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Memorial honours eight County men who gave their lives in the Great War

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One hundred years ago, on Oct. 3, 1914, the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force set sail for Europe. Many would never see home again.

The North Lakeshore Chorus honoured Canadian soldiers and their families with ‘Til the Boys Come Home’, an anniversary musical tribute to those who served their King and Country in the Great War.

The afternoon featured Clare Gordon on piano with 8 Wing Pipes and Drums, Bugler and Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party. Concerts were performed across the province, in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

“For many people of my generation born in the 1960s, the Great War of 1914-1918 is an historical event experienced through the pages and images of books,” said Michael Korn, the Picton show’s producer. “Growing up, few us us understood the long shadows that this war to end all wars cast, and continues to cast down through the generations.”

Christ-Church-Memorial-07Korn, in 1994, purchased a farm just north of Wellington on the Irvine Gore (now Wilson Road) and learned the owners of the farm, in 1917, received a telegram telling them that their son, Thomas Clifford Wilson, age 23, had died on Nov. 4 at the Battle of Passchendaele, in Belgium.

“A young life so full of potential snuffed out in an instant,” said Korn. “The lives of the survivors and a vibrant rural community changed forever.”

Wilson was the only son of Alva Burton Wilson and Annabelle Huff. He was buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, Passchendaele – the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world, containing 11,512 graves.

Following the Til the Boys Come Home concert Nov. 1, a ceremony was held Nov. 2 at the Christ Church Cemetery in Hillier to have a war memorial dedicated to the memory of eight men of the Parish of Hillier, Wellington and Gerow Gore who gave their lives in the Great War. A service was held at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Wellington prior to the dedication and a reception followed at Wilson Road where Wilson grew up.

Photos by Bill Bode, Wellington

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