8 C
Niagara Falls
Sunday, April 14, 2024
Great War remembered at Fort George


First World War re-enactors and vintage aircraft paid tribute to veterans during “Fort George in the Great War: A WW1 Commemoration” last weekend in NOTL.

The two-day event brought re-enactors from all over North America to the national historic site, on the grounds of what was once Camp Niagara, an active training ground for Canadian, American and Polish troops during the First World War.

Peter Martin, special events co-ordinator at Fort George, said the re-enactors really brought the event together.

“They really go above and beyond. They’re passionate about what they do and it shows,” Martin said.

After closing on Saturday, Martin said employees of the fort hosted a private movie night social as a thank you to the re-enactors for their hard work.

“It’s just something small we do. Everyone seems to enjoy it,” he added.

The fort worked alongside re-enactors to develop the program for the weekend, Martin said.

Ashley Creed, event co-ordinator at Rouge National Urban Park, was on scene showcasing the First World War vintage M1918 army ambulance she rebuilt with her grandfather, Len Rolls.

Together Creed and her grandfather worked on the vehicle, toiling away until it was completed.

Her grandfather has since stepped away from touring the vehicle, but she carries on with the ambulance, showcasing it whenever she can. She has taken it on tour across central and eastern Canada, visiting 12 national historic sites along the way.

“Still driven by the desire to educate and inspire remembrance, but even moreso by the desire to spend quality time learning from and bonding with my grandfather,” Creed said in a write-up about the story behind the ambulance.

Another highlight of the weekend was the airshow. Flying above the fort, four planes from the Great War Flying Museum near Brampton put on a show for spectators below.

Martin said just one of the war plane museum’s planes didn’t make it out, the Fokker DVII wasn’t available on Saturday. But three biplanes, a Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter, Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a, Nieuport 28 and a Fokker Dr. 1 triplane (aka the Red Baron), all made an appearance during the event.

Martin said it was a nice change to put on the First World War event.

“We’re always an 1812 site, that’s what we do here. Once a year we want to be able to honour the veterans of the Great War,” Martin added.


**Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Ashley Creed restoring the First World War ambulance with her late grandfather. Her grandfather is still very much alive. The Lake Report regrets the error.

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