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Elgin Women in WW 2
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Emily McKenzie researching material

Emily McKenzie is on a special mission this summer. The Elgin Military Museum staff member is collecting stories of service women who were active in World War II and have a connection to Elgin County. Her goal is to highlight their unique perspectives and wartime accounts in a new booklet set to be published by the museum in September 2014.

"Elgin women made great sacrifices during World War II and we want to make sure their stories are being remembered," McKenzie said of the museum's new project. "We also want to show that women had new opportunities in the Canadian Forces during World War II and chose to adopt new roles during wartime, in place of traditional ones".

McKenzie is calling on residents to share stories of service women who lived in Elgin County or had a local connection to the area. She added that "family, friends, members of service groups or church communities are all encouraged to come forward with stories and documents."

Discharge papers, obituaries, personal stories, war diaries, photos, and family histories are examples of what the museum would find valuable.

"There aren't quite as many stories about Elgin County women who served in the Air Force and Navy, so we'd be very interested to hear those stories," McKenzie said.

By the end of World War II, almost 50,000 women had served in one of the three women's services comprised of the Canadian Women's Army Corps, the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division, and the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service.

McKenzie will be at Pinafore Park on July 9th for the Seniors' Picnic at the Park event to chat with attendees about wartime family stories.

"No story is too small or insignificant," she says. "Any information we can collect will be added to important veterans files at the museum and will be accessible to future generations who want to learn about Elgin County women in World War II."

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