Albert County Museum

June 13 - 8PM

Albert County Museum to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of the Sailing of the 26th Battalion with 2 Day Event

HOPEWELL CAPE – The Albert County Museum and RB Bennett Commemorative Centre at 3940 Route 114, Hopewell Cape, NB is hosting two days of events to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Sailing of the 26th Battalion from Saint John, NB that took place on June 13, 1915.

The two days of events start Friday, June 12th at 6pm with a fund-raising dinner in honour of the 100th Anniversary of the Sailing of the 26th Battalion. This dinner is following the tradition of the 26th Battalion Veterans who celebrated together on the anniversary of the sailing in the years following the war. The June 12th Dinner will follow the menu and program from the 45th Anniversary of the Sailing of the 26th Battalion Dinner. The dinner is a fund-raiser in support of the Albert County Museum’s Victory Cannon Campaign, which is raising money to restore two captured German First World War cannons that sit in the square in Hopewell Cape in front of the museum. Tickets are $25 and must be reserved in advance by calling 506-734-2003.

The second day, Saturday, June 13, begins at 9am with a “Soldiers Breakfast” being served until noon, which consists of everything a soldier “would have dreamed of eating” while serving at the front in the trenches.

The main event commences at 2:00 pm with a call to General Assembly and a formal welcome with introductions of the attending dignitaries.  An Introduction to the 26th Battalion will be presented by Dawne McLean, who will also be reading letters written by her Great-Uncle, Hugh C. Wright, an Albert County soldier from Hopewell who served in the 26th and wrote the letters 100 years ago to the day.

Lieutenant-Colonel Bertin, Commanding Officer of the Royal New Brunswick Regiment (RNBR) will present a briefing on the RNBR, who perpetuate and carry the battle honours for the 26th Battalion.

Brent Wilson, Director of the NB Military Heritage Project at UNB Gregg Centre, will give an update on the “Toll of War” project which highlights Canada’s Victoria Cross recipients.

This will lead into a biographical presentation on “Lt. Colonel Cyrus Peck, V.C., D.S.O.”, a legendary Victoria Cross recipient born in Hopewell Hill, Albert County, N.B. by Donald Alward, Albert County Museum Manager/Curator.

President of the Albert County Historical Society, Stuart Liptay, will update on the progress of the Victory Cannon Campaign and give the exciting history of the cannons, from their capture at Vimy Ridge to their arrival in Hopewell Cape.

The highlight of the afternoon will be a colour parade in honour of the 26th Battalion.On June 12, 1915 in front of cheering crowds in excess of 10,000 people, the 26th Battalion marched from the Armoury in Saint John to the Harbour. In the early morning hours on June 13, 1915, the 26th Battalion boarded the troop ship, “Caledonia” and sailed for England.

In commemoration of this historic event, the Royal New Brunswick Regiment will parade in full dress uniforms, along with the RCMP J Division Pipes & Drums and local cadet groups (the 560 Moncton Army Cadets). The parade will be inspected by Brigadier General Peter Atkinson (retired). BGen. Atkinson served with the Canadian Forces for over 35 years and has strong ties to the area. This parade has special meaning for the Royal New Brunswick Regiment for they are the living embodiment of the 26th Battalion and hold their battle honours, which are extensive.

Period refreshments will be served following the colour parade and inspection.

The Museum will offer free admission with a free-will donation to the Victory Cannon Campaign during the day to see all the displays and exhibits throughout the Museum.

The Albert County Museum tells the stories of ‘The People of the Tides’ – the human and industrial history of Albert County.  The RB Bennett Commemorative Centre highlights the accomplishments of RB Bennett, Canada’s 11th Prime Minister 1930-35. The museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm through to the end of September.

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For further information contact:

Donald Alward, Manager/Curator

Tel: (506) 734-2003

Email: albertcountymuseum@nb.aibn.com

Web: www.albertcountymuseum.ca

The Victory Cannon Campaign

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore two captured First World War German Cannons. Both cannons were captured by Canadian forces at the battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. The larger 10.5 cm cannon was captured by the 27th Winnipeg Battalion and the smaller 7.7cm by the 26th New Brunswick Battalion.  The German 10.5cm k14 (1917) cannon was won by the people of Albert County in the Victory Loans Campaign of 1919. The government set specific targets for each county in the country. A prize was awarded in each province to the county that surpassed the goal by the most. In New Brunswick, Albert County won the special War Trophy by nearly tripling their goal of $110,000 by raising a total of $317,000.

The second cannon, the 7.7cm fk96 n.A. was awarded to the people of Albert County in recognition of the sheer number of men who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.). Albert County holds the distinction of having had the highest level of enlistment in the First World War in all of Canada on a per capita basis.

The 26th Battalion (New Brunswick)

The 26th Battalion (New Brunswick) CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I. The 26th Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 15 June 1915 (from Halifax). It disembarked in France on 16 September, where it fought as part of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920.

The 26th Battalion recruited throughout New Brunswick and was mobilized at St. John, New Brunswick.

The 26th Battalion was awarded the following battle honours: Mount Sorrel, Somme, 1916, ’18, Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval, Ancre Heights, Arras, 1917, ’18, Vimy, 1917, Arleux, Scarpe, 1917, ’18, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Cambrai, 1918, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders, 1915-18

26th Battalion (New Brunswick), CEF, is perpetuated by The Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

The Royal New Brunswick Regiment

The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (RNBR) is a reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army based in New Brunswick. The Royal New Brunswick Regiment is part of 37 Canadian Brigade Group, 5th Canadian Division. From 1954 to 2012 it consisted of two battalions, but in 2012 the 2nd Battalion was reorganized as a distinct regiment, the North Shore Regiment. The RNBR holds 65 battle honours.

 

 

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