Treasured artifacts

Frank
Frank Gale
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People share First World War memorabilia at Show and Tell

Preserving the legacy of the First World War

Anne Chafe was impressed by some of the artifacts from the First World War that were brought to a Show and Tell by The Rooms on Thursday morning.

Catherine Fenwick of Cape St. George was one of the people who brought some memorabilia which belongs to the Town of Cape St. George and is regularly on display at the town hall.

“I was just pleased to be able to bring them and hopefully some of them may end up being displayed at The Rooms for even more people to see,” Fenwick said.

The collection includes photographs and some other keepsakes that veterans had held on to before passing them over to the town.

Chafe, director of the provincial museum division of The Rooms, was impressed with the number of people that attended the event, which amounted to more than a dozen.

She said while they are cataloguing all the items submitted throughout the province they will later be curated and decisions made on what will become part of a permanent display in The Rooms, which is being prepared for July 1, 2016 — the 100th anniversary of Beaumont Hamel.

Chafe said of special interest was a number of artifacts brought in by Muriel Chislett, which had been owned by her uncle Charles Sleigh Hulan, including a Kodak camera he had purchased on the way home from the First World War.

She also had what was known as a “housewife,” a packet, or sewing kit that still had a thimble and beeswax, with the latter used to soften thread before it was used.

Another item she had was a pair of mohair mitts, which Chafe was surprised was in such good shape after all these years, and a leather circular bag used over a brass container.

There were also military buttons and cuff links.

Chislett had postcards and photographs, some that were notably taken before Hulan left Newfoundland as he was in his “great coat,” the big heavy coat that soldiers were issued before going overseas.

After returning from the war, still as a young man, there were a number of photographs from inland fishing trips that he went on, an indication he was enjoying the solitude the rivers and streams provided.

Chafe said another thing of note was a handkerchief brought in by Gertrude Brake that was sent home by her uncle, Walter Pye while he was at war. The handkerchief had been sent home to Walter’s sister Lillian, who was Gertrude’s mother and her mom had kept it in the family Bible, where prized possessions were often kept.

“It was a privilege for these two ladies and all the others who dropped by today to share these items and allow us to record the stories,” Chafe said.

Organizations: Division of The Rooms, Days Inn in Stephenville, Corner Brook Museum

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