NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: September 2008


Hard-Hitting Armour: Army, Part 78

The decision during the Italian Campaign to withdraw the Canadian Corps from the battle south of Rome and from the pursuit of the German forces retreating to Florence allowed for a lengthy rest and training period in the Volturno Valley. According to the historical officer attached to 1st Cdn. Division, leave arrangements in June and July 1944 were “extensive and generous” with rest areas in Bari, Salerno and Amalfi. Of course it was not all rest and relaxation. The lessons of combat in the Liri Valley were studied with special attention given to better methods of controlling artillery fire, and improving tank-infantry co-operation. The 21st British Tank Brigade was made available to work with 1st Div. because 1st Cdn. Armoured Bde. was with 13th British Corps, leading the advance t...

Enriching Life At Camp Hill

It is a spring day typical of coastal cities like Halifax: the sunny sky invites people outside to play—and a brisk, chilly wind quickly chases them back inside. But that doesn’t stop a few stalwarts from donning sweaters and jackets and slapping on hats to enjoy Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Garden. The breeze rustling new leaves on the trees, the splash of water in the stone and metal poppy fountain, the smell of sun-warmed earth and the sight of cheery tulips just make you feel glad to be alive, a fact not lost on the residents of Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building. “In any institution some people feel somewhat cloistered,” says resident Dr. Howard Parker, who served in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during 1943-46 before returning to Canada and a prestigious career that i...
John W. Beatty
War Art

John W. Beatty

John Beatty had a boisterous start in life. Born in Toronto in 1869, he was expelled from school at age 13 and by 16, itching for adventure, was enlisted and served as a bugle boy in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Following the surrender of Louis Riel, Beatty returned home and worked at an assortment of jobs until he was 18, at which time—against his parents’ wishes—he joined the Toronto Fire Department. It was a good fit for the lively, outspoken young man. Indeed, up until the time of his death in 1941, he was known as the fireman turned artist. After serving 11 years as a fireman, Beatty left to study art at the Académie Julien in Paris, France. He never looked back. Upon his return to Canada he was determined to shake off the European styles. He believed Canada’s rugged wil...

Retiring CF Members Offered One-Year Membership

A free one-year membership is being offered to retiring members of the Canadian Forces as an initiative to introduce The Royal Canadian Legion to potential new ordinary members. The first introductory package was presented June 5 to Commander Cathy Bruce-Hayter at the Naval Officers Mess in Ottawa by Dominion Vice-President Erl Kish and Dominion Command Director of Administration Brad White. Bruce-Hayter retired after 32 years in the navy. The Dominion Command Membership Committee and Defence Committee negotiated with the chief of military personnel to finalize a kit to be given to members upon retirement. The program was developed to preserve the Legion’s reputation and credibility as a veterans organization. The ordinary membership component of the Legion is approximately 40 per ce...
O Canada

Golden Boy

Poised atop the dome of the Manitoba Legislative Building, standing 5.25 metres (17.2 feet) tall—from the bottom of his bare feet to the tip of his torch—and weighing in at 1,650 kilograms (3,640 pounds), the Golden Boy is arguably the best-known cultural icon in the province. On a local level, this larger-than-life statue has been exceptionally popular. That should probably come as no surprise, for Manitobans pride themselves on being hardy, spirited and resilient. And right from the start, the Golden Boy showed he possessed these features in spades. Conceived, created and cast in bronze during World War I, the Golden Boy was the brainchild of British-born architect Frank Worthington Simon, who also designed the Manitoba Legislative Building. In 1911, the Government of Manitoba ...

Unknown Relative Inspires Winning Essay

Ninety years can be an insuperable gulf of time: time for doers of great deeds to pass on, their feats forgotten even by descendants. Time for thrilling exploits to become dusty memories in albums and diaries. And, finally, time for facts to be condensed into dry tracts in textbooks, stripped of the visceral individual experiences, the fear and pain and longing and suffering and willingness even to die in the line of duty. John Alexander McLean, a teenager from Cape Breton, was killed in action at Lens in 1917. His body was not recovered from the battlefield. It is likely that he would have joined those unsung heroes 90 years on, whose names are never again said aloud, whose absence causes no ache in the heart of any living soul. But nine decades after his death, his younger brother’s grea...

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