About Kingsville Military Museum
The mission of the Kingsville Military Museum is to provide information for future generations pertaining to the sacrifices of the men and women in the military as well as the contributions of early settlers and native Canadians to the life style we presently enjoy in this county.
It's Your Memory
It's Our History
It's Worth Saving
"We do not glorify the acts of war, but remember the consequences and the cost of our freedom. Future generations must learn about man's inhumanity to man so they, in turn will value man's humanity.".. Charlie Campbell
Tuesday to Friday 9am – 1pm
Saturday 9am – 12pm
Sunday, Monday and Holidays
(Hours subject to change. To avoid disappointment, please call.)
Guided tours are available on request. Visitors have the opportunity to tour at their leisure.
Group & School Tours are invited to make arrangements in advance by calling...
Admission by Donation
The History of the Kingsville Military Museum
In 1980s the members of Branch 188 of The Royal Canadian Legion started collecting Memorabilia from their days in service to show younger people that the good life enjoyed today is because of the efforts and sacrifices made by those who had gone to war. Soon they had accumulated enough items to display.
In 1987 a 45 foot semi-trailer was donated and the members built display cases for their uniforms, medals and weapons. This trailer became known at the Mobile Museum.
This Mobile Museum toured local towns, schools and fairs throughout Southern Ontario. Charlie Campbell who was a tail gunner in a Lancaster Heavy Bomber during WWII travelled with other veterans to answer questions and share military information.
At one occasion at an air show, a man approached Charlie and told him that he had something for the museum. Charlie told the man to put it in the trailer and then he went for a drink. When Charlie returned to the trailer, he discovered a 15 foot torpedo inside. It was brought back to Kingsville and is located outside in the fenced in area.
This collection of memorabilia soon outgrew the trailer. An old warehouse that was on this property, owned by the Conklin Lumber and Mill Yard was rented and refurbished into a museum.
On November 25th of 1993 the museum was incorporated as the Kingsville Historical Park Inc. On May 10, 1993 the letter of patent was signed by the following Charter Directors: Charles Campbell, David Clare, Fred Jarrold, Donald Laird, Douglas Laird, Dorothy Martin, Frank Reneau, Brian Sanford, John Slater and Jean Walton.
But by 1997 the old warehouse was in bad shape and had to be demolished so a new building was constructed. Volunteers spent days, weeks and months working on the construction and the new building was officially opened on August 12th, 2000.
In October 2021 the museum was rebranded as the Kingsville Military Museum with ribbon cutting by the Deputy-Mayor Gord Queen and councilors in attendance.
Today we feature items that belonged to servicemen who were in the military from the Boer War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Afghanistan and on Peacekeeping Missions.
There is also a town designated Heritage Homes display and other items from the farming and fishing community.
Our Research Library contains numerous volumes of donated research material available upon request.
Volunteers past and present are proud of their accomplishments towards the development of the Museum and grounds. Several have passed on, but we know they would say “Job Well Done!”
The mission of the Kingsville Military Museum (Kingsville Historical Park) is to provide information for future generations pertaining to the sacrifices of the men and women in the military as well as the contributions of early settlers and native Canadians to the life style we presently enjoy in this county.
It's Your Memory
It's Our History
It's Worth Saving
"We do not glorify the acts of war, but remember the consequences and the cost of our freedom. Future generations must learn about man's inhumanity to man so they, in turn will value man's humanity." Charlie Campbell, WWII Veteran
The goals of the Kingsville Military Museum is
- to promote public interest in the history of the Kingsville are.
- to conduct and promote historical research
- collect and preserve artifacts pertinent to Kingsville and Essex County history
- maintain a library and museum using its facilities for educational purposes
- instill in the youth of the area a respect and interest in the past sacrifices made by War Veterans, towards the preservation of freedom and peace.
The museum has the same standards as an operating museum by following the guidelines outlined for museums and Archives in the Province of Ontario when funding permits.
The corporation is a not for profit registered Charity under the Income Tax Act with the Registration Number of 891455149RR0001.
Any donations by cheque must be made out to Kingsville Historical Park Inc. as that is the corporation name.
Founding Charter Directors of Museum
Mr. Campbell enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, flying on 19 sorties as a Mid-Upper Gunner in a Lancaster Bomber. After the war he eventually settled in Kingsville where he taught at KDHS retiring as Vice-Principle.
Mr. Campbell was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, the 1939-45 War Medal and the Canadian Forces Decoration.
The museum was a dream that became a reality. However, he never lived to see the new building. On July 4, 1996 while riding his bicycle, he suffered a heart attack and died.
Mr. Reneau was in the navy on the HMCS Huron and the HMCS Haida. He took part in operations in the North Atlantic, English Channel and the Arctic. He was involved in the 1945 Evacuation of 23,000 German POWs from Tonheim, Norway.
Mr. Reneau was awarded the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the Service Medal with Maple Leaf and the War Medal 1939-1945.
He acted as curator for many years at the museum.
The HMCS Haida sank more enemy ships than any other Canadian warship. She was named for the Haida people and now is a designated a National Historic Site of Canada where she serves as a museum ship in Hamilton, Ontario.
Dr. Clare graduated in June 1940 from Queens University, Kingston and began 6 weeks basic training for medical officers. Captain Clare served as medical officer to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry at Dieppe on 10 August 1942. Throughout the day under heavy enemy fire, he carried out his work treating causalities. He became a POW along with those soldiers on the beach. He could have been evacuated to England to a POW camp for officers but he chose to stay with the enlisted men and spent 3 years treating the wounded and being in the forced Death March.
Dr. Clare was awarded the Military Cross for his heroism and sacrifices at Dieppe.
After the war he settled in Kingsville where he practiced medicine.
Mr. Laird served from 1953 to 1979 with the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers serving as a Peacekeeper in several parts of the world. He was a member of the Canadian Legion Branch 188.
Stg. Laird was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration.
Mr. Laird was a local real estate agent and member of the Legion who had an interest in history.
Mrs. Martin served in the Canadian Red Cross during WWII. In 1992 she received the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada which honours persons who made significant contributions to their fellow citizens, their community or Canada.
She was a member of the Canadian Legion Branch 188 and involved with the building of Legion Estates a geared to income complex.
Mr. Slater was a veteran of WWII. He served in the army and took part in the invasion on Normandy Beach in France and the Battle of the Bulge.
Mr. Slater was awarded the War Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Medal, the Defence Medal of Britain, the Germany and France Star and the 1919-1945 Star.
After returning to civilian life, he and his wife Inez settled in Kingsville where they raised their family and he became involved with the Canadian Legion Branch 188.
He retired as a police officer for the Town of Kingsville. His son Todd was a member of 408 squadron.
Mrs. Walton was a member of the board of the museum as a consultant representing the United Empire Loyalist.
Mr. Sanford served as the accountant for the museum and was a director for many years.
These are the directors who signed the charter and who volunteered many many hours to bring their dream to reality. There are also many others who donated their time and funds. We thank them all.