The last area on our tour is the Chapel. Go out to the reception area and across from the till is the Chapel. This is the solemn area of the museum and one that we ask you to respect. To the right of the entrance of the Chapel, you will notice a number of pictures of people who met their demise during the war and some books about them. As we pass the organ we come to more displays of people who were killed in action and of the medals that they wore as well as the Silver Cross Medal that mothers and/or wives wore.
You’ll also notice as you move along a number of the “we regret” telegrams. These were the telegrams that were sent to the next of kin when someone was killed or went missing and you can appreciate the trauma that they must have experienced when the saw the telegraph boy coming up their lane.
WE DEEPLY REGRET TO ADVISE THAT YOUR SON...
The whole of the Chapel is dedicated to all those who gave their lives and I hope you will take the time to go along and get a feeling for the kinds of things that happened. You’ll notice, when you get a chance to look at the memorial book, that most of these casualties were 19 to 24 years of age.
MEMORIAL NAMES ON GEOGRAPHIC FEATURES
One of thing that the Manitoba Government has done is to name a geographic feature with the name of the person killed whether Army, Navy, of Air Force. This could be a lake, a point, a creek, or an island. You will notice that two of the Lang boys from Souris, Francis and James, were killed and you will see there is a Lang Island named after one of them and Lang Point named after the other.
The four Pollock brothers from McConnell were all in the armed service. Two of them were killed while in the RCAF and again you’ll see the plaque dedicated to them naming Pollock Island after one and Pollock Lake after the other.
On the wall to the left of the case you will see a Roll of Honour listing the names of citizens of the United States who were killed while wearing the uniform of the RCAF. The US was not an active participant in the war until 1941 (although they did help the Allied Forces out, with programs such as the lend lease aircraft program), and a lot of young Americans who wanted to get into the war, joined the RCAF. Unfortunately more than 800 of these Americans lost their lives serving with our Air Force.
US ROLL OF HONOR -- AMERICANS WHO DIED IN RCAF UNIFORM
Between the flags in front of the stained glass windows is a case containing the Memorial Book “They Shall Grow Not Old.” This memorial book contains a short biography of each of the 18,039 Canadian Air Force personnel who gave their lives between 1939 and 1945. This book was researched and published by museum members. It is used world wide as a reference.
THEY SHALL GROW NOT OLD
William G. Hillman
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
Photos by Bill Hillman ~ Copyrighted 1999/2010