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Dec 05 2016

Sacrifice and Sorrow exhibit on now

Posted 229 days ago

Sacrifice and Sorrow:
Langley and the Great War of 1914 to 1918
April 9 - July 16

Opening on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Langley Centennial Museum's exhibition, Sacrifice and Sorrow, examines the Great War of 1914 to 1918 with a focus on what the conflict meant to the people of Langley. In 1914, Langley was still largely-forested, its economy based on both agriculture and the lumber trade. The community had virtually no military heritage of its own, yet when Britain declared war against Germany, Langley's young men - many of them recent immigrants from England and Scotland - streamed into Vancouver and New Westminster, hoping to join the First Canadian Contingent.

Sacrifice and Sorrow traces the men and women of Langley as they volunteered for service, made their way overseas, underwent training, and faced the enemy in the trenches of the Western Front. We also meet the soldiers' families - proud but anxious parents, innocent younger brothers, and ingenuous little sisters - for the war involved not just soldiers fighting in Europe, but also those who remained at home. Men, women, and children joined forces to raise money, create and gather supplies for soldiers, and shoulder many of the farm duties that would otherwise have occupied their fathers and brothers.

Discover the Great War through a collection of wartime uniforms, equipment, weapons, drawings and paintings, medals and decorations, letters, and memorabilia. Witness restored archival film footage of British Columbian soldiers drilling and embarking for overseas as well as footage of The Battle of the Somme, released in 1916 and touted at the time as "the most remarkable moving picture which has ever been produced." The exhibit also features a multimedia component prepared by Langley Fine Arts student Alex Houlihan.

Close to 400 young men and boys enlisted from Langley for service in uniform. Of these, one in ten would never return to their loved ones, their remains forever lying buried in the blood-stained soil of France or Flanders. The exhibition concludes with a look at their memorials, whether it be a carefully manicured grave in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery or as one of the thousands of names inscribed on memorials to the missing on the Menin Gate or at Vimy Ridge.

Join the museum and guest curator Warren Sommer at the exhibit opening on Sunday, April 9 from 3:00 - 4:30pm. For more information, please contact us at 604.532.3536 or curator@tol.ca.

Langley's Hector Jackson.  Photo courtesy of Andrew Jackson

Passchendaele

Langley's Edgar Nash (seated) with chums