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San Benito
April 20, 2024

Museum to display photos of local WWI soldiers before deployment

The San Benito County Historical Society will host a special open house Nov. 10 for a display of photos that arrived as a surprise in the mail. 

The photos, which came in the mail from the Gilroy Museum, feature 41 local residents before leaving for World War I. The pictures will be on display along with other World War I artifacts, said Sharlene Van Rooy with the historical society. 

“I think if you have an open house, a lot of people from around town will recognize some of the guys,” Van Rooy said. 

As for the local soldiers, they’re shown in a parade going down San Benito Street, and the historical society plans to reproduce one of the photos in the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11 the day after the photos go on display. 

Van Rooy said the San Benito Stage Company is expected to portray the soldiers in the parade. 

Of the 41 soldiers in that contingency of local residents who were deployed to World War I, five of them didn’t return and their names are on display at the Veterans Memorial Building in Hollister, Van Rooy noted. 

She was thankful toward the Gilroy organization for sending the pictures. 

“It was nice that they thought of us,” Van Rooy said.

Look back for more details as they become available.