NEW! Canadian Military History Trivia Challenge

Month: March 2011


Lessons Of Carpiquet: Army, Part 93

The battle for Le Mesnil-Patry, which proved so costly for the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and First Hussars, was part of a larger attempt to expand the Normandy beachhead. The Canadians, with 114 fatal casualties in what the Hussars call their “Charge of the Light Brigade,” were no harder hit than British divisions on either flank. The 51st Highland Division suffered heavy losses in the Orne River bridgehead, including an entire company of the 5th Black Watch. Both 50th Infantry and the 7th Armoured were roughly handled in the attempt to reach Villers-Bocage. General Bernard Montgomery decided to pause in front of Caen, ordering General Sir John Crocker’s 1st British Corps, including the Canadians, to practice “aggressive defence” without risking large casualties. As overall groun...

Funding Available For New Cenotaphs

Veterans Affairs Canada is setting aside $1 million a year for community and volunteer organizations to erect new cenotaphs or make major additions to existing ones. “We are encouraging Canadians to make remembrance more than something they feel by making it something they do,” said Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn. “With the new program, communities will show they remember by constructing new places to honour Canada’s truest heroes—our veterans.” The Community War Memorial Program will provide funding up to 50 per cent of the total project cost, to a maximum amount of $50,000 to non-profit organizations, such as Legion branches. The money will also be available to provinces, territories and municipalities. Individuals, for-profit businesses and federal departments, ag...

2010: The Year In Review

New President, New Approach Proactive, progressive, positive and productive—key words that sum up the year—and they started being used at the dominion convention by a new Dominion President. The 43rd dominion convention of The Royal Canadian Legion in Winnipeg was preceded by a short historic meeting of the Dominion Executive Council (DEC) in Marlborough Hall of the Marlborough Hotel where the Legion was founded. The meeting was followed by a plaque unveiling ceremony by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada which recognized the founding as an “event of national historic significance.” A private member’s statement was also read into the business minutes of the Manitoba Legislature thanking the Legion and the veterans of Canada. The guest of honour at the wreath placing...

Readers’ Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to our Readers’ Quiz in the March/April 2011 issue. 1.  Germany’s top secret system of decoding wireless messages during the Second World War was called Enigma. 2.  The American writer Jack London went to Canada’s Klondike in 1897 to prospect for gold. 3.  Experiments that led to the invention of the cardiac pacemaker were conducted at the University of Toronto. 4.  John McCrae, the author of the poem In Flanders Fields, was born in Guelph, Ont. 5.  A dispute between Canada and United States broke out in the 1860s on San Juan Island when an American farmer shot a pig belonging to a Hudson’s Bay Company post.
Scott Waters
War Art

Scott Waters

Scott Waters has an unusual vantage point for an artist. Over the last two decades he has created a body of work that both supports and tears down the mythology of soldiering. For the three years before that, he lived it. Twenty-three years ago the artist served as an infantryman in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). In 1979, Waters’ family emigrated from northern England and settled in Trail, B.C. He took a rather roundabout path to the arts, joining the military out of high school. That early military experience has framed much of his work. There was clearly enough turbulence through those few years to fill a thousand canvasses. He explains, “One of the reasons I made the paintings is that I have a lot of unresolved feelings and unanswered questions about...

Operational Service Medals Presented For The First Time

Corporal Craig Andrew Sparks researched Rideau Hall in Ottawa in preparation of receiving his Operational Service Medal (OSM) on Dec. 6 from Governor General David Johnston. “I was nervous, and not sure what to expect,” said Sparks, one of the first 50 recipients of the OSM. His research included going to the Cable Public Affairs Channel’s website to find an image of the hall’s ballroom. “Before we came in, I managed to peek through the doors and was assured it was the same room.” The medal, created on July 5, 2010, recognizes Canadian military personnel, civilians under the authority of the Canadian Forces (CF), members of allied forces integrated within the CF and Canadian police officers who have taken part in important overseas missions (New Medal For Overseas Operations, Novembe...

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