Jesslyn Jarvis, registrar and curatorial assistant, shows off the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives’ Finish the Fight! Vernon in the Great War exhibit Tuesday, Nov. 6. The exhibit, which runs until March 2019, commemorates the efforts of Vernon citizens in the First World War both on the front and at home. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Exhibit details Vernon’s First World War efforts

Finish the Fight! Vernon in the Great War runs until March 31, 2019

Remembering the past to enlighten the present and support the future: that’s a primary role of any museum.

Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Finish the Fight! Vernon in the Great War exhibit is in full swing.

“We really wanted to commemorate the First World War and Vernon citizens who contributed to bringing it to an end,” said registrar and assistant curator Jesslyn Jarvis who sits at the helm of the helm of the six-month exhibit. “We thought this was a great time to do it.”

Finish the Fight opened at the museum Oct. 4 and encompasses much of the back portion of the museum. It remains open to the public during regular Museum hours until March 31, 2019.

Related: GVMA commemorates end of First World War

Related: Play depicts Vimy Ridge

Newspaper clippings from war-time Vernon and hand-coloured poppies by local youths adorn the walls. A saddle and 2nd Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles (CMR) smock fill one of the glass encapsulations. The other turns the focus to what happened at home when the men went off to the front.

“We’re very lucky to have such a collection,” Jarvis said as she admired the CMR garb. “It’s pretty impressive that, 100 years later, we still have these things and they’re in good condition.”

The vast majority of the items displayed, she said, belong to the museum’s private collection, while the remaining pieces are borrowed from an out-of-town collector.

Glass enclosures line the adjacent wall and tell stories of Vernon soldiers such as Herbert Denison and George Osborn, two of the estimated 1,000 local men who went off to fight. Of those 1,000, about 130 lost their lives in war.

Related: Letter – Remembering the Great War

“We want to focus on the people, not the war itself,” Jarvis said. “You can really see where they were and what they were doing in the war.”

And, being a city of only 3,000 people at the time, Jarvis said the impact of the First World War on Vernon was substantial.

“We played a significant role and we played our part in this war,” she said.

Wartime photos and postcards courtesy of the Vernon Military Camp play on a loop above the stories of local soldiers.

“It just takes the viewer on a journey through the war,” Jarvis said as images and white text on a black screen cycle.

A second glass pillar plays home to artifacts from the front at home: local women and children and their contributions to the struggle.

“There was a program called Soldiers of the Soil where young boys would start working to help with the labour shortage that occurred,” Jarvis said as she motioned toward the enclosure.

“We really wanted to focus on that as well,” Jarvis said of the home front. “It’s not the first thing you think of. There was a lot of sacrifices here.”

In the corner of the room, a replica trench is built into the wall. Sandbags are piled seven or eight feet high to cast an image of what many of Vernon’s troops would have spent much of their time behind.

“We give people a closure look at what it might have been like,” Jarvis said as the sandbag wall loomed above her.

From the immersive displays to stories of locals, Jarvis believes the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives is unexampled in its ability to share the local history of the First World War.

“We try to have a few Remembrance Day or military talks and events just before or after Remembrance Day,” Jarvis said.

“I think we have a unique ability to portray parts of the First World War. the museum is really about remembrance. We can really highlight Vernon’s contribution, Vernon’s entire history.”


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

First pot shop, more development coming to Lumby

Village growth includes bike park, plans for senior housing, hotel renos

Students call for climate change in the Okanagan and far beyond

Students from the Okanagan and around the world walked out of class in a call for climate action

Vernon Curling Club to kick off star-studded season

Talent, expertise and world champions will shine on local sheets

Shuswap elementary school suspends operations due to ‘musty odour’

Arrangements made for affected Sicamous students to attend class in three other schools

No injuries at car crash in front of Butcher Boys

It’s at least the second vehicle accident this September at the intersection

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in South Okanagan business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in South Okanagan carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Most Read