Month: January 2006

O Canada

Bernier Of The North

PHOTOS: G.R. Lancefield, library and archives canada—PA96482; JOSEPH-ELZÉAR BERNIER, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—C-023204; LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—C-025960 From top: Arctic and her crew visit Port Burwell at the mouth of the Hudson Strait in 1907; A dog team is used to explore Baffin Island in 1910; Capt. Joseph-Elzéar Bernier in his cabin on board the Arctic in the 1920s. The Arctic Archipelago, explored at great cost by Britain, had been virtually presented as a gift to Canada in 1880. Some cabinet ministers would have preferred to decline the gift, but Sir Hector Langevin had argued that Canada's future lay in the Far North. The settlement of the Alaska Boundary Dispute in 190...
Navy

Walter Hose To The Rescue: Navy, Part 13

PHOTOS: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA062488; PA194187 Top: Walter Hose (second from left) attends a defence meeting in Ottawa in 1930; His Majesty's Canadian Ship Skeena is launched from her builder's yard in England in 1931. No naval officer was more integral to the early years of the Canadian navy than Walter Hose. From His Majesty's Canadian Ship Rainbow searching for glory off California in 1914, to command of the east coast patrol during the Royal Canadian Navy's first U-boat campaign, to his tortuous years as head of the service, in the first two decades the story just keeps coming back to Walter Hose.It was Hose who in 1927 convinced Mackenzie King's go...
Army

Taking The Rough Land Of Sicily: Army, Part 62

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA183278 A Canadian soldier leads pack mules forward. One of the original reasons for mounting Operation Husky, the July 1943 invasion of Sicily, was the hope that the conquest of Italian territory would hasten the fall of Mussolini's government. On July 25, as the Canadians fought for Agira, news that Mussolini had "resigned" was flashed around the world. King Vittorio Emanuele III assumed command of the Italian armed forces and appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as prime minister. Badoglio acted quickly to assure Hitler that Italy remained loyal to its Axis partner but he was in fact determined ...
Air Force

Patrolling The Coasts: Air Force, Part 13

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—CO28590 At least three flying boats can be seen in this photo taken at Jericho Beach, Vancouver, in 1921. Much of the Royal Canadian Air Force's military flying after World War I had little application to preparations for WW II. A previous article in this series demonstrated that "army co-operation" training amounted to getting ready to re-fight WW I (Preparing For The Past, November/December 2004). Realistic fighter training was wholly absent. Even the most prominent form of "aid to the civil power"--aerial photography and mapping--applied techniques that would be rendered obsolete by mid-1940 when high-altit...
Pilgrimages

Train of Heroes

Top panorama: The Remembrance Day Train was the longest passenger train in Atlantic Canada in many years; along the way WW II Canadian Women's Army Corps veteran Edna Sampson, a member of North Rustico, P.E.I., Branch, and daughter Anita Mullins of Musquodoboit Harbour, N.S., take in the scenery from a dining car; the crowd at Truro, N.S. shows its appreciation of the veterans; West Nova Scotia Regt. WW II veteran Fred Gallant and wife Thalda of Summerside, P.E.I., stroll down the red carpet during the royal send-off in Halifax. In a time of conflict, turmoil and terrorism around the globe, the Year of the Veteran struck a chord with Canadians. It resounded across the land in 2005, evoking an appreciation of Canada's veterans as heroes, quite unlike anything seen here since the end of W...
Remembrance

The Colour Of Remembrance

District 1 Commander Peter Winsor and Newfoundland and Labrador Command President Calvin Crane salute during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial of Newfoundland and Labrador in St. John's. In my watercolour set, Payne's grey is always the colour I run out of first. It is the perfect pigment for Legion blazers and overcast skies. And so when my plane slips through the clouds, and slides over the cold Atlantic, I notice St. John's, Nfld., for the first time, and right away see that I will need another pan of Payne's grey to paint Remembrance Day on the Rock. A little blue is peeking through the cloudy sky on the morning of Nov. 9 when District 1 Commander Peter Winsor joins me at Vanier Elementary School for a remembrance assembly organized by Grade 6 students. Winso...

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