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Vimy 100 comes to Ingersoll with a First World War re-creation at the Ingersoll museum on Sunday, June 11

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

VIMY 100 ~ Interactive Reenactment (Facebook)

VIMY 100 ~ Interactive Reenactment (Facebook)

If you have ever wondered what it was like to be part of the war effort during the First World War an upcoming event is a must-see.

An event entitled Vimy 100 is taking place at the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum on Sunday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Anyone who has had ancestor who has served as soldier, nurse or someone who worked on the home front at Ingersoll Machine and Tool should come to the event to get a sense of what their ancestors had to do to become involved in the war,” said Scott Gillies, curator of the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum. “It’s giving people an opportunity to experience what their ancestors went through.”

Working with members of the History Matters Association, the entire grounds of the museum will be turned into a First World War site, including an enlistment office, Parade Square, trench warfare training and the Battle for Hill 290.

There will also be opportunities to take part in basic training in calisthenics, marching, grenade tossing and bayonets.

“In essence, we are turning all the museum buildings and Centennial Park into a First World War venue from the home front to the battlefield,” Gillies said. “For example they will be making care packages to send overseas, as well as knitting and quilting demonstrations. There will be someone talking about ammunition production, in particular the artillery shells being made at Ingersoll Machine and Tool.”

A mockup of a service pay book is being utilized as a site map and each one will have a handwritten name of a local soldier who served and visitors can research their records online.

The event will also feature a French tavern and a narrated show will highlight British, Canadian, French, German and Russian military fashions.

Visitors can chat with nursing sisters at the casualty clearing site and pay their respects at a small field cemetery.

The event, sponsored in part by the Ingersoll Community Foundation, will culminate with the Battle for Hill 290.

Visitors can also visit a display on the Commonwealth War Graves commission and have a conversation with a military chaplain.

The Ingersoll Pipe Band will also be in attendance to provide music and a beat for those wishing to march.

The interactive public event commemorating the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is part of a series of ongoing activities throughout Oxford County to remember Oxford’s Own, the 168th Battalion.

Gillies said the event is being held in June in order that it didn’t conflict with national events and due to scheduling issues.

Admission to the event is $2 for an adult with proceeds going to help restore the band shell in Memorial Park, which will be part of the 100th anniversary of the end of First World War next year.

The band shell was built as a memorial to the First World War.

HRivers@postmedia.com