The Simcoe County Archives recently announced the launch of the inaugural consolidated First World War honour roll to recognize the fallen men and women who had connections to the county. Entitled Simcoe County Remembers, the virtual memorial contains the names of 1,006 men and women who died while in service or as a result of injuries sustained during the First World War.
The memorial is the first known First World War honour roll in Simcoe County that centralizes multiple lists and sources into one database. Following the war, many of the region’s townships, towns and villages established their own individual forms of commemoration. Simcoe County Remembers complements those existing public memorials with one consolidated list.
“This is a tremendously important undertaking and truly documents the significant sacrifices of our men, women and families during the First World War,” said Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall. “Simcoe County has a deep military history and the archives continues to play an important role in preserving our past so it can be illuminated for future generations.”
To establish the database, archives staff conducted extensive research of public memorials, published local histories and official military records. Databases found on the Library and Archives Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada (Books of Remembrance) and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission websites were also searched to find the names of the county’s war dead. Given the scope of this research, the county encourages residents to contact them about any known missing names and/or documentation errors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-726-9331.
The Simcoe County Remembers database is intended to be as inclusive as possible. Criteria used to develop the list includes: was the individual born in Simcoe County? Did the individual reside in Simcoe County at the time of enlistment? Did the individual’s official next-of-kin reside in Simcoe County? Is the individual’s name on one of the public war memorials located in Simcoe County? Did the individual die while in military service prior to November 11, 1918, or soon after the armistice of causes directly connected to his or her war service?
Although the Townships of Mara and Rama did not join the County of Simcoe until 1974, the names of fallen men and women from those communities have been included.
Visit simcoe.ca/simcoecountyremembers to access Simcoe County Remembers.
Open to the public, the Simcoe County Archives holds a variety of First World War and Second World War resources, related to Simcoe County, including records, newspapers, photos, diaries and more.