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First World War Kootenay Soldiers Photograph Project

By Contributor
September 18th, 2017

Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History is delighted to announce the completion of a project that sheds light on many of the local soldiers who served during the First World War.

During the First World War, the Nelson Canadian Club gathered a remarkable collection of around two hundred individual and group photographs of Kootenay area soldiers. In 1985
this collection was donated to Touchstones Nelson.
Nelsonite and Simon Fraser University student, Tressa Ford, has spent much of the summer researching the stories behind these soldiers, including many who sadly did not survive the war. The combination of the photographs of young men volunteering to fight for their country, and the biographic details of horrific injuries and fatalities, is incredibly powerful.

Of the project, Tressa Ford states: “It has been an unbelievable experience learning the stories of these people. These photographs are not about statistics or generalities; they
allow us to glimpse the individual, human element of both war and of history. It is absolutely profound.”

For the first time the whole collection, together with brief biographies is now available to view online via the Touchstones Nelson Flickr pool. Touchstones Archivist Jean-Philippe
Stienne said, “it really is a remarkable resource that we are delighted to share with the public. If anybody has any more details on the soldiers featured in this collection we would love to hear from you.”

The photos can be viewed on

Touchstones Nelson would like to thank Tressa and Young Canada Works for their assistance with this project, as well as the Touchstones archive volunteers for their time and expertise.

Photo Caption: This is an Archival photograph of Nelson WWI Soldiers, courtesy of the Touchstones Archive.

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