Nov 08, 2016 Return to Headlines

Exhibit Offers Glimpse into Lives of Soldiers

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, Nov. 8, 2016 – What might a young Coquitlam rancher have written to his family from the war front 100 years ago? What was the experience of a Punjabi immigrant who enlisted in 1915 to fight for his new country?

Marking the centennial anniversary of the First World War from 2014 to 2018, an exhibit running throughout November at Coquitlam Public Library’s City Centre branch offers a glimpse into the lives and sacrifices of four Canadian soldiers.

The project grew from an ongoing partnership between the City of Coquitlam Archives and Douglas College, and ties into the national Lest We Forget program by Library and Archives Canada. 

With assistance from City Archivist Emily Lonie, students of Douglas College history professor Dr. Ashleigh Androsoff explored archival military service files to develop moving and powerful visual interpretations of the soldiers’ experiences.

The exhibit features artwork and memorabilia that commemorates the following soldiers:

  • William Alexander Atkins, a Coquitlam rancher killed on Sept. 27, 1916 at age 19,
  • Edwin Arthur Rand, a New Westminster student killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917,
  • Filip Konowal, a Ukrainian immigrant and lumberjack who was awarded a Victoria Cross at the Battle for Hill 70 and survived the war, but was never reunited with his family, and
  • Waryam Singh, a Punjabi immigrant and labourer who fought for his new country despite not having full citizenship rights.

The library will be closed on Remembrance Day but open regular hours for the remainder of the weekend and November. Visit www.library.coquitlam.bc.ca for hours and information.

To learn more about the City of Coquitlam Archives, visit the Archives webpage.


Downloadable photos of the the Lest We Forget exhibit are available on the City’s Flickr page at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskLdwyi7

Media contact:
Emily Lonie
City Archivist