Month: November 2006

O Canada

From Saddle To Surveying

TOP PHOTO: GERALD ANDREWS; BOTTOM PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MARY ANDREWS Top photo: Members of Gerald Andrews's team explore the B.C. interior in 1925; (bottom left) Andrews during WW II; (bottom right) Andrews (right) taught Cree-speaking Métis children at the Kelly Lake school in the 1920s. When World War II was declared in September 1939, Gerald Andrews and his small aerial survey crew were standing on a sandbar in a remote Rocky Mountain stream. The terrible news came to them through the radio in their small float plane. Andrews's agile mind immediately jumped to the possibilities of a wartime application for aerial survey work. His ability to think ahead had served him well o...
Navy

The Roots Of Expansion: Navy, Part 18

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA176296; PHOTO: LEGION MAGAZINE ARCHIVES HMCS Fraser plies the waters near Vancouver in 1938; (inset) Admiral Percy Nelles. Walter Hose's fleet plan was finally completed just as German troops pushed into Poland in 1939 and plunged the world into another world war. Long before that happened, however, the Royal Canadian Navy began to use the crisis in Europe to lever ever more substantial ships from a government now willing to build an even stronger navy. Had this truly ambitious phase of Mackenzie King's peacetime naval program been completed, he would have presided over what amounted to the fulfilment of ...
Army

Overcoming The Moro: Army, Part 67

PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA141301; PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA114485; PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA—PA140560 Clockwise from top: Five graves of Canadian soldiers are dug on the outskirts of San Pietro, Italy; mud slows the advancing troops; German prisoners are searched near the Moro River. When General Bernard Montgomery began planning 8th Army's advance to the Valerian Way--the lateral road from Pescara to Rome--he considered the option of attacking directly north from the village of Isernia. But such an operation, begun in late November 1943, would have run the risk of snow blocking the passes through the Apennine Mountains. So, a route along the Ad...
Air Force

The Flying Newfoundlanders: Air Force, Part 18

PHOTO: CANADIAN FORCES—RE12820; PHOTO: CANADIAN FORCES—PL57231; PHOTO: CANADIAN FORCES—PL9311 Clockwise from top left: Newfoundlander Roy S. Grandy worked as an air force instructor in 1922; Allan Ogilvie was a decorated bomber navigator in WW II; Newfoundland air force trainees (from left) Cyril Crummy, Sebastian Farrell and Albert Poole. Newfoundland's pre-Confederation history is as much a part of Canadian heritage as that of any other province. That applies to its combat record in the air. Military aeronautics did not exist in Canada prior to World War I, although numerous aviation meets had been held in major cities while itinerant "barnstormers"--most of them Americans--had appeared a...
Memoirs

Grandpa’s Silence

ILLUSTRATION: STEWART SHERWOOD My grandfather, Alan Hanchard, was a quiet, reticent man who seldom mentioned World War I. So I was pleased and somewhat surprised when he agreed to provide me with information on the war for an essay I had to prepare for a modern history class. Up to that point all I knew was that he had been wounded at the Somme and subsequently decorated and that his medals lay in a bureau drawer and came out proudly every Remembrance Day for the parade. I arrived at his Vancouver apartment, pen and pad in hand during my lunch hour on a dreary Monday in 1968. Grandpa seemed a bit agitated and so I glanc...
Memoirs

A Tapestry Of Sacrifice

As a child I was always fascinated by those grainy pictures in history books of American Civil War veterans who lived well into the 20th century--50, 60 and even 70 years after their war experience. As I looked closely at their faces I wondered what their experiences were during the war. Little did I know that as I grew older I would continue with this fascination with my own father who spent six years overseas as a member of the Canadian Forces during World War II. His story for me has been an unfolding tapestry with new and more compelling detail being added all the time. My father is now in his nineties. Only very rec...

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