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Town of Carlyle gave military rings to veterans

When veterans returned to the Carlyle area, they were honoured with a certificate and a Birk’s 10-karat gold ring by the Town of Carlyle.

CARLYLE - John Brown was born in 1919 and immigrated to Canada with his parents and brothers in April 1925 from Balfron, Scotland.

The family farm is located approximately 15 kilometres south of Carlyle on Highway 9, with the sign Eat Canadian Beef.

Brown's family settled in the Prairies and Brown was sent to school in a kilt on his first day.

Brown’s daughter Helen Finucane said her father was not good in school, but was excellent in math and he could build anything.

In 1939, the Second World War broke out, but Brown did not volunteer to join. He felt he was needed on the farm with the cattle, but later he was recruited to go to war by the Regina Rifles.

Private John Brown received training at the armory on Elphinstone Street. He was sent overseas and when he returned did not talk much about the horrors of the war.

When veterans returned to the Carlyle area, they were honoured with a certificate and a Birk’s 10-karat gold ring by the Town of Carlyle.

This honour was also bestowed on the families whose loved ones lost their lives in the war.

In 1948, the Carlyle Memorial Hall was built in conjunction with the town and the Royal Canadian Legion to honour all the brave people from the war who lost their lives. There are two plaques bearing their names at the front of the building, so no one will ever forget them.

The Carlyle Memorial Hall has seen some updates over the years, but the importance of the building is still the same.

Brown met the love of his life Frances Bailey when he went to the Carlyle Co-op to purchase a pair of pants. Frances was from Redvers but boarded with a Scottish lady named Mrs. Simpson.

He purchased the pants and asked Frances to a movie. After dating for a year, they were married and remained so for 54 years.

In the 1950s, a set of medals were made for Brown as it was thought he did not receive them. These medals were stolen from the farmhouse some years later.

Brown passed away in 2003 and was well known in Carlyle at legion but was not a member. He helped out with Remembrance Day efforts.

The farm, which is 100 years old, still remains in the family and is taken care of by Finucane.

Some years ago, while Finucane and her daughter were going through some things, they found Brown’s uniform, his first medals and ribbons, the Dalesboro Orange Lodge Ribbon, and the ring.

Finucane took these items with her to Regina and contacted Keith Inches, the curator of the Regina Rifled Museum. Inches had never seen a ring like the one that Finucane held, and it triggered a lot of interest.

She went to Olsen Goldsmith in Regina, and they were also shocked at the ring and had never seen one like it. Goldsmith often makes medals for the government, but this ring was a rare piece and has an extremely high value.

As far as Finucane knows, no other town has done this kind of thing in honour of its veterans and many people in Carlyle have not heard of it.

With her finding the ring, it has become an especially important part of her father's past, and it holds a special place for her.

She said it will always remain in the family, but she is curious to know if others in Carlyle have the ring.

Finucane returns to the farm often as she lives in Regina, but the farm holds many fond memories for her and her family, and she is grateful to have found these items that once belonged to her father.