Commemoration of 100th Anniversary (to the day) Departure of 26th Battalion June 13, 1915 from Saint John

Commemoration of 100th Anniversary (to the day)

Departure of 26th Battalion June 13, 1915 from Saint John

June 13, 2015 (Saturday) 2:00pm-5:30pm

Saturday, June 13, begins at 9am with a “Soldiers Breakfast” being served until noon, which consists of everything a soldier “would have dreamed of eating” while serving at the front in the trenches.

The main event commences at 2:00 pm with a call to General Assembly and a formal welcome with introductions of the attending dignitaries. An Introduction to the 26th Battalion will be presented by Dawne McLean, who will also be reading letters written by her Great-Uncle, Hugh C. Wright, an Albert County soldier from Hopewell who served in the 26th and wrote the letters 100 years ago to the day.

Lieutenant-Colonel Bertin, Commanding Officer of the Royal New Brunswick Regiment (RNBR) will present a briefing on the RNBR, who perpetuate and carry the battle honours for the 26th Battalion.

Brent Wilson, Director of the NB Military Heritage Project at UNB Gregg Centre, will give an update on the “Toll of War” project which highlights Canada's Victoria Cross recipients.

This will lead into a biographical presentation on “Lt. Colonel Cyrus Peck, V.C., D.S.O.”, a legendary Victoria Cross recipient born in Hopewell Hill, Albert County, N.B. by Donald Alward, Albert County Museum Manager/Curator.

President of the Albert County Historical Society, Stuart Liptay, will update on the progress of the Victory Cannon Campaign and give the exciting history of the cannons, from their capture at Vimy Ridge to their arrival in Hopewell Cape.

The highlight of the afternoon will be a colour parade in honour of the 26th Battalion. On June 12, 1915 in front of cheering crowds in excess of 10,000 people, the 26th Battalion marched from the Armoury in Saint John to the Harbour. In the early morning hours on June 13, 1915, the 26th Battalion boarded the troop ship, “Caledonia” and sailed for England.

In commemoration of this historic event, the Royal New Brunswick Regiment will parade in full dress uniforms, along with the RCMP Pipes and Drums Band and local cadet groups (the 560 Moncton Army Cadets). The parade will be inspected by Brigadier General Peter Atkinson (retired). BGen. Atkinson served with the Canadian Forces for over 35 years, and still has strong ties to the Albert County area. This parade has special meaning for the Royal New Brunswick Regiment for they are the living embodiment of the 26th Battalion and hold their battle honours, which are extensive.

Period refreshments will be served following the colour parade and inspection.

The Museum will offer free admission with a free-will donation to the Victory Cannon Campaign during the day to see all the displays and exhibits throughout the Museum.