The Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol has launched a new website featuring images from the Second World War era air training sites in Huron County, Ontario.
See the collection at www.digital.huroncounty.ca
Over 850 photos from local Goderich photographer J. Gordon Henderson have been digitized as part of the online exhibit.
Joel Ralph, Canada’s History's Director of Programs, spoke with Jenna Leifso, Archives Research Assistant with the museum. Listen to the full interview here:
“In the early 90s Henderson’s daughter donated his entire photography collection to the museum,” explains Jenna.
“The photographs range from the 1930s to the 1970s. This particular collection that we digitized is actually from World War Two. In Huron County there were four British Commonwealth Air Training Plan schools and he traveled to three of the schools and took pictures.”
Visitors to the website can browse or search through a wide range of photos that document life in the air training program.
“The collection has class pictures, portraits, wedding photos, and even some nice candid shots.”
The reaction from the community has been very positive and inquiries about the images have already come from as far away as the United Kingdom.
“I think it’s really important that they have access to these photos,” explains Leifso, “Not many people know about the contribution our local area made. Thousands of men came from everywhere to train at these schools.”
“The reaction has been incredible. A lot of people in the local area had relatives that were instructors or worked at the school, so they have been really great about identifying photos that we couldn’t.”
Not all the pictures are formal portraits and official photos. “There’s a great series of the fleet air arm celebrating New Year’s Day in 1944.”
The collection of photos is online at digital.huroncounty.ca
The below photo gallery is from New Years Day, January 1, 1944 by Henderson J. Gordon.