mid 1700’s to the 1950’s, including basic, every day Upper Canada fashion, upper-class ladies-wear from the 1860’s to 1920’s, Victorian wedding apparel, mourning pieces, and of course, a variety of original, and unmentionable!, “under things”.

Period pieces will be displayed both at the Carriage Shed and the Dickinson House, from November 3rd to November 11th.  Admission is by donation. The participating community museums are all members of the Ottawa Museum Network—get your Connexion Card, and save on OMN participating museum admissions and special cardholder events throughout the year.  Visit ottawamuseumnetwork.ca for more details on the Connexion Card.

In addition, community members are requested to clean out their closets and bring their gently used ladies clothing and accessories, which will be collected at Watson’s Mill and the Carriage Shed during the Women’s day weekend.  The donated clothing will be forwarded to local women’s shelter organizations.
On Saturday, November 3rd, come to Historic Dickinson Square and discover fashions of yesteryears. Not only will ladies feel “girly”, they will leave wanting to spend the day shopping, appreciating modern-day clothing!

Watson’s Mill is a unique 1860’s grist and flour mill located in Manotick, on the shores of the Rideau River.  A working industrial heritage site in greater Ottawa, it has a remarkable history linked to local politics, the building of a country, and a tragic love story.  The WMMI mandate is to preserve Watson’s Mill as a working historic grist and flour mill, and a social, cultural and educational focal point for the community and visitors.


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Letters from the Front – Remembering the Great War 1914-1918

November 1st, 2012

Throughout the month of November we will be posting excerpts from a selection of wartime correspondence between Pte. Sefton Stewart of the 77th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and his family in Richmond, Ontario.  The complete letters will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library in the Museum’s exhibit honouring Goulbourn in wartime. In addition to Sefton Stewart’s letters, there will also be local artefacts from that era, and a book containing the names of local Veterans. These men and women were either born in Goulbourn or were long-time residents of the area. If you should find there is a Veteran from Goulbourn who is not listed, please let us know – we welcome additions to this collection.
Sefton was 17-years-old when he joined the war effort.  His father was James Stewart, whose occupations included undertaker, carriage maker, farmer and one-time reeve of the village.  His mother was Margaret (McLean) Stewart.  Sefton’s family home was at 39 Perth Street in Richmond.
The Goulbourn Museum gratefully acknowledges the kind donation of these First World War letters from Mrs. Mary (Seabrook) Munro, niece of Sefton Stewart.  Her family preserved these letters for 93 years.
The correspondence covers a period from 1916 to 1918 and demonstrates in a very human way the huge sacrifices made by these young men and their families, the devastation of the European cities and countryside and the intolerable loss of life suffered by families and by countries who saw so many of its youth killed on the battlefields of Europe.  These letters capture the feel of the period in a way no history book can attempt to replicate.
Here is the first excerpt:
July 2, 1916 – Stationed at Bramskott Camp, England
 
Dear Mother:
     How is everybody?  As for me, I am quite well.  There are so many things to tell, I don’t know what to tell first.  Wrote two letters on ship but didn’t get posting them because it was reported no letters to be mailed within four days after out arrival.  Did you get the cablegram we sent?
     We had a very good trip; the weather being fine, except for the first two days which were foggy.  A great many were sick, Sid and Arthur were sick for half a day, but we were all dizzy at first.  Left Halifax Tuesday morning, arrived in England Thursday, the 28th.  Our ship, the Missanabie, Empress of Britain, and the Drake, a man-of-war, sailed together.  Saw quite a few ships.  The Drake guarded them off. 
     Came into Liverpool Harbour Thursday night.  It is a very large harbour, being crowded with ships.  From Liverpool to Bramshott Camp, it is a bushy country, divided up here and there with farms, cultivated mostly by women.
     Bramshott Camp is so large you could easily get lost, there being about 40,000 troops stationed here.  Saw Percy Foster out of the 89th and Michael Fox out of the 38th, both being very glad to see us.  We are crowded, about 15 in each tent, making it very hard to move around.
     On the 1st of July there was an inspection of all these troops by the King at Hinhead, eight miles from our camp.  A company of the 77th went as a guard.  Being the first time to see the King, it was something wonderful to see such a gathering of troops.
     The second day we were here there was an inspection by Lord Brooks, Commander of this camp.  A lot of the Battalions have been divided, but we haven’t been yet.  On ship we only had a little physical drill in the mornings.  On our ship there were 1800 soldiers; a person would never imagine all the works and machinery there is about a ship.  There were four sittings each meal, there being accommodation for 450 each sitting.
     The weather is very changeable, raining frequently.  Our first night in camp it rained all night.  We are surrounded by villages, two and three miles away.  There are some deep valleys giving a fine view of the country.  The north coast of Ireland was our first sight of land which we were all anxious to see.  The rocky coast is all divided off into small patches and the grass is very green.  When we came into the dangerous zone, we were met by three torpedo destroyers, a long, low little boat which has very high speed.  These stopped with us until we reached England.
     I guess I will write all afternoon as it is our only time, but will have to take in some of the sports which are going on.  Must write to Clystal.  Canadian mail goes Monday and Thursday.
Best love to all,
Sefton
Pte.  Sefton Stewart
77 Battalion
A Co. No. 1 Platoon
Bramshott camp
c/o Army Post Office London, England

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Goulbourn Museum

Goulbourn Museum