New Brunswick

#1: The Beginning

It has been three weeks and two days since I began my role as Manager/Curator of the Albert County Museum. I fully intended on blogging sooner but time and tasks ran away with me. Over the course of this, my first year, my goal is to give you, dear reader, a look into my daily life, activities, and reflections as you would find in the journal or diary of any ship's captain. There will continue to be educational articles but, in the Captain's Log, I invite you to share with me in the ups and downs, ins and outs, successes and mistakes (!!!) of my first voyage.

If we haven't met yet, let me introduce myself. My name is Melody Land. I have a husband, a child, and a dog.

Some of my earliest memories are shaped by the land in Albert County. In my oldest memory, I am sitting on someone’s knee (my Great Grandfather Guy, a farmer) and there is well-worn brown work-pants and a hand, lined and leathery with age and hard work in the elements. He pinches the skin and it stands up! Then he wiggles his fingers and it is erased, like some form of magic.   

My family history is rooted in Albert County. Originally, my Mother’s family lived in West River where they farmed. Eventually, they moved to Hillsborough where work in the mill awaited the men and indoor plumbing awaited the women. My Father’s family hailed from Hopewell Cape. On Valentine’s Day in World War II my Great Grandfather Albert immigrated here from England – literally a person brought here by the tides. To make the long story short, a house boy fell in love, married, and ended up working for the post. Since then, the Lands have always resided in Hopewell Cape. Now I do as well, nestled in the web of generations of people whose stories and lore are as much a part of our county as our county is a part of us.

When I was young, there were a few things I could do well. I could talk the ears off anyone I met. I could tell imaginative stories. I could learn. I was intuitive. Those things, and an appreciation of local history led me into summer employment within the tourism industry, finishing at the Steeves House Museum in Hillsborough as acting Administrator. Academically, I pursued education in the Social Sciences (because “people” were my “thing”) and completed my last foray into academia when I graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Counselling Psychology. My employment history has been diverse, and my heart has been in working within non-profit agencies like Oxfam Canada, the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA) and the John Howard Society developing programming, teaching/facilitating, and working within my community to effect positive change.

As soon as I saw the advertisement for the position of Curator/Administrator of the Albert County Museum, I immediately began working on my application. With my background in employment training and management, program development, and administration combined with my love of our home, our environment, our history, and our future, I look forward to effecting positive change here in my own backyard.

Welcome on the journey, here's to the beginning!

~ Melody


Amazing Photo Collection of Vimy Gun in Hopewell Cape - Circa 1935

We have just received some amazing photos of the Hopewell Cape Vimy Gun from the family photo collection of Susan Richardson. With special thanks to Kevin Snair of Creative Imagery for scanning and sending them to us! Five are from the 1930s and one from the 1960s. The photo of the five boys on the Hopewell Cape Vimy Ridge Gun is from 1935 and shows Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop on the gun. Isn't the camouflage paint job amazing!

Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop Circa 1935

Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop Circa 1935

AC Museum to Commemorate New Brunswick Battalions of the Great War - June 11

On June 11, 2016, everyone is invited to visit between 10:00am and 4:00pm to share memories and memorabilia from the First World War relating to New Brunswick’s significant contribution. A number of other Museums will be on hand for the day with items from their collections for a great show and tell experience. Besides the Albert County Museum, Resurgo Place (Moncton Museum), Musee Acadien and the New Brunswick Military History Museum will all bring items to help share New Brunswick's stories and answer questions.

The event is not just limited to collections housed in museums either. The public is also invited to bring items and memorabilia from their private collections to show publicly for the day. If you wish to bring along some items, please contact the Albert County Museum in advance at 734-2003 to reserve your space.

The Museum will offer admission with a free-will donation towards the Museum’s Victory Cannon Campaign for the restoration of the two First World War Trophy Cannons that sit prominently next to the highway in front of the museum buildings.

If you're wondering if your items are from New Brunswick, here is a list of all the NB raised Battalions and Batteries: 


New Brunswick Battalions of the Great War - Come Share Your Memories and Memorabilia - Sat. June 11, 2016 10am-4pm

On June 11, 2016 from 10am until 4pm we are hosting a New Brunswick Battalions of the Great War Event, where we are bringing together collectors, museums and individuals to share Memories and Memorabilia of the First World War. If you have one piece or a whole collection of items from any of the New Brunswick Battalions and Batteries we encourage you to come out. Please share this with anyone who might be interested. Admission is a free-will donation to the Victory Cannon Campaign, which is restoring two WW1 German cannons that sit in the square in Hopewell Cape, NB. This event will be held in the Community Hall at the Albert County Museum, in Hopewell Cape, NB.

Top 10 Historical Events in Albert County in Review - #10 Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948

Top 10 Historical Events in Albert County in Review - #10 Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948

The Tenth Top 10 Historical Event in Albert County was Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948. The following is an excerpt from “The Salt and the Fir: Report on the History of the Fundy Park Area” by Gilbert Allardyce.  The Museum has a typed copy of the unpublished 160 page report in the museum collection. It should be noted that the founding of the park was the primary impetus behind the creation of the Albert County Museum, to help keep alive the memory of the communities lost in the creation of the park. CLICK TO READ MORE!

Top 10 Historical Events in Albert County in Review - #4 The Founding of the County 1845


The fourth event in the Top Ten Historical Events in Albert County History in review. 

  1. First European Settlers in 1699. 

  2. The Acadian Expulsion in 1755. Ending 57 years of Acadian colonies in Albert County, this includes the Battle of Petitcodiac, September 4, 1755. 

  3. Arrival of the Steeves family in 1766. 

  4. The founding of the county 1845. 

    Prior to the establishment of the Province of New Brunswick in 1784, Albert County was part of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

    During the late 1700's, following the arrival of tens of thousands of Loyalist refugees from the American Revolutionary War pressure began to build to separate New Brunswick and Nova Scotia into two Provinces. Originally following the split of the two provinces in 1784, Albert County was part of Westmorland County. However, with the economic and population growth of the county in the early 1800's pressure began to build to split the county into two separate counties. In 1845, the lands west of the Petitcodiac River in Westmorland County were established as a separate county and named Albert in honour of the Prince Consort. The main reason for creating a separate county was because the seat of Government of Westmorland County was located across the Petitcodiac River in Dorchester. Dorchester is not accessible by water in the winter and a journey by land could take several days. This made it difficult for Government and Legal proceedings to be carried out in a timely manner.

    Each county in New Brunswick is divided into parishes. The number of parishes in Albert County has changed over the years as the population has expanded. The original parishes (known as townships) were Hopewell and Hillsborough both established in 1765. Salisbury township was created in 1787, it included the lands west of the Hopewell and Hillsborough townships including parts of what are now Elgin and Alma Parishes. Note the Village of Salisbury is part of Westmorland County and not Albert County. When Albert County was created in 1845 the Village of Salisbury remained part of Westmorland County. Elgin Parish was set off from Salisbury Parish in 1847. Coverdale Parish was created out of the lands west of Hillsborough in 1828 and was extended west to the County line in 1845. The Parish of Harvey was set off from Hopewell in 1838, and included Alma Parish. Alma Parish was created in 1855 when Harvey Parish was divided. From 1855 until today Albert County has been divided into sixparishes they are: Alma, Harvey, Hopewell, Hillsborough, Coverdale, and Elgin.

    Hopewell Cape was chosen as the location for the Shiretown (seat of government) of the new county. In 1845 construction began on three new buildings in the new Shiretown. They were the Municipal building, where the business of the new county such as land registration would take place, the Court House where trials would be held, and the County Gaol (Jail) where prisoners awaiting trial were to be held. The original court house built in 1845, burned down in a forest fire in 1903. It was replaced in 1904 by a beautiful two story building.

    The new court house contained judges chambers, a second story balcony which allowed more people to attend court proceedings, and modern amenities including plumbing.

    The most striking feature of the new court house was the beautiful tin ceiling which was hand made by local tin smiths. The one story Gaol built next to the court house was constructed out of local stone and contained three jail cells. Following the forest fire of 1903 a second story was added to this building when the court house was rebuilt.This second story was where the jailor and his family lived. Although the stone walls of the jail cells and the heavy jail cell doors look imposing, in fact most of the inmates of the jail were not incarcerated for serious crimes.

    Most were let out of their cells each day to work off their debt to society. The most famous trial ever held at the court house was the trial of Tom Collins for the murder of Mary Ann McAuley in 1906. After three trials Tom was found guilty of the crime of murder and sentenced to hang. He was hanged outside the jail and then buried on the lawn behind the Jail. 

    By the 1960's the municipal building, court house, and jail ceased being used to conduct government business and the buildings were turned over to the Albert County Historical Society. The Historical Society now operates the buildings as a museum. Visitors to Albert County can visit the museum in the summer months and learn more about the history of Albert County. 

    The minutes from the first few meetings of the new County Council for Albert County, held in 1845, still survive to this day. A number of issues were discussed at these meetings. The minutes reflect the issues faced by the county councilors in those days. They included: establishing community pastures, selling "illegal" liquor at a tavern, contracts for mail conveyance by horseback (transporting mail by pony express), appointment of "Overseers of the Poor", funding allocation for each parish for activities such as schools, and appointment of parish tax collectors. 

    One of the most interesting notes from those County Council minutes, indicates that the "Overseers of the Poor" had discretion as to the quantity of (seed) potatoes to be given to the poor. In addition, they were not to give an amount exceeding ten bushels of potatoes to any one individual or family. It appears that potatoes were more important in those days than money.

    A census taken in 1851 indicated that the population of Albert County was over six thousand people. The largest number of recent immigrants were from Ireland. This was because of the second wave of Irish immigrants from Ireland who had come here due to the potato famine in Ireland from 1845 - 1848

    By 1871, the population of Albert County had grown to over ten thousand. As industries such as farming, forestry, and mining expanded, so did the population. 

  5. Development of Commercially Viable Kerosene from Albertite by geologist Abraham Gesner in 1846 which led directly to the petroleum age and the modern world and indirectly to saving all the whales. Thanks Albert County!

  6. The Saxby Gale of 1869, which brought untold destruction of property and the loss of a number of lives. 

  7. The Birthplace and Hometown of Canada's 11th Prime Minister RB Bennett (b1870), who founded the Bank of Canada, the CBC and numerous other important Canadian Institutions.

  8. The Tom Collins Axe Murder Triple Trial which directly lead to Canada's Double Jeopardy laws. Double Jeopardy is a procedural defence that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction.

  9. Winning the Victory Loans Competition of 1919 by raising a greater percentage over their set goal than anywhere else in the Province. The county raised $347600.00 with a goal of $110000.00. That's triple the amount! (in today's dollars that is $6.2 million!).

  10. Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948.

A Window on the Great War - A Letter from the Front, December 9, 1915 Belgium

One Hundred years ago, Hugh C. Wright from Shepody, Albert County, NB was busy fighting with the 26th New Brunswick battalion in trenches of Belgium. He was only 20 years old at the time. This was one of his letters home and was written December 9 & 10, 1915.  

A note on the Author - Hugh Carlisle Wright, from Hopewell,(Shepody), Albert County, NB, enlisted in the 26th Battalion on November 17, 1914. He was 19 years of age. He was in A Company, No. 1 Platoon while training in Saint John. He served in the 26th Battalion, 5th Infantry Brigade in Belgium and France and spent 17 months in the trenches. In February 1917, he transferred to the 4th Siege Battery, 2nd Brigade CGA and was a gunner for the remainder of the war. He was discharged in May 10, 1919...on his birthday!

Hugh's letters are addressed … “Dear Father” because his mother died when he was only 7 years old. Harvey and Clarke were Hugh's older brothers. His brother Clarke enlisted in October 1915, arriving in England with CEF April 1916. Harvey didn't enlist but stayed home to run the family farm in Shepody. 

It's amazing to have the original envelope for the letter (scroll through the pictures) which shows the letter probably left Belgium on the 11 and arrived in Riverside on the 28th of December only 17 days... 

With many thanks to Hugh Wright's great niece, Dawne McLean who kindly submitted the letter.

Dec. 9Th, 1915

Dear Father,

I received your letter of the 14th November day before yesterday and was very glad to get it. I got the parcels from home including the shoe pacts that day also. So you see they were not that long coming. They are fine, couldn’t have been a better fit. They are a nice easy thing on the feet and a good thing to walk in. I am wearing two pair of socks in them now, but I think I will be able to put another pair in later when they get stretched a little. I don’t know what better Christmas present a person could want than these.
We changed our billet when we came out this time, so now we are staying in a large school house and it makes very comfortable quarters. We are right in a little town. Silas got his foot burned by a rubber sheet which caught on fire and melted and ran down onto his foot, so he is laid up somewhere and I have never been able to find where he is so have not seen him for some time, but I guess he is not hurt very bad. I have not seen Clyde for nearly three weeks, but I guess he is alright. The rest of us are fine.
You spoke about being troubled to get to sleep, it is not that way with me. I can sleep most any place that I get a chance to now.
I don’t think I will want anything for a while anyway. I had a few lines from Harvey and he said a lot of people were sending me stuff. I got a nice big cake from Bertha the same day I got the shoe pacts and I also got Hillman’s little cake. It was rather hard, but nevertheless tasted good. He must be getting to be a great boy. I would like to see him. I thought the picture was fine of you both.
I haven’t seen Allie for some time, but will ask him about John Stiles if ever I see him.
Silas said that the 8th Battery was only six miles away from us, so I thought maybe he would ride over some time but he never has, but maybe he will over Christmas time, if they are still there and we are still here.
That was quite a bunch of moose to come out of the woods all at once. I would like to have had a nice big slice of the steak.
I suppose by the time this reaches you Xmas will be all over. I don’t know hardly where I will spend Xmas Day, whether it will be in the trenches or out at the billet but I will try to have a good time wherever I am.
I guess I will have to close now as I must write to Clarke and Bertha.
I wish to be remembered to all the Friends

Good night

Dec. 10th
P.S. I received your letter of the 21st today, also one from Bertha and one from Bessie telling me that Fred was dead. I suppose he is better off for he must have suffered a good deal.
I also got a nice long letter from Bessie Starratt.


Hugh was one of the hundreds of Albert County men who volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), the majority joining the New Brunswick 26th Battalion. It was because of their sacrifices that Albert County was awarded the 77mm field cannon which sits in the square in Hopewell Cape. The museum is in process of restoring this cannon to help preserve their stories.  If you have not done so, please donate to the Victory Cannon Campaign. You can donate online here. 

A Daily walk with the 26th Battalion - on Facebook!

Did you know you can follow the 26th New Brunswick Battalion daily journey  through World War One: day by day 100 years later on Facebook? If you're on Facebook you can find them by searching for newbrunswick26th or if you're not on Facebook just follow this link. CLICK HERE   

Here is the entry for today, September 18th, 1915: 

Sept 18/1915 The men of the New Brunswick 26th Battalion are now in boxcars on a train moving slowly toward Flanders. (From New Brunswick’s Fighting 26th) “En route, the men crowded the partly open door of the car and, in spite of the language differences, exchanged greetings with the French inhabitants as they passed through, or stopped at, towns and villages. The children called out for “souvenir, bisk-wee” while the soldiers tried to buy extra food wherever they could. To keep up their spirits, they frequently resorted to singing many well-known songs of the day, together with their own soldier’s songs.”
Please like our page to get updates on the 26th Battalion as the war unfolds.

Now that's a story worth following! 

And just a reminder to check out our own 26th Battalion Stories and the Victory Cannon Campaign on our website. 

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the two captured World War One cannons situated in the square in Hopewell Cape. These cannons were captured by Canadians during the Great War, and were awarded to the people of Albert County. You can donate online to the Victory Cannon Campaign here, and best of all you'll be sent a tax receipt!  Click Here to Donate!

Commemoration of 100 Years to the Day Sailing of the 26th NB Battalion a ROARING Success!

Commemoration of 100 Years to the Day Sailing of the 26th NB Battalion a ROARING Success!

The Albert County Museum's 100th Anniversary Commemoration of the Sailing of the 26th Battalion on June 13, 1915 took place this past Saturday (June 13th, 2015) - 100 years to the day the Battalion sailed to England and war. Read more...


Did I say PARADE? This Saturday (June 13) at the Albert County Museum featuring the Royal New Brunswick Regiment, the RCMP Pipes and Drums, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32, the Riverview Veteran's Association,  the 560 Moncton Army Cadets and others; in a COLOUR PARADE - Commemorating the Sailing of the 26th New Brunswick Battalion 100 Years-to-the-Day, June 13, 1915. The events begin at 2:00 pm with a General Call to Assembly, followed by presentations on the 26th New Brunswick Battalion, known as the Fighting 26th and continues until the highlight of the day, the Colour Parade at 4:15 pm (sharp).



For more details call the museum 506-734-2003, or click here. 

Honouring a Few Brave Men - The 26th New Brunswick Battalion 100 Years 1915-2015

This Saturday, June 13, 2015 we're commemorating the Sailing of the 26th New Brunswick Battalion, 100 years to the day they left for the battlefields of Europe on June 13, 1915. On that day 1148 men set sail, comprised of 42 officers and 1106 other ranks, many would not return, and those that did were forever changed.

When the battalion returned home at the end of the war, only 4 officers of the original 42 and 113 of the original 1106 other ranks were still with the battalion, the others being killed, wounded or transferred to other battalions. Over all  about 6,000 men served with the 26th Battalion over the course of the war. 

It should be noted that the first member of the battalion to die was Lance Corporal George McKee of Fredericton. He died of pneumonia on April 21, 1915 and was buried in the Fredericton Rural Cemetery with full military honours. He was also the first resident of Fredericton to die on active service.

 The first member of the battalion to die in action was Private Moses Gallant from PEI. He was killed on September 28, 1915 during the 26th’s first tour in the trenches near Ypres in Belgium. The first officer from the battalion to die in action was Lieutenant Charles M. Lawson, who was a teacher at Saint John High School before the war. On November 26, 1915 he died of his wounds received during a patrol in No Man’s Land. 

Lieutenant Colonel A.E.G. McKenzie, the commanding officer of the battalion, was killed in action on August 28, 1918. The battalion losses on that day were 57 men killed and 199 wounded. The worst single day of the war for the 26th was September 15, 1916 when they lost 325 all ranks (killed, wounded and missing) helping to capture the village of Courcelette on the Somme.

The 26th Battalion never lost a battle the entire war. 

What follows is a condensed history of the "26th New Brunswick Battalion 1914-1919": 

October 25th 1914                   Lt. Col. J.L. McAvity received word to recruit a Battalion for the Expeditionary Force to be known as the 26th.

November 1914                         Recruiting carried on throughout the Province, Battalion well over strength.

December 1914                      Battalion Billeted in Armouries, Saint John.

June 1915                                     Training carried on intensively.

June 13th, 1915                          Battalion Sailed from Saint John on Anchor Line Caledonia.

June 24th, 1915                         Landed at Davenport, England, proceeded by train to East Sandling in the Shorncliffe Area.

June to Sept. 13, 1915             Intensive training in England.

Sept. 13th, 1915                           Advance Party of Battalion left for France including the Transport.

Sept. 15th, 1915                           Battalion marched to Folkstone and embarked landing at Bolougne, France.

Sept. 15 – 18, 1915                    Moved toward Firing Line.

Sept. 25th, 1915                           Took over Front, East of Kemmel Vierstraat Road from 22nd Batt.

Oct. 13, 1915                                Crater Fight Reconnaissance in Force, really one of the first daylight raids, heavy Casualties.  Sgt. Ryder received D.C.M., first decoration in 2nd Canadian Division.

Oct. 1915 to Mar. 1916             Holding Line.

March 1916                                  Took over St. Eloi Front.

April 1916                                      Lt. Col. J.L. McAvity Invalided to England and command assumed by Lt. Col. A.E.G. MacKenzie.

April – May, 1916                       Holding St. Eloi Front.

May 1916                                      Raid under Lt. Winter who was later decorated with the M.C.

June 3rd, 1916                            Heavy German Attack on left of Battalion.

June 6 – 12, 1916                        Holding Front prior to and after Counter Attack, heavy casualties.

June 15 to Aug 15                     Back on St. Eloi Front, holding line.

Aug. 1916                                      Out of Line for Reorganization.

Sept. 1916                                     Move to Somme Area.

Sept. 15th, 1916                           Attack on Courcelette, Battalion went in 555 all ranks and came out 174.

Sept. 28th, 1916                         Second Tour in Somme, Battalion went in 374 all ranks and came out 78.

Oct. 2 to 9, 1916                         Rest and reorganization Bertacourt.

Oct. 9 to 15, 1916                       Move by route march north to Bully Grenay Front.

Oct. to Dec. 1916                        Holding Line Bully Grenay Front.

Jan. 1917                                       Raid Enemy Lines for Identification Purposes.

Jan. 1917                                       Out of Line to Army Reserve for a month at Bruay.

Feb. to Mar. 1917                      New Front East of Neuville, St. Vaast.  Preperations for Vimy attack.

April 9th, 1917                            Attack on Vimy Ridge, Battalion in first place.

April 14th, 1917                           Attack East of Vimy Ridge, Battalion established most forward line on British Front which was named New Brunswick Trench.

April to May 1917                      Holding Front East of Vimy.

June 1917                                     Army Reserve in Estree Couche.

July 1st, 1917                                 Took over New Front East of Lievan towards Lens.

July 1917                                        Lt. Col. MacKenzie, D.S.O. goes on course to England and command assumed by Lt. Col. W.R. Brown, D.S.O.

Aug. 15th, 1917                            Attack from St. Pierre towards Lens, very heavy casualties.

Aug. 20 – Sept. 8                       Rest and Refit Maison Bouche.

Sept. – Oct. 1917                        Holding Front East of Vimy.

Oct. 1917                                       Lt. Col. MacKenzie returns and takes command of Battalion, Col. Brown goes to England to command the reserve.

Nov. 1917                                     Move North to Ypres Salient.

Nov. 6th, 1917                            Attack and Capture of Passchendaele.

Nov. 1917                                     Move back to Vimy Front.

Dec. 1917                                      Lt. Col. MacKenzie, D.S.O. Invalided to England.  Maj. C.G. Porter, D.S.O. assumes command.

Dec. 21st, 1917                             Battalion moves to Army Reserve, first Xmas out of Line.

Jan. 1918                                       Take over Front East of Vimy.

Feb. 1918                                      Move back to Lens Front.

March 1918                                  Battalion out for rest and refit, cut short by German Attack South on the 21st.

Mar. 24, 1918                               Move South to Bienvilliers Aubois.

Mar. 26th, 1918                            Move North again, S.E. of Arras, take over Telegraph Hill Switch.

April 7th, 1918                              Lt. Col. A.E.G. MacKenzie, D.S.O. returns to Battalion, Col. Porter assumes duties of 2 I/C.

Apr. – July 1918                          Holding Front East of Neuville Vitasse, many raids carried out by the Battalion.

July 1918                                        Hauteville for rest and refit.

Aug. 1918                                      Moves to Amiens.

Aug. 8th, 1918                             Attack East of Amiens, great depths gained, many prisoners taken.

Aug. 18th, 1918                            Moved North to Arras Area.

Aug. 26th, 1918                            Attack East of Arras beginning of the end.

Aug. 28th, 1918                            Lt. Col. MacKenzie Killed, leading attack.

Sept., Oct. to Nov. 11th, 1918       Continue attacks towards Cambrai Valenciennes, with Battalion at Wancourt when Armistice Declared.

Nov. 15th, 1918                            Detail from Battalion in Official Entry into Mons.

Nov. 20th, 1918                           Start March to Germany with Army of Occupation.

Dec. 3rd, 1918                              Cross Rhine at Bonn Dursen, Inspected by Gen. Currie at the Bridge.

Jan. 1919                                       Germany East of Bonn, move back to Tamines in Belgium.

Mar., April 1919                          Tamines moved back to England.

May 10th, 1919                            Sailed from England on Olympic.

May 17th, 1919                            Landed in Halifax, Moved by train to Saint John, great reception.

May 17th, 19th, 1919                  Demobilization.

This Saturday, we are honouring the men of the 26th Battalion with a Colour Parade,  on June 12, 1915 in front of cheering crowds in excess of 20,000 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 Albert County. 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.

Come out and help us remember the Fighting 26th!

To View the Event Click Here.

The Inspiration for an Event: The 26th Battalion Overseas Club Dinners

They say there is nothing stronger than the bonds formed on the battlefield, and the men of the 26th Battalion, who were in the thick of every major battle the Canadian Corps faced in the First World War, kept true to theirs for the rest of their lives. The veterans of the 26th Battalion organized the 26th Battalion Overseas Club after the war and held their first reunion ten years later in 1928. They continued to hold them every June 13th, commemorating the day the Battalion sailed for war from Saint John (for at least another 40 years).

We have found two programs from these dinners: one from 1960 (the 45th year since the sailing) and the other from 1966 (the 51st year since the sailing). Both programs follow the traditions of the 26th Battalion and standard military protocol, with the prescribed singing of anthems, the prerequisite toasts and responses and the remembering of those lost to time. The menus included in the programs are similar and both ended with the S.R.D. (Seldom Reaches Destination). What is an S.R.D.? To find out you will have to attend the Commemoration Dinner on Friday, June 12 at 6pm.

Our dinner, inspired by the 1960 45th Anniversary will be following the 1960 menu and program almost to the letter. It will give you a taste of what the men of the 26th Battalion experienced 55 years ago, along with a few additions that will liven up the evening. The Banquet  is also a fund-raiser for the Victory Cannon Campaign, which will help restore the two captured German First World War cannons that sit in the square in Hopewell Cape.

Be sure to grab your tickets early as they are going fast, and seating is limited. It is a great chance to experience a unique dinner and program honouring an important historical event.


PS Tickets are $25.00 each and can be purchased by calling the museum 506-734-2003