|Cultural Manager Angela Bobier with Elgin County Museum curator Mike Baker|
During the war, families would display the flag in their front window to indicate that they had a loved one fighting overseas. While the practice was more popular in the United States, the Canadian version still became a known symbol on the home front. As a 1918 Maclean's magazine ad reads, "Make sure to secure the duly registered design: red border-- white field-- blue maple leaves-- red leaves for the fallen."
Elgin County Museum curator and commemoration committee member Mike Baker is hoping the community will participate in the centennial by displaying their own service flags in support and solidarity. A printed insert of the iconic symbol can be found in the June 8 special 91st Battalion edition of the St. Thomas Times-Journal.
To find out if you live in the home of a 91st Battalion volunteer, you can check your address in the Nominal Roll of the 91st found at ww1elgin.ca by looking for the column headed "address of next-of-kin". Also at ww1elgin.ca is the Elgin County Book of Remembrance, which contains the names of all WWI servicemen and women from the county.
Baker and the rest of the organisers, including committee chair Hon. Lt.-Col. Mark Sargent, are anticipating hundreds of people will descend on St. Thomas to take in the monumental two-day event. On Saturday June 25, members of The Elgins will parade from city hall to the CASO station, where a commemorative plaque will be unveiled to honour the 91st Battalion. There will also be a picnic at Pinafore Park and historic re-enactments taking place at the armouries.