One hundred years ago, on October 11, 1916, the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade left Camp Aldershot and boarded the troop ship “Olympic” in Halifax Harbour. They arrived in Liverpool, England on October 19, 1916 and continued their intensive training at Witley Camp in Surrey. There were 4 Battalions in the Nova Scotia Highland Brigade – the 85 th , the 185 th , the 193 rd , and the 219 th Battalions. That was over 4000 men, – all volunteers from Nova Scotia.
Hants County Soldiers – Where Were They From?
The Soldiers were farmers, clerks, labourers, teachers, lumbermen, and ship builders. They came from many places in Hants County – from Hantsport to Shubenacadie and Vaughan to Noel – and every village and town in between. Many never returned.
One hundred years ago in September 1916, there were 15 soldiers from Hants County killed in action…
Towards the end of July 1916, our 112th Battalion from Windsor set sail on the RMS Olympic from Halifax to Liverpool. It is interesting to learn that the Olympic was the first of 3 sister ships – the others were the more famous Titanic and the Britannic. All three ships were the same design, built in Belfast, and owned by the White Star Line. The Olympic started service in 1911, the Titanic in 1912, and the Britannic in 1914. We all know what happened to the Titanic on April 15, 1912. (The above photo was taken the month before in Belfast on March 6, 1912 – Olympic is on the left and Titanic on the right being outfitted for her maiden voyage). After the disaster, 24 lifeboats were added to the Olympic and the water tight bulkheads were improved.
Newsletter: December 2015 – The museum may be getting ready to slow down for the winter but we are still busy at work. We are excited to share with everyone the details on various projects we have been asked to participate in that will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War.
On June 10-11, 2016, there will be a symposium sponsored by the Nova Scotia Museum and hosted by the Town of Windsor with the theme of Nova Scotia Communities in the First World War. The West Hants Historical Society is happy to be involved. Our first priority is to develop a biographical sketch, accompanied by good quality pictures, of five local soldiers. The plan is to have these sketches mounted on interpretative panels to be exhibited at the symposium.