Culture Summerside is presenting a four-part lecture series as part of its project: 1919 – P.E.I. Soldiers Return from the Great War.
While the First World War drew to a close on Nov. 11, 1918, it would take the year of 1919 to achieve the massive undertaking of returning the Canadian soldiers back home. The Island newspapers were filled with stories of the homecoming welcomes. However, the peacetime transition was difficult for the soldiers, who received limited help from the government that had sent them to war.
The Summerside Presbyterian Church Hall, 130 Victoria Road, is the location for the free lectures, which begin on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m., with Summerside historian J. Clinton Morrison, author of the book, Hell on Earth: A Personal Account of Prince Edward Island Soldiers in the Great War, 1914 -1918. Morrison has titled his talk, “I Only Hope I Come through This War Alright.”
He will speak of the war time thoughts and feelings of Islanders on subjects such as God and the hereafter, fear and duty, hatred and revenge, the love of home, etc.
The second lecture, “The Fate of the C Company Men of the 105th Battalion” will be given on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. by Louise Morris. Morris signed on as a volunteer for Culture Summerside’s 2016 war project, 1916 – The Year the Great War Came to Summerside.
She soon developed a passion for the men of C Company project and went far beyond the volunteer call in researching the men. When the project ended, Morris kept on researching, dedicating hours of time and resources to the project. She has even travelled as far as the United States to locate gravesites. Her lecture will focus on the life journey of each man after the war and their final resting place.
The Canadian and Island nursing sisters who served in the First World War were given little recognition for their service upon returning to Canada after the war. Author Katherine Dewar has changed that with her award-winning book, “Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War”, and her most recent work, “Called to Serve: Georgina Pope – Canadian Military Nursing Heroine”.
Dewar has titled her Tuesday, May 14, 7 p.m. lecture, “Home at Last – What became of Summerside’s Nursing Sisters after the First World War.”
UPEI Professor, Dr. Edward McDonald, will present the fourth and final lecture on Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. Doctor McDonald has titled his lecture “Unsettled Times: Prince Edward Island in the Echo of the Great War.” In his talk Dr. McDonald will look at P.E.I. in the aftermath of the Great War, which he describes as an unsettled time as PEI transitioned to an era of change and challenge.