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Day: July 1, 2004

Memoirs

Going Back To D-Day

Story and photos by Mac Johnston Two returning Canadian veterans are absorbed in a moment of reflection on Juno Beach. “Merci vétérans, merci Canada,” a Frenchman shouted from the crowd lining the narrow road as a cavalcade of Canadian veterans in restored World War II army vehicles passed through a small Normandy village en route to Bernières-sur-Mer for a vin d’honneur. It was Friday, June 4, 2004, and the official Veterans Affairs Canada delegation was on its way to the first of many events marking the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Throughout Normandy, Europe and the Western world, on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, there was much ado in early June about D-Day. The attention of governments, the me...
War Art

Arthur Lismer

CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM--AN19710261-0342 Minesweepers, Halifax. Prior to becoming famous as a founding member of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer sharpened his painting skills in Halifax during the last years of World War I. He had a brilliant summer palette, and produced oil paintings that perfectly captured sunny days on the Atlantic coast. Sparkling blues complement the zigzagging camouflage on troop carriers, while lemon and Naples yellow coat the sky. His lively paintings celebrate the ships—also known as “dazzle” ships—as they carry troops to and from the busy port. CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM--AN19710251-0344 Convoy in Bedford Basin. Born in 1885 in Sheffield, England, he immigrated to Toronto in 1911. Lismer qui...
Canada & the Victoria Cross

The Class Of 1915: Part 4 of 18

Illustration: Sharif Tarabay Victoria Cross recipient Francis Alexander Scrimger. More than 70 Canadian Victoria Crosses were awarded during World War I, an incredible achievement for a country with less than nine million people. The first of those awards went to Michael O’Leary. Born in 1888 at Inchigeela in County Cork, Ireland, “Mick”—as he was known—joined the Royal Navy at an early age, but was invalided out with rheumatism. After making a full recovery, he joined the Irish Guards before moving to Canada in 1913 where he joined the North West Mounted Police.After war broke out in 1914, O’Leary returned to Great Britain and rejoined the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards. The unit was immediately sent to France, where the lance-corporal quickly showed his ...

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