Front Lines

Ted Martens: Dutch resistance fighter

June 26, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne

Ted Martens did whatever he could to derail the Nazi war machine while serving with the Dutch resistance during the Second World War—then the Nazi war machine derailed him, but only briefly. Martens was captured early in 1942 and came within a hair’s-breadth of torture and execution at the hands of German troops. But the…

Military Milestones

The sinking of the Llandovery Castle

June 26, 2019 by Sharon Adams

On the night of June 27, 1918, 14 nursing sisters, all but two Canadian, died, victims of a war crime. The Canadian hospital ship Llandovery Castle was on its way back to England after delivering recovering soldiers to Halifax. It was running with full lights, its Red Cross clearly illuminated, when it crossed the path…


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Military Milestones

Honouring Aboriginal veterans

June 19, 2019 by Sharon Adams

In Confederation Park, just a block or so down the hill from the National War Memorial in Ottawa, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument was unveiled on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2001, the year Canada entered the war in Afghanistan. It was a long time coming, for tens of thousands of First Nations, Métis…

Front Lines

For decades, politicians referred to the Korean War as the ‘Korean Conflict,’ as if the soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the disputed peninsula were somehow less soldierly or less dead if killed by conflict rather than war. Some 2.5 million people died in the Koreas between 1950 and 1953, including 516…


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More effort is necessary to overcome geographic, political and cultural obstacles preventing indigenous veterans and serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces from receiving benefits and commemoration they have earned, says the Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA). “Confidence that equality in combat will be followed by equal recognition…will be a powerful sign...

Padre of the Newfoundland Regiment honoured

June 14, 2019 by Legion Magazine
The legacy of Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Nangle, chaplain to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the First World War, was honoured at his alma mater, St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, on Jan. 17 with the creation of a new bursary. The Nangle Memorial Bursary is a gift from Nangle’s son-in-law, Neil Galbraith and his wife,...

The Flying Fox versus the Desert Fox

June 14, 2019 by Don Gillmor
Charley Fox grew up in Guelph, Ont., and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in the spring of 1940. He initially worked as a flight instructor and finally saw action in 1943 as a lieutenant with No. 412 Squadron, whose duties included bomber escort and dive-bombing, where they strafed enemy targets. In the course...

George Alfred Newburn: A soldier of the First World War

June 12, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
His name was George Alfred Newburn, a labourer from Victoria who was killed during the Battle of Hill 70 in France on Aug. 15, 1917. He was just 18 years old, although Newburn would have you believe he was 20. For almost a century, Private Newburn was listed as missing in action. Then one...

Sister ships take part in evacuations

June 12, 2019 by Sharon Adams
HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Restigouche fired Canadian warships’ first shots of the Second World War on June 11, 1940, in the final echoes of the six-week Battle of France, during which more than half a million Allied troops and civilians were evacuated from ports in France, under great menace from the invading German...

From Dieppe to D-Day

June 5, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
In his orders of the day on June 6, 1944, Lieutenant-General Henry D.G. (Harry) Crerar told some 14,500 Canadian soldiers destined for the beaches and drop zones of Normandy that their impending success was thanks largely to the disaster at Dieppe. Almost two years earlier, 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British and 50 U.S. Army Rangers...

Firefight in Zhari District

June 5, 2019 by Sharon Adams
It was the middle of the night on June 4, 2008, when a squad of five Canadians and a company of 55 Afghan army recruits they were mentoring left base to check on some empty Taliban weapon caches in the Zhari District west of Kandahar. After a long march, they stopped between two farmers’...

Unsung Valour in Normandy

June 4, 2019 by Terry Copp
— Illustrations by Greg Stevenson — Years ago, I was lucky to begin writing about Canadian veterans who had served in Normandy while many were still active and willing to talk about their experiences. Before each interview, I reviewed each veteran’s unit war diary and other documents so I could ask detailed questions. Most...

On this date: June 2019

June 2, 2019 by Legion Magazine
1 JUNE 1956 The RCAF and USAF finalize plans for the Mid-Canada Line, defensive radar sites stretching from Labrador to British Columbia. 2-13 JUNE 1916 Germany captures Mount Sorrel on the Ypres Salient; the Canadian Corps suffers 8,430 casualties, including 130 officers and 3,033 other ranks killed or missing. 6 JUNE 1944 On D-Day,...

5 Ways D-DAY Changed the World

May 31, 2019 by J.L. Granatstein
Three-quarters of a century have passed since American, British and Canadian forces landed on the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944, in the greatest seaborne invasion in history. The attack began the liberation of Western Europe, the defeat of Nazi Germany and the events that followed led to Europe being divided between democracies and...

James Strachan: Old enough to die; too young to drink

May 29, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
The grim cost of the D-Day invasion still haunts James Strachan, 75 years after he delivered troops to the beaches of Normandy. Strachan was a signaller aboard a Landing Craft, Infantry (Large), manning the Oerlikon gun as his assault vessel shuttled back and forth across the rolling English Channel, ferrying seasick soldiers in and...

Billy Bishop’s early morning raid

May 29, 2019 by Sharon Adams
In the first two months of Billy Bishop’s flying career, from the end of March to the end of May 1917, the flying ace had brought down 22 planes and earned the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross. And his most famous exploit was yet to come. On June 2, he took off...

Peace at last

May 28, 2019 by Sharon Adams
The signing of the Armistice at 5:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, ended the fighting between the Allies and Germany, but it was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, that ushered in peace. It also helped Canada take a step toward sovereignty. Sir Robert Borden was prime minister on...
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