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The Outbreak of War

A herd of horses are in a row eating hay in an open field. The horses are tethered to a fence with rope rails. The horses are surrounded by canvas tents.

World War I Vernon military camp circa 1915

The outbreak of World War I motivated many men from Lumby to enlist.  Of the Lumby men who went to war, 28 lost their lives from 1914–1918.

A group of soldiers are mounted on horses and standing in formation in a grassy, open field.

World War I Okanagan Mounted Rifles circa 1915

The men took their training at the Vernon Army Camp.  The Lumby squadron of mounted rifle cavalry joined with other local mounted squadrons to form the 30th Regiment, BC Horse Division with headquarters in Vernon.  An enlisted man was paid $1.00 a day plus an extra $1.00 for his horse.

A large group of soldiers are mounted on horseback on a dirt street. There are several wooden buildings in the background.

World War I Lumby’s Okanagan Mounted Rifles 1914

There was immense pressure placed on women to support the war effort.  With every able-bodied man off to answer the call of war, women and children on the farm soon were responsible for planting and harvesting crops, livestock feeding and milking.  What a challenge this must have been for them.

Women came together to sew and knit coats, underwear and socks.  During World War I, Red Cross groups were formed to make bandages and assemble care packages to be sent to the soldiers.

During World War I, an internment camp was located near the summit of Monashee Pass, east of Lumby.  The German detainees were used as labourers to improve the condition of the highway.

Two WWI soldiers are sitting on chairs. Both are holding riding whips. The younger soldier has his hand on the older soldier’s shoulder.

World War I soldiers circa 1915

20 years after World War I, the world was once again at war.  For the first time, women enlisted in the armed forces to help with the fight.

A woman earning $5.00 a month doing general farm work in Lumby could expect 90 cents a day in the service – many had never seen so much money in all their life!  Many had never used a flush toilet or even worn clothes with a zipper.  Just as in World War I, women and children absorbed the responsibilities vacated by the enlisted men.

Those that remained at home also bought war bonds and were given ration cards to make sure food was shared fairly in the community.  Sugar, meat, flour, butter, margarine and milk were all rationed.

A ration book from World War 2 with the name “Catt, Phyllis Elizabeth” contains ration stamps. One of the stamps reads “Buy Victory Bonds”.

World War II Ration Book 1940’s