The Last Post Fund, Montreal, 2000
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Lest we Forget, the History of the Last Post Fund is a fast-paced, often moving account of challenges, remarkable achievements and triumphs. Founded in Montreal in 1909 by Arthur Hair, the Last Post Fund has remained true to its belief that Canada's veterans are deserving of the nation's gratitude. Motivated by patriotism and compassion, the principal activity of the Fund is to provide veterans in need with a dignified burial, normally alongside their former comrades-in-arms.
Throughout its history the Last Post Fund has overcome financial crisis, government indifference and the problems associated with enormous administrative and structural growth. As a testament to its perseverance and abilities, today it alone has official responsibilities for veterans' burials in Canada.
At Christmas time in 1908, Arthur Hair encountered a destitute war veteran at a Montreal hospital. The man died two days later. When no friend or family claimed his body, the veteran faced a pauper's burial or, as was once commonplace, dissection for medical research. Hair was indignant. His intervention to secure a proper interment for the man spurred him to found an organization that would ensure no veteran need do without a dignified funeral and burial.
The photograph shows Arthur Hair and his wife Janet (McIntyre) in 1908.
An aerial view of the Soldiers' Cemetery, Regina 1935,
one of a number of military burial sites across Canada
that are supported by the Last Post Fund.
Lest we Forget is a fast paced, readable and profusely-illustrated account which sensitively places the Last Post Fund within the context of Canada's unfolding social and military history. Based almost entirely on archival material previously unseen by historians, this book is a must read for anyone interested in Canadian military and social-military history, veterans' issues, public administration and Canada's institutional history.