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Simcoe County Remembers

​​​​​​​​​​​​What is Simcoe County Remembers ?

Following the end of the First World War, there were discussions about creating an appropriate memorial or roll of honour for the County of Simcoe.  Complications arose, however, about which names would be included and how such an endeavour would be funded.  In the end, the county’s townships, towns, and villages decided on their own forms of commemoration.

​Simcoe County Remembers is a virtual supplement to the public memorials located in communities around Simcoe County.  It is a database containing the names of 1,009 men and women who had connections to Simcoe County and who died while in service or as a result of wounds or injuries sustained during the First World War.

WWI photo of Sir Fredrick Banting in his military uniform.
Sir Fredrick Banting in his WWI military uniform.

Creating an honour roll of the war dead of Simcoe County has been a challenge.  Records detailing the criteria for inclusion on local public war memorials appear to have been lost to the mists of time.  In some instances the names of those who survived the war were also included on the memorials, while on others only first initials and surnames were engraved into the stones.  Additionally, some residents of the County were still named on muster rolls of British army militia regiments and were called home to serve in the British Expeditionary Force.  As a result, their names may be found on local memorials but not official Canadian military records.  Lastly, official military forms changed over the course of the war and they did not always collect information about the person’s current address. 

Public memorials, published local histories, official military records, and on-line databases such as Library and Archives Canada’s Personnel Records of the First World War, Veterans Affairs Canada’s Books of Remembrance, and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s War Dead & Cemeteries were searched to find the names of Simcoe County’s war dead.  For more information on the process of developing the Simcoe County Remembers database, check out our blog post on the subject here.

While the Simcoe County Remembers database is intended to be as inclusive as possible, at least one of the following criteria needs to be met:

  • Was the person born in Simcoe County?
  • Did the person reside in Simcoe County at the time of enlistment?
  • Did the person’s official next-of-kin reside in Simcoe County?
  • Is the person’s name on one of the public war memorials located in Simcoe County?
  • Did the person meet another criteria and die while in military service prior to, or soon after, the Armistice of causes directly connected to his or her war service?
  • Did the person enlist with either the 157th or 177th Overseas Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force?  (Which were raised by the 35th Regiment, Simcoe Foresters)

Also included are the names of those who met the above criteria but in connection with the former Townships of Mara and Rama, which became a part of Simcoe County in 1974.

Given the scope of the project, it is expected that there are names missing from the Simcoe County Remembers database.  If you know of any names that should be added to it, or can supply missing information, please let us know.  Likewise, despite our best efforts, there will be errors in the records and we want to know about them as well.  For all corrections, comments, and additions please contact Simcoe ​County Archives.

Yes, the Archives holds a variety of resources that pertain to the First World War:

  • Records pertaining to members of the 157th Overseas Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force;
  • Newspapers for the 1914-1919 time period (not complete for all areas) from Alliston, Barrie, Beeton, Coldwater, Collingwood, Creemore, Elmvale, Midland, Orillia, Stayner, and Tottenham;
  • Scrapbooks containing newspaper and/or magazine clippings as well as some photographs;
  • Photographic portraits of men in uniform, family photographs, and images taken in military camps at home and abroad;
  • Published histories of a variety of overseas battalions, as well as broad overviews of the conflict;
  • Records of the Midland Patriotic and Relief Society and the Barrie Branch of the Canadian Patriotic Fund;
  • Diaries of Simcoe County residents, as well as of Gerard Brakenridge Strathy, who served overseas

Yes!  If you have records, particularly primary source materials, pertaining to the men and women from Simcoe County who served in a military capacity during the First World War, whether at home or overseas, or to those who worked to keep the home fires burning, then the Archives’ staff is interested in learning about them.  Information about how to donate records to the Simcoe County Archives is available here, or please contact us at 705-726-9331 or