In 2012, while visiting the Juno Beach Centre, Harvey Kinsman donated to the Juno Beach Centre artefacts and documents (Memory Cross, letters, telegram announcing death, photos), formerly belonging to his uncle Harvey Kinsman (senior) of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Harvey senior died in Battle of Normandy on August 5, 1944 and is buried at the Canadian War Cemetery of Bretteville-sur-Laize/ Cintheaux. Harvey Jr also donated belongings of Harvey senior’s brother, Elmer Kinsman of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery regiment, who fought in Italy, and documents about his great-uncles Edward & Frank Kroetsch who fought in the First World War.
These donations made it possible for the Juno Beach Centre to honour the history of this Manitoban family in the temporary exhibition “From Vimy to Juno: Remembering Canadians in France”. The exhibit features the stories of 4 families that make up a circuit for young visitors. It is through the voice of Alyssa, a young member of the Kinsman/Kroetsch family, that their stories are told.
On September 11, Harvey Kinsman Jr. returned to the Juno Beach Centre to see for the first time his family’s history in the museum. He was accompanied by his cousins, Judi (Kinsman) Hodgson and Jacqui (Kinsman) Tickner, the daughters of Elmer Kinsman. Jacqui is also Alyssa’s grandmother. On this occasion, Harvey completed his donation to the museum with additional photos and documents about Edward and Frank Kroetsch, as well as information on both of his parents, Nora Snyder and Orval Kinsman, who also served.
The Juno Beach Centre is very grateful for this donation and for the sharing of information, which made it possible to feed some of the contents of its exhibition. We will have great pleasure in welcoming Alyssa next March, during a school trip to Normandy.
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at email@example.com.