Hundreds of pieces of history from World War 1 and 2 were on display and for sale at the Great War display and militaria sale at the Canadian Military Heritage Museum in Brantford on Saturday, July 16.
Vendors displayed items for sale including patches, books, uniforms, medals and more items from both World Wars alongside other Post War items. Vendors included Military Antiques Toronto and Quartermaster in the Shores from Forest.
“Our items come from flea markets, auctions and even the families of past members of the armed forces,” said Dave Irvine, owner of Quartermaster in the Shores. “We often have people contact us with items from their great grandfathers that they don’t want or don’t know what to do with.”
Irvine said that he is a collector himself and sells the items that don’t fit into his collection to continue to fund his own.
The event also featured a keynote speaker, Norm Christie from Ottawa. Christie spent six years with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in England from 1990 to 1993 and in France from 1993-1996, including three years as Chief Records Officer.
Of 700,000 Commonwealth killed on the Western Front in the Great War, 350,000 are missing or buried as unknowns and 18,000 of the missing are Canadians.
“Every name was going to be remembered, and stories had to be pieced together” Christie said.
His talk focused on the development of the Imperial/Commonwealth War Graves Commission from 1917; the care of 1.7 million war graves of the Commonwealth in 23,000 sites in 150 countries. He explained his unique view on the Commission’s tasks and the interpretation of their records and how they are used to identify unknown soldiers or even find missing cemeteries.