Lest We Forget: A History of the Last Post Fund, 1909-1999


248 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 2-9806532-0-9
DDC 353.538





Reviewed by Danial Duda

Danial Duda is a librarian specializing in military history at the
Rutherford Library, University of Alberta.


Lest We Forget is a well-written narrative of a little-known aspect of
Canada’s social history. Arthur Hair, a veteran of the British Army,
established the Last Post Fund in 1909. While Hair was the head orderly
for the Montreal General Hospital, he witnessed a man’s death that
troubled him deeply. The man was a retired British trooper, James Daly.
Believing him to be drunkard, the police brought him to the hospital. It
turned out Daly wasn’t drunk, but was suffering from starvation and
exposure. He died two days later. The incident sparked Hair’s idea to
create a fund to help cover burial expenses for army and navy veterans.
The Last Post Imperial Naval and Military Contingency Fund came to be
widely known as the Last Post Fund.

During his research, the author “quickly became aware that the
organization’s past was intimately linked to the unfolding of
Canada’s general history.” Durflinger has done a fine job of
bringing the fund’s history to light by interweaving its growth with
Canada’s growth as a nation. Although its lack of index is
unfortunate, Lest We Forget is an engaging addition to Canadian social
history. Recommended for researchers, scholars, and interested general


Durflinger, Serge Marc., “Lest We Forget: A History of the Last Post Fund, 1909-1999,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/8614.