Month: May 1996

Memoirs

The BCEL At 75

by Tom MacGregor "This conference has taken on more the nature of a pilgrimage to the site of our founding," Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh told delegates to the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League conference in Cape Town, South Africa. "I could almost feel (the founders’) presence during the opening ceremony." Those founders were members of veterans organizations in Great Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Transvaal and Natal who came together to form the original British Empire Services League in Cape Town in February 1921. But if this was a pilgrimage, it was not one to remember deeds long-past or mourn those who had died in their youth. The Feb. 25 to March 1 meeting was a tribute to the survivors, who have kept on caring about their comrades l...
Memoirs

Neglected In South Africa

by Tom MacGregor Private W.J. Ross of the Royal Canadian Regiment died in Cape Town, South Africa, March 6, 1900. However, his final resting place remains a mystery to Tony Gordon and fellow members of South Africa’s British War Graves Committee. Like most Canadian casualties of the South African War, or what we usually call the Boer War in Canada, Ross died of disease and his name was duly recorded on the Field Force Casualty Lists. Those lists have formed the starting point for committee members trying to match each name with a grave. In Ross’s case, the committee believes it has finally located the right cemetery, but not the exact location of his plot. The search for the grave has pinpointed the Cape Town suburb of Wynberg, where tucked among towering high-rises and dens...
War Art

Paul Goranson

The life of airmen during wartime as visualized by Paul Goranson. From top to bottom: Posted to Newfie; Fitters At Work; Raid On San Guisto-Pisa There’s a look of positive acceptance on the face of the young air force corporal as he steadies himself in the crowded train car. The man in blue has a small suitcase in his right hand and a bedroll under his right arm. His capped head is pushed to one side by the duffel bag on his left shoulder. It is 1942 and the quiet corporal is bound for Newfoundland. The painting by Paul Goranson is called Posted To Newfie and it’s a good example of how this war artist saw things during WW II. In her book Canadian Artists Of The Second World War, author Joan Murray states that Goranson’s "literal, illustrative work acutely visualizes the life of air...
Army

Selective Reasoning In WW II: Army, Part 8

Churchill and Mackenzie King Have struggled on for years; What good without psychologists, Are blood, sweat and tears? But now the Bott Battalion’s on its way, So give three cheers The war will soon be won! Who will break the news to Hitler That Bott and his brainy boys Are hurrying off to war – C.R. Myers During the summer of 1941 Hitler was somewhat preoccupied with the invasion of the Soviet Union and apparently missed reports that Canada planned to employ psychologists to screen and classify its armed forces. The decision was big news in Ottawa, however. Professor Edward Alexander Bott, a well known child psychologist, was commissioned as a group captain in the Royal Canadian Air ...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.