Community, Organizations

Impressive Collection of Local Artifacts at the Kingsville Military Museum

Dead Man’s Penny. Photo courtesy of Kingsville Military Museum

In 1987, a group of veterans from the Kingsville Legion Branch 188 held a Memorabilia Night to showcase local history and their service during the war. From the overwhelming support, an idea expanded from a one-time event into a more lasting presentation.

A semi-trailer was donated to the legion and a group of veterans started working to present the collection of uniforms, medals, and other memorabilia. This Mobile Museum was hauled to schools and to fairs.

The collection grew so much that an old warehouse that was on the legion property was refurbished as a museum and provided a more permanent location from 1992 until 1997. When the members were advised that the warehouse had structural defects, the decision was made to construct a new building.

Collection of Lugers. Photo by Marilyn Farnworth

In August 2000, the new Kingsville Historical Park Incorporated was opened. This Park included the museum, a range light, a caboose, and a fishing tug. Today, all that remains is the museum. That is why we have re-branded as the Kingsville Military Museum to showcase the military history of veterans from Kingsville and the surrounding area. There are artifacts from the Boer War, WWI, WWII, Korean War and Afghanistan War.

Intelligence Log Book. Photo by Marilyn Farnworth

Included in the collection is the Dead Man’s Penny. After World War I, families throughout the British Empire who had lost a family member as a direct result of their service received a bronze plaque of condolence, also known as the “Dead Man’s Penny.”  There were 1,355,000 plaques issued. The Kingsville Military Museum has four in its collection donated by Thomas Elliot, Walter Campeau, James Browne and Walter Harris.

War Medals. Photo by Marilyn Farnworth

There are a large number of photos in the collection including these of Lorne and Wilfred Lane of Ruthven.  Lorne was killed at Vimy Ridge just two months before his 20th birthday. He received the Military Medal from King George. This medal is given for acts of bravery.

Lorne Lane. Photo courtesy of Kingsville Military Museum

Wilfred, following in his brother’s footsteps, signed up at just 19 years of age.  He was serving in Russia when he became ill with pneumonia and died en route home and was buried in Hong Kong.  His body was later disinterred and brought home where he now rests at the Ruthven cemetary.

Wilfred is one of the rare Canadians who died in WWI and now rests on Canadian soil. Their medals form part of the collection at the Kingsville Military Museum.

Wilfred Lane. Photo courtesy of Kingsville Military Museum

Visitors to the museum will also find a collection of farming and household items, Kingsville memorabilia, and a display board of historic houses in Kingsville.  Members of the public who would like to donate items to the museum are encouraged to call and book an appointment and those wishing to volunteer are welcome to meet with management.

Board members of the Kingsville Military Museum are Wayne Bagshaw, Linda Lynch, Kim Treanor, Jackie Barraco, Bill Wilson, Thomas Neufeld, Lynne Crawford, Larry Patterson, Bob Lynch, Doug Crawford and Bonnie Monminie.  The board meets every four months to discuss programming, the budget and future events.

The Kingsville Military Museum is located at 145 Division Street South in Kingsville and is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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