The County of Simcoe Archives has launched a virtual memorial to honour 1,006 men and women with ties to Simcoe County who died while in service or as a result of injuries sustained during the First World War.
According to a news release issued by the county on Thursday, the memorial, titled Simcoe County Remembers, is the first known First World War honour roll in Simcoe County which 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,” the release reads. County officials say the honour roll complements the 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 WW1,” Simcoe County deputy warden, Terry Dowdall, said in the release. “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.”
According to the county, staff conducted extensive research of public memorials, published local histories and official military records in order to establish the Simcoe County Remembers database.
The release says databases found on the websites of the Library and Archives Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada Books of Remembrance and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission were also searched to find the names of the region’s deceased war veterans.
The county says the following criteria were used to develop the list of names:
- 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 Nov. 11, 1918, or soon after the Armistice of causes directly connected to his or her war service?
According to the release, while the Townships of Mara and Rama did not join the County of Simcoe until 1974, the names of fallen men and women from the communities have been included in the Simcoe County Remembers database.
The county says the database is intended to be as inclusive as possible. Anyone who feels a name is missing or finds there is a documentation error is encouraged to contact Simcoe County Archives at 705-726-9331.
Simcoe County Remembers can be accessed on the county’s website.