Lest we forget.


It is the intent of the Strathroy – Caradoc Lions and the Museum staff to provide support materials for educational purposes using the facilities of the museum, the cenotaph, the ‘Veterans Memorial Way’ Banners, and Veterans Memorial Plaques. These activity documents will stimulate questions and provide research leads toward finding possible answers.

With modern access to tablets, satellite phones, etc. students can access information immediately even while standing beneath a pole banner along the Frank / Metcalfe West ‘Veterans Memorial Way’, or while in front of a cenotaph wall plaque and the cenotaph itself.

When the project is completed, visitors to the museum and cenotaph will have the opportunity to:

+ identify the names of our veterans from the engravings on the cenotaph monument

+ match a veteran’s name to the stainless steel plaque on the cenotaph wall, and be able to identify the battalion he was enlisted in at the time of his death or leaving the armed forces

+ make  paper / pencil rubbings (just like is done on grave stones) of the etchings on the plaques and so take image away with them (student groups like doing this)

+ use support materials provided by museum staff to encourage the use of technology to: access internet links to the museum site to find background information about each veteran; use URL links to research the battalions, match the date they died to a particular conflict involving their battalion, research the site where they died (then and now), discover monuments upon which their names are also engraved in various spots in Europe, research aircraft / gunnery, etc. used in the period.  The possibilities are huge.

+ using background information about their lives, many veterans whose names are on the cenotaph grew up in and / or near to Strathroy, to research their lives before going overseas (for those that we know of): the sports teams they played on, the schools they attended, the address of the home they grew up in & what does it look like today, the location of stores and businesses they worked in & is that business still operating in some form, the location of the farm they grew up on.

+ Students and adults today will be able to more closely identify with the reality of the lives which these veterans sacrificed in offering themselves to the defines of our Nation, to recognize how similar they were to us today in our activities, our wishes and aspirations, our willingness to give of ourselves to help others and assure their future security.

+ Students and adults today may be encouraged to research the many factors causing dissent between people and the causes of conflicts / wars that consume our wealth of goods and people as a Nation.  They may research the settlements reached after wars were over, and discover whether the terms of settlement resulted in peace between people or festered to lead to further conflicts.  They may have challenging discussions around generating alternatives we might have for reaching peaceful relations among people, strategies of “how to get along together in the world sandbox, rather than reacting quickly in escalating emotional conflict.

+ Students may research the writings of famous strategists of warfare over history, and famous battles fought in various places in the world over time.

+ Students and adults today will hopefully recognize that Democracy is a very fragile thing, that it is very easily threatened by people outside (and sometimes inside) our country, and that we need to be vigilant in protecting the hard won rights and freedoms that our veterans fought and died for.

Lest we forget.

by Rudyard Kipling (1897)

(Click, on Kipling’s name, for background about Kipling’s poem / prayer.)

God of our fathers, known of old—
Lord of our far-flung battle line
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe—
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard—
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!