Month: January 2013

Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – May 14, 1916 Bramshott Military Hospital, England

Dear Mother, I have made a wonderful recovery in a short time. I sure was a bad-looking wreck three weeks ago but I am nearly myself once more. I am getting fatter every day. Sisters from the ward say they hardly know me now and as the doctor says I have a leg restored from the grave but it is jake now. I was up and walked four steps on it this morning from a chair back to bed. It seems a long time since I came here 104 days today since I went sick. I sure have seen some operating done since I came to this work. The saddest thing I ever saw in my life was here. Some boys from 8 Manchester Battalion hired a carat gold limo to take them to Whitley Camp one night and on the way over took 26 Middlesex Regiment who were out on night manoeuvres. After passing all but the first two columns, a r...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – May 1, 1916 Bramshott Military Hospital

Dear Mother and Rest of Family, I am doing fine since my second operation. The abscess is nearly all dried up now and as soon as the big cut on my leg heals I will be up. That is all that is keeping me in bed at present. At last they have my temperature down as it has been normal or below it for over a week now. I have been out every day since last Thursday and my face is all sunburned. They carry me, bed and all, out as soon as I am dressed in the morning and I am out till four in the afternoon. They say I am getting fatter every day and believe me there is room for lots more yet. My ribs would make a whaling good washboard at present. It is just 13 weeks ago today since I went into the brigade hospital and have been in this hospital for over 10 weeks, now. I hope I will soon be out of ...
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Celebrating Champlain

On an expedition to find the northern sea more than 400 years ago, explorer Samuel de Champlain reaches the site of the modern city of Ottawa on the Ottawa River.  More than 100 events have been planned so far to mark the occasion, including an 11-day canoe trip in July and August to retrace part of his route. Many of the events are planned to excite young people about Canada’s early history. Champlain was the first European to explore—and more importantly, map—the Great Lakes. He established relations with local tribes, wrote one of the earliest accounts of Native American life and was wounded in a battle between the Hurons and Iroquois. Champlain first came to Canada on two voyages to Canada in 1603-05 during which he saw the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers, the Gaspe peninsula and t...
Shipyards In War: Navy, Part 55
Military History

Shipyards In War: Navy, Part 55

The expansion of the war into a global conflict at the end of 1941, coupled with the 1942 operational crisis in the Atlantic, changed everything for the Royal Canadian Navy. Until then Canada’s naval war had two clear purposes. The immediate one was to help the British with convoy escort operations in the North Atlantic using war-built auxiliary vessels, pre-war River-class destroyers and the ex-United States Navy destroyers. The RCN’s long-term goal, however, was to use the war to acquire the key elements of a proper navy: fleet-class destroyers and cruisers.   As the war spiralled out of control, new operational tasks fell to the RCN. By the summer of 1942 the escort fleet roamed from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom with much of the crucial transatlantic convoy route under Can...
This Week In Military History

These Are The Results For The Week Of January 28 – February 3

01/28/1918 Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, author of In Flanders Fields, dies of pneumonia and meningitis while commanding a Canadian General Hospital in France. 01/28/1986 The space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. All seven astronauts on board are killed. 01/29/1944 HMCS Huron acts as part of the destroyer escort for 17 ships of the Murmansk convoy JW-56B out of Scotland. After a week at sea, they cross paths with U-boats. U-956 fires three torpedoes at the escorts. A British destroyer and a U-boat are sunk. The convoy reaches Murmansk without loss to its merchant ships. 01/29/1946 The racing schooner Bluenose strikes a reef and sinks of Haiti. 01/30/1933 Hitler becomes Germany’s Chancellor. 01/30/1944 The Hasti...
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Farewell to Boy Roy

Historian Reginald Roy has died in Saanich, B.C., aged 91, leaving a legacy of a dozen books on military history, dozens of scholarly articles and hundreds of interviews with veterans taped over half a century. Just 16, Roy earned the moniker “Boy Roy” when he enlisted in 1939. He served with the Cape Breton Highlanders, earning a commission in 1943. After the war he remained in the reserve force, earned a doctorate and made history his career.  He worked as an archivist, then taught  military history at Victoria College, Royal Road Military College and the University of Victoria. His military experience spiced his lectures and he was a pioneer of  scholarly methods of conducting oral military history  interviews. In 2005, UVic’s McPherson Library  became home to Roy’s interview c...

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