This summer, Saskatchewan will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War during a military service of remembrance on the Legislative grounds in Regina. At that time, the names of 1,200 Saskatchewan citizens who lost their lives during that conflict will be added to the Saskatchewan First World War Memorial. These names were missed when the memorial was dedicated in 1995.
When the Saskatchewan War Memorial Committee began researching the Saskatchewan casualties in 1988 for inclusion on the memorial, limited source material provided an incomplete record. Research that has been completed since for the Virtual War Memorial has resulted in the addition of 1,200 names.
“Lest We Forget is a cautionary invocation repeated over time for our soldiers lost in service,” Minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Kevin Doherty said. “A century ago, they left their jobs, farms and families to defend our freedom. With our actions this year, we will be heeding that promise by remembering their names and honouring their sacrifices.”
The Government of Saskatchewan has approved a grant of $80,000 to assist in the cost of renovating the memorial and adding two new stone pedestals to hold the four bronze plaques with the additional names. The entire project will cost $160,000. The Saskatchewan War Memorial Committee will contribute $80,000 from their fundraising initiatives. With the grant from the province, the committee will now be able to complete the project in time to rededicate the memorial at a commemoration ceremony in August.
“This memorial is both a place of remembrance for those who lost their lives as well as a place of teaching, with respect to our heritage, today and for future generations,” Military Liaison and Chair of the Commemorative committee Lieutenant Colonel (Ret’d) Yogi Huyghebaert said.
The public will be invited to attend the outdoor commemoration. Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor and Canadian Forces personnel will take part. As planning continues for the provincial commemoration, other activities and events are taking place during this centennial year. For information on what is occurring in Saskatchewan, visit www.heritagesask.ca/events, and to have an event posted on the Heritage Saskatchewan website, email the information to communicati...@heritagesask.ca.