News

80 men from Delhi area made supreme sacrifice

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

A mini mural has been installed at the cenotaph in Delhi sharing details of the 80 soldiers from Delhi and surrounding area who made the supreme sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars. On hand to speak about the addition on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 were, from left, Heather King, chair of Norfolk’s Remembrance Committee, Herman DeGeyter of the Delhi Kinsmen Club, local war historian Grant Smith, and Arthur Sayer, 97, of Lynedoch, a veteran of the Second World War. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

A mini mural has been installed at the cenotaph in Delhi sharing details of the 80 soldiers from Delhi and surrounding area who made the supreme sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars. On hand to speak about the addition on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 were, from left, Heather King, chair of Norfolk’s Remembrance Committee, Herman DeGeyter of the Delhi Kinsmen Club, local war historian Grant Smith, and Arthur Sayer, 97, of Lynedoch, a veteran of the Second World War. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

DELHI, ON - 

 The men of Delhi and surrounding area who died in the great wars of the last century are present at the King Street cenotaph in spirit.

Now, visitors have names and faces to inform their remembrances.

An all-weather mini-mural has been installed at the cenotaph chronicling the 80 soldiers from Delhi and surrounding area who made the supreme sacrifice.

Organizers and sponsors gathered at the cenotaph Saturday to speak about this latest addition to the public history of Delhi.

“The pictures were the hardest thing,” said local war historian Grant Smith. “They had to be worked so they were the same size and to take out the graininess.”

Some images were lifted from newspapers more than 100 years old. Photos were unavailable for some of the soldiers. For them, a poppy appears in their place.

Delhi has a large, stately cenotaph in Memorial Park. However, the names of local soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice were never engraved on it.

Grant said this was due, in part, to the fact that the names of the dead were gathered and cast in bronze on the Carillon Tower in Simcoe. When the tower was built in the early-1920s, it was known as the Norfolk War Memorial.

“The mural is an effort to put names and faces to those who died,” the Norfolk Remembrance Committee says in a news release.

“The small village of Lynedoch saw nine men go off to the First World War and three would die. Twelve men from Windham (Township) died in the First World War and three brothers – Bruce, Harry and Ivan Wagner of Teeterville – were killed in the Second World War.

“Others came from Courtland, Hawtrey, LaSalette, Nixon, Wyecombe, Otterville and Langton.”

Visitors to Delhi could spend the better part of an afternoon touring the community and reading up on the town’s interesting buildings and neighbourhoods. Aside from the display at the cenotaph, seven other mini-murals went up in Delhi in recent days.

Subjects explored include Delhi’s first fire station, the former Imperial Leaf tobacco processing facility, Delhi’s first train station, and the ghost village of Croton southwest of town.

Pat Loncke, a member of Delhi’s Historical Mini Murals Committee, says the exhibits are spreading the word about the town’s history both locally and beyond. Anyone anywhere in the world with an Internet connection can read about Delhi’s colourful past thanks to these displays.

“Five minutes after they go up, they’re popping up on Facebook,” Loncke said.

The story board at the cenotaph is a separate project from the rest of the mini-murals. It was undertaken by Norfolk’s Remembrance Committee with funding from the Delhi Kinsmen Club.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com