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Month: September 2004

O Canada

When Fox Was King

Photos: National Archives of Canada—PA043988; national Archives of Canada—PA043978 (Inset) Scottish comedian Sandy MacGregor holds three silver blacks while visiting a farm during the industry's golden years; A fox inhabits a pen at the Victoria Fox Farm in Charlottetown, P.E.I. Those who got in at the right time made fortunes, literally overnight. And it all came from farming—farming with a furry twist. The name of the game was fox farming or ranching, and for several years it remained the hottest industry on Princ e Edward Island. The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought hard economic times to many Islanders. Some 30,000 residents left the province between 1870 and 1900. By 1924, the population had shrunk to 86,000 after reaching ...
Air Force

The Imperial Gift: Air Force, Part 5

PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA—PA53249 The engine is changed in a Felixstowe F.3 flying boat at Victoria Beach, Man., in August 1922. In 1919-20, the British government presented hundreds of airplanes and associated equipment to several of its dominions. In Canada and Australia, these assets enabled nascent domestic air forces to be established and pioneering flights conducted. This Imperial Gift arose from motives both altruistic and self-serving on both sides. During most of World War I, Canadian cabinet ministers studiously ignored aviation. At least 25,000 Canadians had joined the British flying services, but no distinctly Canadian air organizations existed until formation of the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service in Septem...

Niobe's Brief Operational Career: Navy, Part 5

PHOTO: NOTMAN STUDIO, national Archives of canada—PA028497 Niobe sits in dry dock prior to her service in World War I. Part 5 As war clouds gathered over Europe in July 1914, the Royal Canadian Navy’s only East Coast ship—HMCS Niobe—lay mouldering alongside the dockyard in Halifax. More than twice the size of His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Rainbow and requiring 700 officers and men, the RCN’s flagship was simply too big and too expensive to operate in the grim years prior to 1914. Moreover, unlike the West Coast, which was half a world away from the seat of British imperial power, Canada’s East Coast was guarded from any major European threat by the concentrated power of the Royal Navy in the eastern Atlantic. In the summer ...

Trench Warfare In 1915: Army, Part 54

PHOTO: HORACE BROWN, NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF CANADA—PA107276 Canadian troops share a smoke in the trenches in France in 1915. The last elements of 1st Canadian Infantry Division left the Ypres salient on May 4, 1915, having suffered just over 6,000 casualties. One Canadian battalion, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, (PPCLI), serving with 27th British Div., was, however, in action throughout the last three weeks of those battles and suffered a further 678 casualties, two thirds of the battalion’s strength. The Princess Pats were not involved in the chaotic struggle to seal the breech created by the German gas attack, but on May 8, the enemy began a massive conventional assault on Fresenberg Ridge. Once again a gap was...
Defence Today

National Defence Offers To Mount Service Medals

photo: Tom MacGregor Court mounting medals improves the appearance. The Canadian Forces has changed its regulations to allow recently retired members who received medals just prior to their retirement to have them formally mounted at public expense. Called court mounting, it was once required for veterans meeting royalty. Medals are grouped and mounted on a stiff bit of cardboard or plastic to be pinned or affixed to a uniform or formal jacket. This improves the appearance and prevents the medals from banging into each other and becoming damaged. The medals should to be taken to the nearest Canadian Forces base supply. A CF Medal Entitlement Record needs to be signed by the commanding officer. If a member t...
Defence Today

Military Cemetery Receives Tri-Service Monument

by Natalie Salat photoS: NATALIE SALAT Taking part in the ceremony to unveil a tri-service monument are (from left) Julia Mills, padre Gerry Peddle and Jean Pariseau who originally conceived the project. Top: The monument is inscribed with war poems such as In Flanders Fields. On a day when most Canadians were concerned with voting in the federal election, a couple hundred dignitaries, veterans, widows, Canadian Forces members and members of the public gathered at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa to commemorate the site’s third anniversary and to unveil a tri-service monument. It was the perfect day for the June 28 unveiling, sunny and mild with a smattering of clouds, but not so perfect a day for Defence Minister David Pratt, wh...

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