The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 72 Museum in Pembroke holds a wealth of genealogical information. There are more than 30 sets of medals, photographs, newspapers (and clippings), publications, maps, and other acquisitions associated with many of the local men and women who were involved in World War I, in World War II, in the Korean War, in Peacekeeping, and in the Legion. Some of the items have been given to the Museum by the actual owners and recipients while most have been donated by family members and descendants in memory of their loved ones.
While a number of the family names are more prevalent than others in the area, most are still well-known and all have played an important role in shaping our history and genealogy. Such artefacts in the name(s) of Barnes, Beamish, Beatty, Breske, Briand, Carnegie, Chartrand, Cheyer, Clost, Collins, Cope, Coumbs, Duchene, Edwards, Etter, Fisher, Fitzsimmons, Gervais, Green, Hewitt, Johnson, Kaden, Kirk, Ladoucer, Lance, Lavigne, Leach, MacKenzie, McPherson, Nichols, O’Brien, O’Leary, Patterson, Pheysey, Picotte, Pinchback, Popkey, Price, Schoof, Sullivan, Taylor, Williams, and Wynn, (to name but a few) have found a proud and permanent home in the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 72 Museum.
Over 700 young men and women from Pembroke served overseas during World War II, 70 of who died on active service. These names were listed in the Pembroke Bulletin newspaper on Monday, August 19th, 1946 and a copy of this article is housed in the Museum. Also during World War II, a significant number of newspaper articles were written and photographs published covering the military careers of these same men and women. The Museum currently holds copies of these newspaper clippings. Some of the headlines read: “Pembroke Airman Wounded In Leg”, “Pembroke Flyer Promoted Again”, “Young Pembroke Airmen Listed In Recent Casualties”, “Pembroke Flyer Reaches 21 Today”, “Pembroke Flyer Hits Hun Radio Mast Brings Reeling Plane Across Own Lines”, “Pembroke Township Airman Killed in Flying Accident”, “Pembroke Flyer Reported Missing”, “Pembroke Airman in Alaska Crew Which Sank Enemy Submarine”, “Pembroke Airman Reported Killed”, “Pembroke Girl First to Wear Corps Uniform”, “Pembroke Girl Is Marksman”, and “Pembroke Girl Now Overseas”, etc.
The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 72 Museum is located at 202 Pembroke Street East on the second floor (tower). The Museum may be holding clues that could help solve a number of mysteries and dead ends for those tracing their family roots. The Museum is open during special events at the Legion and as requested by interested groups and/or individuals. Please contact Wanda Lavergne, the Curator at 732-4815 (Legion Office), 735-5313 (Home) or firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail).