Warren Sommer will read the names of those from Langley who died in the First World War at this year’s Fort Langley Remembrance Day ceremony. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Names of fallen bring back memory of Langley’s war dead

The Fort Remembrance Day ceremony will mark the century since the end of the First World War.

Fort Langley will mark the centennial of the end of the First World War this Remembrance Day, as the names of Langley’s Great War dead are read during the annual service.

“I think it’s important that we remember that these young men were real people, not just surnames and initials on a war memorial,” said Warren Sommer, a local historian who will read the 44 names aloud.

He wants to recognize their individuality.

“They were real people, with hopes and dreams, just like young people have today,” Sommer added.

The Langley those soldiers came from was very different.

The population was somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 residents during the war.

Out of that population, there were perhaps 1,000 adult men, and about 400 of them enlisted, Sommer noted.

That meant about 10 per cent of the total population and 40 per cent of the adult men signed up and served in some capacity at one time or another.

Many of those who enlisted were farmers, some worked in mills and the logging industry, which was still busy clearing the vast forests that once covered most of the Langleys.

Some had just arrived in Langley a year or two before they enlisted, while others came from families settled in Langley and had grown up in the district.

Some were labourers, some mature men with families, and some had studied or hoped to study at university.

There likely isn’t a single person alive today who knew one of the war dead commemorated on the cenotaph in Fort Langley.

Anyone old enough to remember them would be a centenarian and would have been a small child when the war came to an end.

Reading their names is the least that we can do today to remember them, Sommer said.

Although they have passed out of living memory, their names will strike a chord with many who hear them, noted Jonathan Meads, one of the organizers of this year’s Fort Langley ceremony.

Allard, Trattle, Carvolth, Wright, Glover, Wilson, Henderson, Brown – the names of the war dead were given to Langley streets, particularly around Fort Langley, in the years after the conflict.

At the same time as the Fort Langley and Murrayville cenotaphs were being built, the Township also planted memorial trees in the honour of the war dead, alongside the roads named for the fallen.

Meads hopes that young people, like the Scouts who cleaned gravestones in the Fort cemetery last weekend, will be able to take away an important lesson from the ceremony.

“It’s important to remind the younger generations of the sacrifice of war, that war’s not a good thing,” he said.

READ MORE: Langley legion members help ensure City ceremony happens

READ MORE: Fort Langley ceremony honours fallen on Nov. 11

READ MORE: Murrayville better prepared to host second Remembrance Day ceremony

READ MORE: Aldergrove will pause to Remember

Just Posted

$18 million Aldergrove amenity seen as unfair for other Township communities

An unanimous council voted in favour of Councillor Eric Woodward’s policy to provide downtown Aldergrove with more resources.

Neighbour recounts ‘fifteen minutes of insanity’ after deck collapses at Aldergrove wedding

Local resident Charles Ford ran over to the dozens wounded, along with many other neighbours

High school mechanics get ‘huge head start’

The ACSS apprentices will showcase their work at this year’s Country Car Show in Aldergrove.

Wagner Hills brotherhood celebrates Easter hope

Five churches collaborated on Good Friday this year to present Stations of the Cross.

Langley pedophile wins appeal after violating court order

Kelly Glen Isbister’s sentence was cut by the BC Court of Appeal

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Loud jets from Abbotsford are annoying residents of tiny U.S. town

Flights out of Abbotsford airport turn over border town and annoy residents, Sumas mayor says

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

VIDEO: Spiderman-clad Lamborghini makes pit stop in Abbotsford ahead of Avengers premiere

Highstreet Shopping Centre displaying unique car during Friday’s opening of Marvel movie

Most Read