On The War Memorial Trail….. Update On Portrait Of WW1 Soldier From Barton

improved_photo(4) shortliff

Photo of WW1 soldier Lloyd Shortliff.  (Photo restoration: Pieter Valkenburg)

January 7, 2023.   In a previous posting, we told the story of how a photo of WW1 soldier Lloyd Clifford SHORTLIFF of Barton, Nova Scotia was rescued when veteran Mario Henry purchased the picture at an auction.

Lloyd’s body was never recovered from the French battlefields following his death on September 17, 1916, and his name is listed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.  (See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/2022/07/31/the-ww1-soldier-from-barton-whose-body-was-never-recovered/)

google maps digby NS to Barton NS

Barton is 14.9 km away from Digby.  (Map source: Google)

The Royal Canadian Legion in Weymouth, Nova Scotia expressed an interest in the picture after learning it existed from Nova Scotia Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.  On a September 2022 trip to Nova Scotia, we brought over the portrait and handed it over to Sandra Lent of the Weymouth Legion in Barton, located between Digby and Weymouth.  (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barton,_Nova_Scotia)

Barton is very small and the war memorial is located on one side of the highway, in front of a cemetery, and set back from the road. Not being close to the road helps protect it from car exhaust and snow clearing on the very busy Hwy 101.

….The picture of Lloyd Shortliff briefly sat at the Barton War Memorial….

It seemed only fitting that before Sandra Lent took the picture of Lloyd Shortliff to the Weymouth Legion that a photo be taken of the picture on the side of the Barton War Memorial with his name.

CIMG5802 Sep 12 2022 Barton Memorial Pieter and Sandra Lent

Pieter and Sandra Lent with the picture of Lloyd Shortliff at the Barton War Memorial.  (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

….An unexpected turn of events…..

A few days after we met with Sandra Lent we asked if the portrait had been hung up in the Weymouth Legion.  The reply was that it might be hung up within the day, but then came an unexpected twist.  “Apparently the Shortliff name was common in Barton, and I thought the Digby Legion might be interested in having it….” Sandra wrote. 

That was a surprise to us as when Nova Scotia Command had initially asked Legion branches in the area who might be interested in the picture, the only response came from Sandra on behalf of the Weymouth Legion.

The Zone Commander for Weymouth Legion subsequently reported to Sandra that he had taken the portrait to Digby Legion and that “….the president took the picture and informed me she would hang it on a wall …

That was in September 2022.  Up to now, Digby Legion has not responded to any inquiries about the portrait, although Pieter has left phone messages, sent emails, and even tried to contact them via their Facebook page.  We do not know what happened to the portrait, but the lack of response suggests it was never hung up.

Had we known that neither Legion branch was going to hang the portrait of Lloyd Shortliff, we would never have brought it over.  It is a disappointing ending to a story that began so positively, with the rescue of a portrait of a WWI soldier, who gave his life in France and has no known grave.  Mario Henry and Pieter only wanted to ensure that Lloyd Shortliff’s portrait had a place of honour in his home province. 

….Other names listed on the Barton Memorial…..

  • WW1 soldier Harold Pryor ALMON, born March 27, 1894, died July 31, 1917, buried in Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium
  • WW1 soldier Kenneth Ensley COSMAN, born February 13, 1894, died June 9, 1917, buried Glasgow Western Necropolis in Glasgow, Scotland
  • WW1 soldier Edward Wyatt HAIGHT, born September 2, 1891, died September 16, 1916, listed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France
  • WW1 soldier Harley MELANSON, born April 8, 1893, died August 11, 1917, buried in Maroc British Cemetery in Nord, France
  • WW2 Pilot officer William Dakin MULLEN (MULLIN), born June 23, 1922, died June 8, 1944, buried in Blévy Communal Cemetery in Blévy, France
  • WW1 soldier Benjamin Murray SABEAN, born May 11, 1897, died September 29, 1917, buried in Birmingham (Lodge Hill) Cemetery in Warwickshire, United Kingdom
  • WW1 soldier Roger Lent SPECHT, born August 1, 1897, died February 3, 1919, buried in Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard in Hampshire, United Kingdom
  • WW1 soldier Walter James URQUHART, born August 10, 1879, died October 13, 1916, buried in Regina Trench Cemetery in Somme, France

Thank you again to Mario Henry for saving the photo which gave us a chance to tell Lloyd Shortliff’s story. Perhaps one day we will have a more positive update.

Do you have a story to tell? Email Pieter at memorialtrail@gmail.com, comment on the blog, or tweet to @researchmemori1

…Want to follow our research?….

If you are reading this posting, but aren’t following the blog, you are welcome to do so.  See https://onthewarmemorialtrail.com/ or email me at dariadv@yahoo.ca and ask for an invitation to the blog.

Front cover OnTheWarMememorialTrailinEuropeDaria’s book ‘No Soldier Buried Overseas Should Ever Be Forgotten‘ is available in print and e-book formats.  For more information see https://nosoldierforgotten.com/

You are also invited to subscribe to our YouTube Channel: On The War Memorial Trail With Pieter Valkenburg: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ591TyjSheOR-Cb_Gs_5Kw

© Daria Valkenburg

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