Faces to Names: Initiative shares stories of Guelph soldiers
KITCHENER -- An initiative called Faces to Names is telling the stories of 28 soldiers from Guelph who served and died in the Second World War.
Diane Harvey has fond memories of her uncle, Sgt. Roy Miller.
"He was the one who made the most, paid the most attention to me and liked to tease me," she said.
Miller enlisted in the Highland Light Infantry on Jun3 23, 1940. Harvey said she last saw her uncle on the platform at Guelph Central Station as he left for war.
"One of his letters home to my aunt that I just read a few months ago, he didn't expect to come," she said.
Miller was killed in action on Feb. 23, 1945. He was 24 years old.
Harvey said she found out after she was pulled out of school.
"No one said anything to me, and so I wandered around the house and then finally I looked up at the mantle and there was the telegram," she said.
Miller's name is etched on the Guelph cenotaph, but he's buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. Karen Hunter visited that cemetery to learn more about the soldiers who were part of the Dutch liberation.
"I met so many people who were involved in the Second World War," Hunter said.
She's also the founder of the Canadian Remembrance Torch and created the Faces to Names Initiative with the help of historian Ed Butts.
"There were real people who lived here, went to school here, worked here," Butts said.
There's a display with a QR code next to the cenotaph. People can scan the codes with their smart phone and it will take them to a website with information on soldiers' biographies, a street map and videos from family members.
"The goal is to connect their stories with Guelph's past and its present and the objective is to engage people in those stories and in remembrance," Hunter said.
Butts said the work is far from over.
"I'm still finding new information, or old information that hadn't been uncovered before," he said.