AMHERST – Jamie Heap considers himself a bit of history buff.
Over the years, the River Hebert resident has written several books on the history of Cumberland County and some of those who helped build communities and served their country – and paid the ultimate price – on foreign battlefields.
Heap has returned with his eighth book, this one chronicling the lives of a group of veterans from the county in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
The book, The Going Down of the Sun, builds on the work Heap did in 2010 in releasing the first edition of Beyond the Cenotaph.
“This book takes the names of approximately 70 veterans whose names appear on cenotaphs in the area and expands on who they were,” Heap said.
The book begins with an exploration of the pre-First World War careers and post-war lives of brothers Benjamin and John Mansell, both of whom the author descends from.
The second part of the book features stories on Port Greville’s Minnie Follette, as well as Cumberland County’s two Victoria Cross winners - John Chipman Kerr of Fox River and James Peter Robertson of Springhill.
Monument pictures and lists of war dead and/or honour rolls from these communities, as well as Advocate and Diligent River, are also included.
In both books one and two of the three-books-in-one publication, the individual stories of Cumberland South's significant war veterans have been expanded, as have the number of images. Heap said the commemorative book, designed to remember 100 years of Canadian valour during the First World War, contains more than 150 unique images of late war veterans.
Finally, drawing upon 15 assigned and original author news stories and columns that he had the written, the third part of the book focuses on how River Hebert, Advocate, Diligent River, Joggins, Springhill and Malagash paid tribute to our war vets.
It features late war veterans: Aubrey V. Hoeg of Maccan, Advocate’s Bill Grant, Bert Hatherly of River Hebert and Springhill and Peg McLellan of Joggins.
Heap will be selling his book at the Joggins branch of the Royal Canadian Legion on Saturday, April 28 with a portion of the proceeds going to support the legion’s cenotaph restoration project.
He also expects to speak to the Cumberland Genealogical Society later this year and will also give presentations at the Age of Sail Heritage Centre in Port Greville and the Joggins Fossil Institute.
Copies of the self-published book are for sale at Mrs. Pugsley’s Emporium in Amherst.