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Month: March 2012


2011: A Year of Change

It was a year highlighted by a royal visit, a special ceremony at Dominion Command and a year when change to a more progressive Legion started. Dominion President Patricia (Pat) Varga started the Focus on the Future Committee to look at where The Royal Canadian Legion was headed and how it could get there. A marketing strategy was commissioned and new initiatives started. But throughout the year the regular committees and departments went about their work. Veterans, Service and Seniors Committee Chair Pat Varga met with Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) Chair John Larlee, to discuss issues of mutual interest. She and other committee members later conducted a liaison visit to Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) headquarters and in June she attended a meeting with newly appointed Veter...
Letters From Garnet

Letters From Garnet – Somewhere in France, Oct. 26, 1917

“…the whole place is a sea of mud…”   Miss Millie Dobbs,                                                                Somewhere in France, Oct. 26, 1917 25 Howland Ave., Toronto, Ont., Canada   Dear Sister, I can see a few minutes of spare time ahead of me so will try and reply to your letter which I received a few days ago. …It rains here every day or night and sometimes for a couple of weeks in succession without a let-up and consequently the whole place is a sea of mud…when you don’t sink in up to your knees you have to beat around on the slippery surface and nothing less than an 8-inch shell case can knock us off our feet now with the experience we are having balancing ourselves. …I don’t remember that I told you about our rations…a day’s issue. We get a loaf of bre...
Predators In The St. Lawrence: Navy, Part 50

Predators In The St. Lawrence: Navy, Part 50

The attacks on Nicoya and Leto on May 12, 1942, signalled the commencement of what became known as the Battle of the St. Lawrence, the most important enemy intrusion into Canadian territory—and the Canadian psyche—of the war. Although the threat was continuous throughout the shipping season and 22 vessels were lost in the river and gulf in 1942, the battle divides into three distinct phases. The first was the cruise of U-553 and the first sinkings on May 12 (The Battle Of The St. Lawrence Begins, January/February). In early July, U-132 arrived and sank five vessels over several weeks, marking the first attacks against organized and escorted convoys in the area. But the heaviest and most dramatic events took place in late summer when a tandem of skilled and aggressive submariners did en...

Mystery deepens around Dead Man’s Penny

There is news regarding the mystery around the First World War Commemorative Medallion issued to Percy Edwards, reported in this blog March 19. A member of the family of Percy Edwards, a Canadian First World War infantryman, says the medallion in the possession of Jean Bramham in Sunderland, U.K. isn’t that of her relative born in Washago, Ont., who died in battle in 1916. The medallion for the Canadian Percy Edwards has passed down through the descendants of his twin brother, Roy. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists two dozen men named Percy Edwards who perished in the First World War, and many more names that include the letter P as an initial. Bramham’s relatives found the medallion when they moved into a new house in 1953 and were unable to determine then to whom it belonge...
Letters From Garnet

Letters From Garnet – France, Sept. 30, 1917

“…you can tell when a fellow has something from home by the look on his face…”   Miss Millie Dobbs,                                                                                  France, Sept. 30, 1917 25 Howland Avenue, Toronto, Ont., Canada Dear Sister, I’ve been trying for about a week to get an opportunity to write you, without success but here goes for a start and who knows when I’ll get it finished. First of all I must thank you for the parcels I received...for which I believe you are responsible. They both arrived in first-class shape, the tobacco box not even being dented, and the delicious biscuits surely “hit the spot.” There were only a few broken ones but that only served to make more and there wasn’t a crumb wasted. As a coincident, the night I received the parce...

War Museum secures Victoria Cross

The Canadian War Museum has secured the Victoria Cross awarded to John Francis Young in the First World War. The museum now has 33 of the 94 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians between 1854 and 1945. Young was one of the Magnificent Seven, men awarded Victoria Crosses for heroism in various Canadian engagements on Sept. 2, 1918, part of the era known as Canada's Hundred Days.  Canadian units broke through the long-held and stoutly defended German Hindenburg Line in northern France,  at a cost of more than 11,400 casualties, including more than 5,000 dead. It was a major Allied breakthrough. Young was  a stretcher bearer with the 87th Battalion, Canadian Grenadier Guards at the battle of Dury Mill on the Drocourt-Quéant Line in France. Despite heavy fire and with no cover, he dressed th...

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