PEI Regiment Museum recalls Islanders' role in conflicts
On Remembrance Day we honour Islanders who have fought in conflicts over the past two centuries. We understand a little more about the lives they led and the struggles they faced by looking at some of the war memorabilia they brought home. Lest we forget.
In a brick building on the Charlottetown waterfront there are snack foods from another time.
A pair of well-preserved, 117-year-old Boer War biscuits lie sealed in a glass case in Prince Edward Island’s only official Canadian Armed Forces military museum. The rare artifacts were rationed to Prince Edward Island soldiers who were among the British and Canadian troops heading to South Africa in 1899.
The Charlottetown museum (located in the Queen Charlotte Armoury at 3 Haviland Street) tells an important part of our history, housing the stories of Islanders who participated, fought, and died in battles and conflicts during the past two centuries.
“It’s important to preserve the past for future generations,” said Lt.-Col. Glenn Moriarity, director of the PEI Regiment Museum.
The museum collection, much of it gleaned from basements, garages and attics over the past 30 years, consists of some unique pieces of war memorabilia. It includes souvenirs weary Island soldiers brought home, some of it likely from enemy soldiers captured or killed.
There are also encased uniforms, propaganda posters, weapons, bugles, badges, medals, flags and photographs.
There is a beautiful old phonograph with the record still in it – "Hello Dolly" by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra – which may have echoed through the trees surrounding the Brighton Compound on a warm summer night in 1941, when the 105th Battalion was in camp preparing to head overseas.
“PEI has a unique military history dating back to the late 1700s,” Moriarity said.
Our colonial volunteer militia was established following the French surrender of the fortress of Louisbourg and the Island becoming a separate colony of British North America.
Watch a virtual tour
View a photo album