The City of Parksville wants to know more about local war veterans who died during the First and Second World Wars and are asking the public for help.
Parksville is planning on installing banners honouring veterans – whose names are listed on the Parksville Cenotaph – on lamp poles along Island Highway. Banners would feature veterans’ photos and are expected to be installed in October and will remain on display until sometime after Remembrance Day.
Parksville is also planning on adding a section to its website that features photographs and information about its local war veterans.
Although research has been underway for a while now, the city has not been able to find photographs and information for all of the veterans listed on the cenotaph and is turning to the public for help.
“The city and the Parksville Museum and Archives are seeking photographs to use in the banner program and learn about the veterans to be able to add to their stories,” the city said in a media release.
Parksville says it has been able to find photos and information for about half of the 60 names listed on the cenotaph but has had a difficult time finding photos of veterans from the First World War.
“Many of the local young men who enlisted, especially in World War One, had recently arrived from places as far away as the U.K. and even Australia. Many were too young to have started families, adding to the challenge of finding photographs,” the municipality said in its release.
Parksville says research has been challenging at times and the images they have found have come from archives in England and Ireland, as well as the Parksville Museum, UBC archives, Times Colonist, and personal collections. The city adds that it will only create a banner for a veteran that doesn’t include a photograph or information as a “last resort” and only after it has “completely exhausted” all avenues.
“By reaching out to the public for help, we hope to find connections to these veterans that we have not been able to access through our research.”
The project is expected to continue in 2021.
Those who have photographs or information to share are asked to contact Deb Tardiff, the city’s manager of communications, at 250-954-3073 or [email protected].
For more information about the banner project visit www.parksville.ca. To view the list of veterans whose photographs and information are still needed, click here. To see all the veterans listed on the Parksville cenotaph, click here.