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Month: February 2012

Letters From Bill

Letters From Bill – Oct. 17, 1944

Dear Mum, Dad, Sis and Jack the Commando, Today was really swell with four grand letters…Sure I wrote and asked Alison for my effects Mum, you don’t think I am that slow do you? Alison is engaged Mum but not to this kid but some other Canadian boy. I never had such a good laugh for a long time, it was really funny. Alison’s girlfriend Muriel, who Johnny went with while we were there on leave, wrote and told him about the engagement. Evidently she and Alison figured I was madly in love with Miss Hardie and they decided not to tell me while I was sick since the shock might cause a relapse. Well when Johnnie got this in Muriel’s letter he immediately told me when he came down, we really had a swell laugh. Anyway I immediately wrote to Alison congratulating her before she could tell me so w...
Into Africa: Air Force, Part 49
Air Force

Into Africa: Air Force, Part 49

The term “Lost Legion” has a specific meaning for Royal Canadian Air Force historians. It refers to the thousands of RCAF personnel who spent part of their wartime service in Royal Air Force units rather than Canadian ones. Their stories have been largely submerged in the larger RAF histories, and one must disentangle their experiences from more general accounts. The existence of the Lost Legion was tied to complex wartime policies. When the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan agreements were signed in December 1939, it was understood that distinct Canadian squadrons would be formed overseas, and that they would be manned, as far as possible, by RCAF members. The war went badly in 1940, and Britain found itself locked in an existential battle. Prior agreements proved inconvenient...
Health File

Health File

Preparing For Winter Living The shortest, darkest day of winter has thankfully passed, but Canadians still have the two coldest months to endure. Here are tips, bits of news and observations to help you be prepared to welcome spring with a healthier body and in a healthier frame of mind. The importance of sunshine. The dark months affect both our bodies and our minds. Our bodies make vitamin D when the sun is at the right angle in the sky and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays are absorbed by the skin. In the northern hemisphere at this time of the year, neither happens. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many health risks, including type 1 diabetes, infections, diseases, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, rickets and some forms of cancer while maintaining optimum levels is asso...

First chair in Military and Veterans’ Clinical Rehabilitation named

The University of Alberta has named Ibolja Cernak, known for groundbreaking research on blast brain injury, as Canada’s first Chair in Military and Veterans’ Clinical Rehabilitation. Cernak comes most recently from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., where she was medical director of the biomedicine business area and head of the applied physics lab.  Her research there showed shock waves from an explosion can cause brain damage at a cellular level that does not appear for months. In Edmonton Cernak will work closely with CFB Edmonton and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital as well as military and rehabilitation specialists and researchers across the country. As a civilian doctor during Yugoslavia's civil war, Cernak treated combat injuries. More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers we...
Letters From Bill

Letters From Bill – Oct. 11, 1944

Dear Mum, Dad, Sis and Jack the Commando, Going to have another little try at it and hope I have a little news. Received your letter written Oct. 1st and the parcel mailed Sept. 6th. That is pretty fast, eh?  As soon as the nurses saw it they came in and looked it all over, they eat as much of the parcels as I do. They thank you very much, but Sister Aiken was disappointed because there weren’t any Scotch cake.  They all went after the box of chocolates, but I had that before them. The parcel is swell Mum and thanks a million, guess I didn’t lose my taste for Grape Jelly either. Johnnie was down to see me last Saturday evening and it was good to see him again.  He had a boil on his wrist which was the reason he couldn’t come down the week before. They wouldn’t give him a pass. The re...
This Week In Military History

These Are The Results For The Week Of February 27 – March 4

02/27/1945 The bloody struggle for the Hochwald gap begins as Canada’s 4th Armoured Division drives into the fray during the Battle of the Rhineland. Senior commanders are anxious to expedite matters by plunging headlong into the gap, against the advice of experienced field officers. In this phase of Operation Blockbuster, heavy casualties result from the decision to abandon methodical planning and preparation. 02/28/1952 Vincent Massey becomes Canada’s first native-born governor general. 03/1/1917 Fourth Canadian Division launches a gas raid against German positions on Vimy Ridge. Aggressive trench raiding had become an increasingly common, if not reckless, activity in the Canadian Corps. During this aborted attack, many Canadian soldiers became victims of their own gas when...

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