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Title: Photograph - Geoffrey Sayers
Identifier: 2003.2.256
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: c. 1939
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A brown wooden frame, with an inner gold coloured bead. The photograph is a black and white image of Geoff Sayers in his Lorne Scots uniform. The photograph is mounted on a light brown card. There are eye hooks and wire on the back, used for hanging. The back is brown paper. The back reads, 'Dad and Family, love Geoff.' There is an illegible signature, which might read, 'ER Merbury'.

History: The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiments) is one of the oldest infantry regiments in Canada, tracing its history back to the 1790's when the first militia was raised in what was then the British Colony of Upper Canada. They were formed as part of a special military designed to protect the new colony. Over the years, there were various regiments formed to serve the Canadian Militia. It was not until the Fenian uprising (the Irish attempt to free Canada from British control), however, that the Canadian Authorities realized that there was a lack of training and equipment within the Militia, and a decision was made to completely reorganize it. In September of 1866, the 20th Halton Battalion of Infantry was formed. This was the beginning of the two regiments which 70 years later would become the Lorne Scots. The first Scottish connection was not made until September of 1879, when the Halton Rifles were reviewed by His Excellency the Marquis of Lorne. In 1881, permission was received to redesignate the battalion as The 20th Halton Battalion Lorne Rifles. The regiment wore tartan trews and a diced Glengarry, and a pipe band was authorized and formed. In 1929, the Peel and Dufferin Regiment became allied with the Lancashire Fusiliers. In 1936 a general reorganization of all militia units in Canada was carried out and the Peel and Dufferin Regiment and Lorne Rifles were disbanded and the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiments) was authorized in December. Brampton was selected as the headquarters, with companies located in Port Credit, Oakville, Georgetown, and Orangeville. (For more information concerning details of battles fought, etc, please see _A History of Peel County: To Mark Its Centenary 1867-1967_ The Corporation of the County of Peel: County of Peel, November 1967.)

Geoffrey Harris Sayers was born 23 April 1907 and died 25 November 1997. A retired businessman, he was the first child of Beverly and Annie Sayers (née Harris). A member of the Canadian Armed Forces, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant 14 June 1938. Two years later, he was appointed Lieutenant. As of 21 April 1941, he was appointed the rank of Temporary Captain, and was recommended for appointment to the Lorne Scots (P. D. and H. Regiment) based out of Brampton. According to his military file, Captain Geoffrey Sayers served with the Canadian Forces from 21 April 1941 until 11 October 1945, when he was honourably discharged. From 17 June 1941 until 13 March 1945, he also served with the British Forces (he had British citizenship). He received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp 1939-45. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloten) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves. Geoffrey Harris Sayers and his sisters, Dora Sayers Caro, and Barbara Sayers Larson donated Benares Historic House to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969. It has operated as a museum under the City of Mississauga since 1995 and was officially transferred to Mississauga in 2000.
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