Chemainus – The War Years – Circa 1915

Mural #26

Mural #26 — Chemainus - The War Years - Circa 191510.65M X 2.13M (35’ X 7’)  Maple Street
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Artist: Susan Tooke

Painted in 1989.

Patriotic feelings ran high as many men from Chemainus and area scrambled to join up soon after war was declared. By the end of September 1914, the mill had closed due to the war’s impact on shipping, convincing many more volunteers to enlist.

A reserved excitement, mixed with apprehension and certain sadness, marks the faces of the young soldiers arrested in time in this grouping.

They are members of the 67th Battalion out of Victoria, awaiting the train which for many would mark the last journey they would make from Chemainus.

Their connection to the land they had laboured so hard to tame was severed. They left behind the fields and forest, the homesteads and the growing village, the families and elders, who would have to carry on.

By the end of 1915, more than 15 percent of the local population had gone off to this bitter war, a significant number never to return.