Banners with information about Summerland’s fallen soldiers will be displayed around the community prior to Remembrance Day, Nov. 11.
The importance of knowing fallen soldiers is what lead former Summerland councillors David Gregory and David Finnis to come up with the Remembrance Banner project.
They discussed this at an informal Summerland municipal council meeting in 2000. Each fallen soldier or nurse would be commemorated with a banner with his or her photograph to be displayed around town during the week of Remembrance Day.
Researching the lives of the fallen from the First and Second World War began with help from Sherril Foster, then curator and administrator of the Summerland Museum.
In 2007, Summerland Remembers, by David Gregory and Sherril Foster was published despite errors, hoping the community would come forth with additional information. They received some feedback from several individuals.
Gregory’s next task was tracking down photographs of the fallen and fundraising for these banners. It was a slow process trying to track down descendants and extensive online searches for photographs.
Several individuals and businesses purchased a banner. The banners, measuring 61 by 153 centimetres.
In 2012, the first banners funded by local residents were displayed in early November. This was followed in 2015 with 10 banners, funded by Ken Dunsdon and by 2016, there were 57 banners displayed.
In 2018, Summerland Credit Union, an early sponsor, agreed to fund 16 more banners over the next two years. From this time on, banners would be of a soldier’s silhouette unless a photograph was found.
In 2019, the remaining eight banners with silhouettes were added.
This left two more First World War soldiers without banners, A. Bridgeman and E. Johnson. Researchers have not identified Bridgeman, and Johnston survived the war.
Banners for another 33 fallen soldiers from both wars who are not named on the cenotaph are being considered.
This location to display the banners was determined by David Hill because of his extensive historical knowledge of pioneer families.
He based the location on where the person or the family lived, worked or played.
Hill wanted these street banners, hung on lamp standards to be centrally located so that they will be visible to all around the week of Remembrance Day.
At the end of 2019, the Summerland Legion stepped up when a new storage location for these banners was needed.
Legion member John Dorn chose to display each banner for a month, by the entrance to the Legion. This was accompanied by a concise researched soldier biography so everyone can get to know the soldier better.
So far the story of George Dale (1897-1918), Olive Millicent de Satge de Thoren (1876-1917) (only woman on the cenotaph), Tremlett Foster Knox (1879-1916) and Laurence Hickey (1919-1944) has been displayed.
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