Elgin Historical Society and the Elgin County Museum present Susan Gold
and her story of WWI Gunner Murray Benner.
7th Name Down on the Left is the title of Susan's well-researched and
fascinating story of her great uncle's experiences as a member of the
Canadian Field Artillery. Murray was a farmer from near Aylmer, Ontario
when he joined the 63rd Battery in London, Ont. He left for overseas in
April, 1917 and was killed in September, 1918. Like hundreds of other
Elgin men who were lost in WWI, Murray Benner is now just name on a
Who was he?
14 years ago, Susan started randomly pulling century old letters and
memorabilia from boxes previously stored in attics and closets. Years of
transcription and research resulted in 7th Name Down on the Left
chronicling one Elgin County family's journey through this turbulent
period of Canadian and world history. Susan says of the story that
unfolded in over 400 letters and memorabilia chronicling her great
uncles' and grandfather's lives from 1903 to 1918:
â€œCanadian history breathes back at me through these pages. These men
were front and centre - working to open the west and contributing to the
war effort in their own way. The letters open a window into the life,
attitudes, and morals of the times. One clearly views the structure of
their daily lives and feels the fabric and texture of their beings.
Hungrily, I have been led down emotional and intellectual paths, crying
and laughing with them as I read and transcribe their stories. As each
letter was randomly pulled from the boxes, questions were answered and
new ones emerged. But slowly their stories came together leaving me in
awe. Though I have very little in the way of a living link to these men,
they have become a palpable part of my life.
Susan will speak about her search for Murray on Wednesday, November 23,
2016 at the Elgin County Administration Building, 450 Sunset Drive, Lower
Level. Murray's memorabilia, including the effects returned after his
death, will be on display.
No Charge, Free Parking.