Front Lines

Army tents for refugees

August 16, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne

While Haitian and other refugees flee the United States in fear of its new government policies on immigration, Canadians do what Canadians do best: they help. Canadian soldiers were out last week erecting a tent village near the U.S. border to accommodate waves of asylum seekers crossing into Quebec. The Department of National Defence says…

O Canada

John A. Macdonald’s rocky road to Confederation

August 15, 2017 by Don Gillmor

In 1864, John A. Macdonald, along with George Brown, D’Arcy McGee and Alexander Galt, sailed to Charlottetown to convince the maritime colonies to join Confederation. On board was $13,000 worth of champagne to smooth negotiations. “Whether as a result of our eloquence or the goodness of our champagne,” wrote Brown, “the ice became completely broken…thereupon the…


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My dad, the air force doctor

August 14, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne

The nooks and crannies of my parents’ red-brick house in Halifax held many secrets and, as a child, my insatiable curiosity took me into closets, drawers, attic and basement, most often in search of my father’s past. Edward Lefferts (Ted) Thorne III was born on Friday, June 13, 1913, and some might say he was cursed. He’d…

Canada Corner

The secret life at Camp X

August 14, 2017 by June Coxon

It was 1942 and one evening 20-year-old Winnifred Davidson, known as Davey to her friends, was whisked away from Toronto in an unmarked maroon car and driven to an undisclosed location. When she arrived there, she was instructed, “Don’t tell anyone where you are or what you’re doing here.”  That’s how Davidson began her career…


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“I’m a better person now”

August 11, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION André and Martin Renaud fought together, then healed together Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne They’re father and son, and brothers in arms. André and Martin Renaud share a bond forged not just by birth, but as soldiers on the field of battle. Both members of the Royal 22nd Regiment,...

Could Canada return to Afghanistan?

August 9, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Most Canadians would agree that after 13 years of war, Canada sacrificed enough blood and treasure in Afghanistan. The problem is, the longest war in Canadian history was, apparently, not long enough. After 24 Canadians died at the hands of the 9/11 terrorists, taxpayers shelled out at least $18 billion to eradicate the camps...

Heroes and Villains | Radley-Walters & Wittmann

August 8, 2017 by Mark Zuehlke
On Aug. 8, 1944, Sydney Radley-Walters was a newly minted 24-year-old major who had seen his first tank only two years earlier, when the Sherbrooke Fusiliers converted from infantry to armour. “Not one of us knew anything about armour or even what a tank looked like,” he said later. “We hadn’t a clue.” Radley-Walters...

Lights out

August 3, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
PORTRAIT OF INSPIRATION “The person who put that bomb under our vehicle and blew it…did not defeat me,” says Simon Mailloux Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne Major Simon Mailloux started officer training at Fort Saint-Jean, Que., south of Montreal one month before 9/11. He was in history class when everything stopped as...

Gender identity not an issue with Canada’s armed forces

August 2, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
On July 26, Republican President Donald Trump declared transgender people personae non gratae in the U.S. military, reversing a decision made under his Democratic predecessor, Barak Obama. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any...

On this date: August 2017

August 1, 2017 by Legion Magazine
1 AUGUST 1957 The North American Air Defence Command is created to unify control of air defences between Canada and the United States. 2 AUGUST 1610 Thinking he has reached the Pacific Ocean, Henry Hudson enters what would become Hudson Bay. 3 AUGUST 1961 Tommy Douglas is elected the first leader of the National...

Escape of the Dieppe raiders

August 1, 2017 by Hugh A. Halliday
The disastrous Dieppe Raid of Aug. 19, 1942, is most commonly remembered by a grim statistic—the greatest one-day losses sustained by the Canadian Army during the Second World War. There was ample heroism on the beaches. Less well known are the heroics displayed by a small group of men who were captured by the Germans that day...

No boost for defence spending

July 31, 2017 by David J. Bercuson
When Finance Minister Bill Morneau delivered the Liberal government’s 2017-18 budget in March, the surprise to many observers (and incurable optimists) was that there was, fundamentally, nothing new for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Despite some fuzzy hints from the defence minister and friendly meetings between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau...

Assault on Hill 70

July 31, 2017 by Serge Durflinger
The year is 1917 and the place is northern France. The meticulously prepared Canadians sweep up the commanding heights in the face of determined German resistance and win the day. Sound familiar? No, it’s not Vimy Ridge, Canada’s most celebrated battle, but rather the attack on Hill 70, near the northern edge of the French coal...

“Everything works half”

July 27, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
“I’m trying to differentiate myself not as the injured ex-military guy,” says Christian Maranda. “I’m trying different things. It makes me feel alive.” Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne A bomb had just gone off near Kandahar, Afghanistan. No one was hurt, and Captain Christian Maranda was ruminating about the paperwork all of...

Images with impact

July 25, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
For 60 of the past 62 years, the World Press Photo competition has been holding a mirror to the world we live in, and it’s not, so to speak, a pretty picture. For all but two years since 1955, when a shortage of funding shut it down, World Press Photo has been the arbiter...


July 19, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Fred Caron’s nightmares started on his first night back in camp after the siege Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne The one thing about physical wounds is you know when they happen. You know the precise moment you’ve been shot in the shoulder or lost your leg to a landmine. Your life may...

The path of procurement

July 18, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
Of the many questions surrounding the federal government’s recently released defence policy review, perhaps none is more topical than whether Canada has the ability to spend an additional $62.3 billion on its military over the next 20 years. And not just because it’s a lot of money and government priorities have a tendency to...
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