Alberta Aviation Museum to honour WWI veterans

The Alberta Aviation Museum is showcasing some lesser-known veterans of the First World War this weekend.

New exhibit will shed light on Albertans who served in Royal Flying Corp.

A new exhibit at the Alberta Aviation Museum will honour the Alberta pilots who fought in World War 1 using planes like the Fokker DR-1 tri-plane and Spad VII bi-plane. (Mike Groll/The Associated Press)

Many have heard of the Red Baron and other pilots from the First World War but now, lesser-known pilots from Alberta will also be getting their due attention.

A new exhibit at the Alberta Aviation Museum this weekend will shed light on the history of Albertans who served in the Royal Flying Corp. The museum's director says the stories of these veterans are often overlooked.

"They are not from some far flung destination, they are from here. That's a big story that doesn't get told, so that's why our focus has gone in that direction this year," said Tom Hendricks. "Sixteen million people were killed during the First World War and 21 million injured. That's the population of Canada — a hundred years down the road, we are losing that context of scale."

Canada lost 60,000 people to the conflict, from a population that was barely a quarter of the 33 million it stands at today.

However, historians say Canada's battle honours were a defining national moment and that Canada is one of the few countries to feel itself to have gained from its sacrifices, becoming a recognized sovereign country "forged in fire."

Monday will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.