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Family and Children’s Services releases new Remembrance Day videos honouring Napanee soldiers from the First World War

Published by John Suart on Oct 21, 2016

For the third year in a row, Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington is marking Remembrance Day with a special series of videos honouring soldiers from the First World War. This year, the Soldier of the Great War project tells the story of three men from Napanee who fought and died with the 21st Battalion and whose names are on the Napanee cenotaph.

Frank Edmund Davern and Harold William McAfee were both killed in 1917. William Earl McCumber was killed in 1918 in the closing days of the war. Davern was 19, McAffee was 27 and McCumber was 22. One was a decorated hero. One was a conscript. One was killed in action, one died of wounds and one succumbed to disease. All were heroes worth remembering on Remembrance Day. 

“It’s been 100 years since the First World War. For many who drive by or walk past the cenotaph on Thomas Street East in Napanee these are just names carved in stone. This year, we’re helping Napanee remember who these men were, how they lived and how they died for their country,” said John Suart, Manager of Community Relations.

The Soldier of the Great War project involved extensive research on each soldier. With the help of historian Al Lloyd, original documents were found from 100 years ago, including enlistment papers and casualty notices. An original letter from Davern was located. It was written shortly before he was killed. An abridged version is read by an actor in one of the videos. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 137 in Napanee helped present each story on video. The Legion also found McCumber’s two nieces, who appear in a video talking about the impact of the war on their family. The County of Lennox and Addington assisted by graciously giving permission for filming at the Cenotaph. 

Last year, the project told the story of a soldier from Sharbot Lake. The year before that, it helped remember a soldier from Kingston. Suart says the reason the Children’s Aid Society created The Soldier of the Great War project was to show their connection to the community.  

“We’ve been helping kids and families for 122 years. We’re proud to serve. Helping communities like Napanee remember on Remembrance Day is our way of showing our pride and our commitment,” said Suart.

The entire project, including videos, information and downloads is available online atwww.RememberKFLA.ca