Front Lines

Blooming dandelions: Taking strength from adversity

April 25, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne

Researcher Sarah Dentry-Travis made an interesting discovery while on two polar treks alongside some of Canada’s wounded warriors: great adversity can bring out the best in the most unexpected people. “You have people who have PTSD, who have extreme physical injuries, and people talk about them as being ‘broken’ soldiers,” says Dentry-Travis, a post-doctoral research…

Front Lines

High-tech exhibit brings War of 1812 brig to life

April 18, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne

Back in 2001, marine archeologist Ken Cassavoy got an intriguing phone call from a friend and colleague who had just been for a stroll along Southampton Beach on Lake Huron. Duncan McCallum had stumbled upon the blackened ribs of what turned out to be a War of 1812 shipwreck emerging from exposed sand near the…


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Are you a veteran with dual entitlement?

April 16, 2018 by Legion Magazine

A veteran with dual entitlement is someone who has been (or may be) granted disability entitlement under both the Pension Act and the New Veterans Charter (NVC). The combined disability pension and disability award(s) paid to veterans with dual entitlement cannot exceed 100 per cent of the disability evaluation. For some veterans, it may be more…

O Canada

Berton’s correspondent

April 10, 2018 by Don Gillmor

Lester Giffin was a private with the 85th Battalion at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. In the years after that momentous battle, he felt its importance hadn’t been recognized by the general public, and in 1982, at the age of 89, he decided to remedy this by writing about Vimy himself. Typing with…


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Know your enemy: Meet the crew of U-210

April 11, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
The senior surviving officer from U-210, a German U-boat sunk by HMCS Assiniboine in 1942, was despised by crewmates and Allied interrogators alike, a “fanatical Nazi” whose hubris quickly evaporated in a storm of fear and protest the moment his pasty epidermis hit the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Leutnant zur See Günther...

Behind barbed wire

April 8, 2018 by Sharon Adams
A small cheese sent from home played a big role in the survival of two starving Canadians in a First World War prisoner-of-war camp deep in Germany. “It was one of the cream cheeses…so popular in Canada,” Lance-Corporal Edward Edwards wrote in his 1918 memoir, The Escape of a Princess Pat. The food was...

Trench life

April 6, 2018 by J.L. Granatstein
The Great War took more than 600,000 Canadians from all parts of the country and put them in uniform. The transition from civilian to soldier was not easy, and everyone had to learn much about military procedures and culture—uniforms, ranks, insignia, rations, weaponry, terminology—and, most important, adjust to the presence of aggression, violence and...

Future of Equitas lawsuit uncertain

April 5, 2018 by Legion Magazine
The veterans behind the Equitas lawsuit vow to continue their fight, despite rejection of their claim by the British Columbia Court of Appeal. “At this time we are still working with our legal team to work out our merits on an appeal” to the Supreme Court of Canada, said veteran Aaron Bedard. Bedard is...

The Yankees were thinking of coming!

April 4, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
Less than a century after the Americans were defeated in the War of 1812, the U.S. Naval War College, Class of 1894, came up with a hypothetical plan to give it another try—by invading Halifax and destroying Pictou County’s coal mines. In the paper Attack on Halifax and Adjacent Territory, Lieutenant John J. Hunker...

On this date: April 2018

April 1, 2018 by Legion Magazine
1 April 1924 The Royal Canadian Air Force is created. 2 April 1885 Cree warriors, led by war chief Wandering Spirit, kill nine settlers at Frog Lake in what was then the District of Saskatchewan. 3 April 1969 The government announces it is withdrawing half of Canada’s NATO contribution in Europe. 4 April 1942...

Fallen rider

March 29, 2018 by Sharon Adams
For nearly 70 years, Private John Willoughby lay where he fell on March 30, 1918, in Moreuil Wood near Amiens, France, a victim of machine-gun fire or sabre or bayonet. Or maybe all three. Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew led 75 Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) in one of the last great cavalry charges in history (see page 20) against...

Climb aboard a water-borne improvised explosive device

March 28, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
Rebels in Yemen are wielding a new naval weapon on the Red Sea, but it took some time after it was first used for authorities to realize what they were dealing with. An explosives-laden boat belonging to Yemen’s Ansar Allah, or Houthi, forces collided with a Saudi frigate 50 kilometres off the Yemeni coast...

Charge of the cavalry

March 27, 2018 by John Boileau
For thousands of years, men on horseback were an essential part of warfare. Mounted soldiers—cavalry—were scouts, reserves or attack forces, used when speed, shock action or long distances were involved. The cavalry was a proven and necessary component of most armies.    The face of warfare changed dramatically early in the First World War, as...

Cumming’s castle

March 24, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
If you can navigate the aisles of tactical gear, negotiate the crates, cartons and overstocked shelves of surplus military goods, and traverse the cluttered stairs to a hole-in-the-wall office buried in the deepest corner of Crown Surplus, you just may be lucky enough to discover the real treasure of 11th Street SE in Calgary....

Planning for change | 2017: The year in review

March 22, 2018 by Nujma Bond
From supporting the Invictus Games to advocating for research into a controversial drug prescribed to soldiers, 2017 at The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command was full of activity. As the country’s largest veterans’ support organization, the Legion promoted remembrance, provided programs to help veterans receive needed support, and performed good works in communities across...

Treating moral injuries

March 22, 2018 by Sharon Adams
A 19-year-old Canadian soldier serving in a village halfway around the world is in a unit tasked with securing an area and protecting civilians within in an effort to build civilian support and goodwill.    Suddenly a pregnant, robed woman, gesturing wildly, races toward him shouting words he cannot understand. Is she in need...

Belgian king returns field gun to Canada

March 21, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
It’s been nearly a century since Canadian guns fell silent at Mons, Belgium, the last city they liberated before Germany surrendered and the war to end all wars was ended. Canadian 18-pound field guns, ubiquitous among Allied forces between 1914 and 1918, are said to have fired their last shots at Mons immediately before...
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