Dozens of young men from Bella Coola signed up for battle in WWI. Many of the names are still common in the Valley today. Clockwise left to right: Vincent Clayton

Bella Coola Museum creates WWI display honouring local veterans

July 28,1914 is remembered as the day that ‘The Great War,’ World War I, began.

July 28,1914 is remembered as the day that ‘The Great War,’ World War I, began. Sixty-one young men residing in the Bella Coola Valley signed up to participate in what was to become the regrettably misnomered ‘War to end all Wars.’

Not all had permanent homes here but work had brought them into the region.  Word had it that three or four railroad companies were investigating a route from the interior to the coast, which attracted able-bodied men with the prospect of work.  The potential of this rail route was driven by the fact that Bella Coola was closer to the Peace River grain fields than Vancouver by a couple of hundred miles.

However, the money backing these proposals was mostly British and the British pulled back all financial commitments other than defending their homeland once war was declared. This left surveyors and land speculators unemployed and willing to fight with our allies to protect our international interest and trade partners.

In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the start of WWI, the Bella Coola Museum and Archives has researched and developed a photo display recognizing a number of those from the Valley who volunteered and served.

Until the end of August the Museum is open to the public to visit and view the photo display.  Only the men whose families remained part of our community after the war were selected for this exhibit. Some names and family descendants are still amongst us today:  Brynildsen,  Casperson, Clayton, Grant, Edwards, Jacobson, Levelton, Nygaard, Olsen, Pedersen, Ratcliff, Robson, Saugstad, Schulstad, and Svisdahl.

The research and preparation of the display was done by Peter Solhjell and Rene Morton, with financial support from Legion Branch 262 and photo work donations from Tell-Tale Signs.  The display will also be on view at the Legion on Remembrance Day, and then form part of the Legion’s permanent photo recognition of all from the Valley who served in the Armed Forces.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

‘A long way to go’: UNBC hosts Moose Hide Campaign gathering on Feb. 24

The event is a part of a movement to stand up against violence inflicted on women and children

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read