ESTEVAN — The Estevan cenotaph is going to have an addition later this year, thanks to the efforts of a local military historian.
Craig Bird with the South East Military Museum said there were names missing from the cenotaph, and so it needs to be updated with a new plaque that will be on the southeast corner, facing the police station.
Twenty-seven names from the First World War, 10 from the Second World War and one from the War in Afghanistan will be added.
"It's part of my ongoing work and project with the legion and with the southeast," Bird told the Mercury. "I've been doing a lot of research into Vimy [the Battle of Vimy Ridge] and World War II with some of the battles that the South Saskatchewan Regiment took part in and some of the soldiers that were from this area."
When Bird went through the names on the cenotaph during his research, he found that it should have 36 more names than it does presently.
In the case of the First World War, he found some names were missed because of different spellings, while other people lied about their age in order to serve. Trying to get access to records was a lot more difficult.
"It's easy to miss names or misspell things or that sort of thing," said Bird.
He's surprised at how many names from the Second World War had to be added, because there was better access to records.
"It's one of those things that I think we can correct all of it and update things, and have them recognized in the community as people that were born here and then left, or ended up moving away somewhere after the fact. They may be attributed on other monuments elsewhere, but they were members of the community around here," said Bird.
The individual from Estevan who died in Afghanistan, Cpl. Shane Keating was born here and moved away at an early age. He still has family in the area.
The new plaque for the cenotaph will have a similar look as those presently on the structure in order to preserve its integrity.
A shield will be added to the Estevan branch of the Royal Canadian Legion to commemorate the sacrifice of Afghanistan for all those who lost their lives in that conflict, as well as those who served and came back to the community. It will go alongside plaques for the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and peacekeeping missions.
Bird said to add an additional plaque that looks like the existing ones is expensive, as it needs to be cast of bronze. There aren't a lot of businesses that still provide that service.
It will cost at least $10,000-$11,000, plus shipping and taxes. The museum is applying for grants and talking to community partners. The legion has contributed to the project, as have the City and the RM of Estevan.
Bird is looking to see if any businesses or people would be interested in helping out with the project.
The plan is to have the plaque and the shield made during the summer and to have them installed in the fall. An official unveiling would occur on Remembrance Day.
If people are interested in helping with the project, they can contact the legion office or Bird through the South East Military Museums Facebook page.