Fort Rodd Hill is a coast artillery fort and national historic site. There will be two unique Remembrance Day events held there this year. (Fritz Meuller/Parks Canada)

Fort Rodd Hill to mark Remembrance Day with two unique events

This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Armistice was signed in the First World War

Jackie Humble never met her father.

An Ontario man, Jack Tyo was overseas during the First World War when she was born and never made it home. He was killed in September 1918 during a bombing raid.

Humble died two years ago but was keen on finding out more about her father and on her deathbed, requested to have a photo of him and her mother by her side.

This is the story Kate Humble — curator at Fort Rodd Hill — uncovered about her family and will present as part of a 100 Years of Remembrance exhibit on Nov. 4. Other staff at the fort have also been asked to dig into their family’s wartime histories and will be presenting their own stories.

“The idea behind this is to encourage the public to talk in their own families about what has happened in their family histories revolving wartime stories and conflict,” Humble said. “It’s putting a personal face on remembrance and saying ‘who are we remembering?’”

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The exhibit is presented alongside various displays from 20 different military museums, local archives and community groups.

Ashton Armoury brings its military vehicles, the Colwood Women’s Institute shares stories about women on the homefront during the war and the BC Aviation Museum and Maritime Museum of BC will be on hand.

Humble said it is an opportunity for local Victorians to “engage with the idea of remembrance and the story of Victoria’s military heritage.”

She said an event this large has not been held at Fort Rodd Hill for quite some time, and this year will also mark the 100th anniversary since the Armistice was signed for the First World War.

“It marks the year where — up to that point — the most notorious, bloodiest conflict in history is coming to an end,” Humble said. “The repercussions of the war have resonated across the next hundred years.”

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In honour of the 100 years, Fort Rodd Hill will be participating in a nation-wide event on Nov. 11, Remembrance Day. The event, organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, is called Bells of Peace. Starting in Newfoundland, a bell will ring 100 times to emulate the moment when church bells tolled throughout Europe to mark the end of the war.

Communities across Canada will then follow suit, with the final tolls coming from Fort Rodd Hill at sunset.

Humble said there will be a small ceremony with a plaque put in place to commemorate General Sir Arthur Currie as well as a gun salute from the Fifth Field Artillery Regiment before the bell is rung.

The Armistice 100 event is at Fort Rodd Hill on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Bells of Peace event takes place on Nov. 11 at sunset. Both events are open to the public.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com

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