Morning Star Staff
The story of the B.C. Dragoons is one that spans over 100 years beginning in Vernon and it includes international and domestic operations from reconnaissance to assistance during natural disasters.
The Kelowna Museum has attempted to document that history through its new book, Always First: A Pictorial History of the B.C. Dragoons.
Author Keith Boehmer, who is also a curatorial assistant for the Okanagan Military Museum, was on-hand to sign copies of the new book recently at the museum.
According to Boehmer, Always First: A Pictorial History of the B.C. Dragoons started out as a Kelowna Museums project to use an extensive collection of images as a way of leading the reader through the 102 year history of the BC Dragoons — from horse-mounted infantry to service in Afghanistan.
“Our primary audience we identified is people in the unit today and their associated family, as well as the veterans and their associated families,” said Boehmer.
The author said he built upon at least 10 different previously written narratives regarding the B.C. Dragoons to compile the new book.
Although other books have attempted to describe the history of the B.C. Dragoons, there were few published illustrations of the regiment.
“Sinews of Steel was published in 1965. It’s a very involved text describing day-to-day operations in the wartime and so on. It’s very limited on photographs.”
“This one picks up that narrative photographically. It was a very rewarding sort of project to be able to study the photographs, listen to people’s stories, read up on the background of events and then try to interpret it, describe it and organize it.
According to Lt.-Col. Nigel Whittacker, commanding officer of the B.C. Dragoons, there are currently 110 active members.