Month: October 2016

On this date: October 2016
On This Date

On this date: October 2016

1 OCTOBER 1916 The Battle of Ancre Heights begins. 2 OCTOBER 1952 Three are killed, 10 wounded when the HMCS Iroquois is hit by a shore battery in North Korea. 3 OCTOBER 1927 Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King chats with the British PM, inaugurating Canadian transatlantic telephone service. 4 OCTOBER 1914 The SS Florizel, carrying the Newfoundland Regiment’s First 500, joins the armada carrying the first Canadian contingent to the First World War. 5 OCTOBER 1984 Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space, aboard the space shuttle Challenger. 6-7 OCTOBER 1944 RCAF No. 6 Group commits 293 aircraft to a bombing raid in Germany’s industrial Ruhr Valley. 7 OCTOBER 1918 The first of Canada’s 50,000 Spanish flu victims dies in Montreal.  8-10 OCTOBER 1918 Hu...
Students reflect on Canada’s sacrifices
Remembrance

Students reflect on Canada’s sacrifices

In raw numbers alone, it has to be one of the largest, most enduring contest of the arts in Canada. For more than 50 years Canadians students have been entering posters, essays and poems in The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poster and literary contests. This year there were more than 100,000 entries. The four senior winners of the contests will come to Ottawa to participate in the National Remembrance Day ceremony, placing a wreath on behalf of all Canadian youth. The contests have one overarching purpose—to strengthen the tradition of remembrance among Canada’s youth. There can hardly be a better example of that than the poem, “Why the Poppy?”  by Ethan Edstrom, a Grade 10 student from Edmonton, who submitted his work through that city’s Strathcona Branch. Here is the poem, succinct...
The first air training plan
Home Front

The first air training plan

In 1917 and 1918, the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and its successor, the Royal Air Force (RAF), directed an ambitious flight training operation in Canada. The scheme had no precedent, but it inspired later, similar schemes­—the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (1939-1945) and a general program to train North Atlantic Treaty Organization aircrew at Canadian centres from 1952 onwards. The importance of air power had been growing from the outbreak of the First World War. Aircraft mapped enemy trench systems, directed the guns shelling those trenches, and warded off opponents’ machines intent on performing the same tasks. As aircraft became more vital to waging war, Britain required greater numbers of airmen. Late in 1916, an RFC expansion plan suggested formation of 35 new training squa...
At war with home
My Story

At war with home

My Story: From the department of veterans’ complaints When Aaron Bedard went to war in Afghanistan, it was because he loved his country. Never did he imagine he would be a lead plaintiff in a multi-year legal battle fighting for proper care, now on the cusp of taking the Crown to the Supreme Court of Canada. It was 2002 when I signed on the dotted line. I had just travelled to Israel and it was an intense, lively environment. And coming back here you had everyone complaining about all these small things. There was always a tear in everyone’s beer. So I wanted something exciting. I wanted to be a combat engineer because of my construction background. I joined to have a weapon in my hand and be up at the front. Afghanistan was my first and only deployment. I arrived in January 2006...
The housewife
Artifacts

The housewife

Sewing kits were a surprisingly versatile tool for soldiers in the field At fleet school they said, ‘If we wanted you to have a wife, we’d issue you with one,’” recalls navy veteran Jim Ross. “And then they did.” In his six months at Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis in Nova Scotia in 1958, Ross became intimately familiar with his housewife—a sewing kit with everything he needed to keep his uniform shipshape. “We had to sew our names on everything we were issued with,” said Ross, who lives near Charlottetown. “That was a big thing. It took up so much time because we had so much kit…summer uniforms, winter uniforms, shorts and underwear and everything. Hats.” That navy-blue housewife, with his name and service number neatly embroidered in red on the outside flap, now resides in...

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