November is traditionally the month of Remembrance. Lawrencetown, spanning more than two centuries, has, in its history, the remembrance of many wars which influenced the lives of the inhabitants, directly, or indirectly.
In the very beginning, a "strong guard" of two hundred troops escorted the settlers to their new lands and erected a blockhouse, a storehouse, and picketed the peninsula to provide protection from the Indians.
In fear of a surprise attack from the sea, during the second year of the Seven Year's War, the authorities decided to withdraw the troops and burn down the blockhouse and palisade. It is difficult to understand the logic of this decision, but it was carried out and Lawrencetown must have been almost "wiped out".
However the little settlement survived. The next conflict which touched us was the events leading to the creation of the United States. United Empire Loyalists became valued settlers. But our greatest influx came from Lunenburg. Here again, were people who had come from Canada in the mid-eighteenth century hoping to escape from the constant warring among princes and the possibility of enforced service in puppet armies. In the early part of the nineteenth century, in the peaceful years following the war of 1812, immigrants arrived from England and Scotland.
Lawrencetown traditionally acquitted itself well in service to the country.
The Green family, which figured so prominently in our community's early history, had two sons who were naval officers and four who were army officers.
One of our best remembered military families was the Parker family. In 1815, Susanna Green married Capt. Samuel Parker and they lived in an impressive home called Woodbury Lodge, (at the corner of Murphy Drive and the Lawrencetown Road). They had two sons, and one, Capt. William Parker, was recommended for the Victoria Cross for his brave conduct during the Crimean War. He died at the Redan in 1855. A monument in St. Matthew's Cemetery on Barrington St. commemorates this soldier hero. Locally, there is a stone in the cemetery. In the Mineville Cemetery is the grave of Lt. Stowell, of Irish background, who had served in the 98th Regiment, and made his home on the Conrad Road.
At the time of the Riel Rebellion, some militia training was engaged in, but I have no record of any local men being sent to the West.
The "war to end all wars" left its mark on our young men. One, Clarence Shaffleburg, died on a troopship on his way to Europe. Several others served overseas. A memorial list hung on the wall in the old church on MacDonald's Head, and it is regrettable that no copy was ever made to be kept for posterity, because, of course, the original was lost when the church burned in 1965.
But most of us remember World War 2. Almost all our young men were in one of the services at home and abroad; Reta Fulton, a well-loved school teacher, became a Nursing Sister and was decorated for bravery under fire in Italy; the people who stayed at home, worked in Shipyards, Dockyard and other industry to support the war effort. One of our casualties was Lawrence Jackson from Mineville. He was a good-natured, gentle teen-ager with a simple Christian faith; he met death in a spiralling mass of flame, when his fighter plane was shot down just a few weeks before the war ended. He left behind a bride, who became a missionary.
War reaches out into lives of people who bear no outward scars, and as we "remember" this year, we look out on a world where some children and young people have lived their whole lives without ever knowing peace.
Thanks to Mrs. Kay Conrad for preparing and donating this information.