Commemorative banners honour veterans

The next time you’re walking along High Street in Southampton or Goderich Street in Port Elgin, look up and pause a moment.  There on the lamp posts are remembrances of those who served in the Great War and World War II.

Bill Streeter of the Municipal Heritage Committee had an idea … to remember those local young men of Southampton, Port Elgin and Saugeen First Nation with banners.

Streeter Chaired the Committee that undertook the Heritage project with the support of Royal Canadian Legion Branches 155 and 340. Working together, along with local families who contributed, banners of many of the local young service men now line the main streets of Southampton and Port Elgin.

Each banner is approximately four ft. x two ft. and bears a veteran’s name, photo and service in army, navy or air force. The banners will remain until Remembrance Day.

photo by John Willetts

“The banners put young faces and names to those from our community who served and never came home,” said John Willetts, President of Southampton Legion. “They also remind us of those veterans who did come home, their sacrifices and the debt we owe them and it’s a time for people to reflect on the meaning of Remembrance Day.  The number of young men and women from our small community who chose to serve  in the military, merchant navy and in humanitarian relief like the red cross is outstanding! “

“We also have to remember those who, during wartime, worked tirelessly in factories, training facilities and on the farms supporting the war effort,” adds Willetts.

The project will continue as they search for more names and photos of the 81 who died.  For sponsors and those who have more photographs, contact Tracey Edwards at 519-832-2008 ext. 105.

“This is not just about WWI and II,” says Streeter, “but all those from our community who died while in uniform.”