Terrace museum looks to update mutiny records

A manuscript that’s at least 30 years old chronicling one of Terrace’s more remarkable historical events may be updated and published

Heritage Park Museum curator Kelsey Wiebe wants to update a history of an army mutiny which took place here.

A manuscript that’s at least 30 years old chronicling one of Terrace’s more remarkable historical events will be updated and published if a Terrace and District Museum Society grant application comes through.

Heritage Park Museum curator Kelsey Wiebe partially credits Hollywood interest back in the eighties for the city council of the day deciding to hire a student to write a history of the 1944 mutiny by Canadian soldiers based in Terrace.

Now Wiebe has applied for a grant from the federal World War Commemorations Community Fund to finance the project which will include both printing copies of an expanded version of the book as well as creating an online version.

“Our project is to update the manuscript to add anecdotes from people who experienced it with maps from the Department of National Defence,” said Wiebe, adding that this will include more photos, interviews and letters from survivors.

More than 1,600 Canadian troops mutinied for five days here in late November 1944, worried they’d be sent to Europe to replenish depleted forces readying for a final push to end the Second World War.

The troops were conscripts and up until then, only those who volunteered were sent overseas.

With many officers away at the time, the troops took up arms and conducted several marches through Terrace, urging others to support them.

The mutiny ended when officers returned and the troops were subsequently shipped out to other parts of the country.

Wiebe’s application has the support of city council and it also gave her permission to use the original manuscript written by student Karen Keuchle.

“We get a number of research requests about the mutiny, which is relatively unknown, and feel that it would be useful to compile all of the information that is out there, especially while a few of the veterans and community members who witnessed the mutiny are still alive,” wrote Wiebe in her submission to council.

The Terrace mutiny was not the only Canadian one during the Second World War but it was the longest and considered a very serious situation at the time, she said.