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Month: August 2019

The sinking of SS <em> Athenia </em>
Military History, Navy

The sinking of SS Athenia

Britain declared war on Germany at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, 1939. At just after 7 o’clock that evening, Captain James Cook of the passenger liner SS Athenia joined his first-class guests for dinner. While the ship had actually gotten underway two days earlier—en route from Glasgow to Montreal via Belfast and Liverpool—Cook had felt that the urgency of the international situation demanded his presence on the bridge. But by about mid-afternoon Sunday, as Cook told one passenger, they should be far enough into the Atlantic Ocean northwest of Britain and Ireland to be out of danger. At 7:40, just as the evening meal was being served, a violent explosion destroyed the engine room, plunging the dining room into darkness, sending tables and chairs skidding across the deck, and causing th...
Gunfire at the Château Frontenac
Humour Hunt

Gunfire at the Château Frontenac

– Illustration by Malcolm Jones – This issue, we have a mix of tales ranging from a sly private and unconventional menu items to a story about wartime gunfire in the halls of Quebec’s famed hotel, the Château Frontenac. Bob Anglin of Ottawa, who joined the Black Watch in the 1960s, recalls an incident at Gagetown, N.B., later in his career. Peering out a window, he saw a soldier leave a quartermaster stores building. He carried a cardboard box under one arm, with the other holding a column of toilet paper rolls threaded down the handle of a broom. Anglin thought this was an ingenious way to carry the awkward rolls and remarked on it to a nearby warrant officer. The warrant glanced out the window and then turned to Anglin. “He’s not carrying toilet paper. He’s stealing a broom.” Bri...
Choose our next cover of <em> Canada’s Ultimate Story! </em>
Choose our cover, News

Choose our next cover of Canada’s Ultimate Story!

The Ypres Salient in Belgium was mostly a quagmire in the spring of 1915. The ground was torn up from countless artillery blasts, makeshift fortifications and a network of sandbagged trenches leading to along the front. It was here that Major John McCrae worked as a brigade surgeon for of the 2nd Division, Canadian Field Artillery. Through the chaos, suffering and personal tragedy, he still found time to write the poem “In Flanders Fields.” Pick up a copy of JOHN McCRAE AND THE BATTLES OF FLANDERS on newsstands across Canada on November 4, 2019 or subscribe to Canada’s Ultimate Story today to receive this issue! CLICK HERE TO ENLARGE COVERS!   Loading…
German warplane recovered to tell its story
Military Milestones

German warplane recovered to tell its story

Six weeks into the Battle of Britain, on Aug. 26, 1940, a squadron of nine German aircraft headed across the English Channel to wreak havoc on an airfield in Kent, an area known at the time as Hellfire Corner for the ferocious fighting that went on overhead. The formation was detected and Royal Air Force squadrons scrambled to intercept them above the Kent coast. In one British Defiant was Pilot Officer Frederick Desmond (Hawkeye) Hughes, the third-highest scoring RAF night fighter, and his gunner, Fred Gash. “The specks grew into the long pencil-slim silhouettes of Dornier Do 17s, and suddenly, there were the black crosses, insolently challenging us in our own backyard!” wrote Hughes, who later rose to air vice-marshal. The squadron attacked the Dorniers from below. “Fred Gash to...
On track, part 2
Front Lines

On track, part 2

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne The National Youth Track and Field Championships took place Aug. 9-11, 2019, in Sydney, N.S., where 721 athletes—314 of them sponsored by The Royal Canadian Legion—competed. The event, hosted by Cape Breton University and the Legion’s Breton Branch, also involved 160 coaches, 150 officials and more than 600 volunteers. Below is a selection of images capturing moments of victory, joy, disappointment and exhaustion at the finish line of several races and other events. To see results, click here See last week’s photo feature On Track, part 1
Darts trophy stays in Nova Scotia

Darts trophy stays in Nova Scotia

To win the dominion darts is one thing, but to win it in your home province is another,” said an enthusiastic Willie MacIsaac after his team successfully defended its title at the 2019 Dominion Command Darts Championships held at Dominion, N.S., Branch on May 3-5. The team from MacDonald Memorial Branch in Lakeside, just outside Halifax, had won the 2018 championship in Mascouche, Que., with a slightly different lineup. This year’s team consisted of MacIsaac, Coady Burke, Jason Smith and Sheldon Fudge. Burke and Smith were on the team last year. “With so many good shooters in Nova Scotia, you are always mixing up the combination,” said MacIsaac. Old friendships were renewed and some new ones were made at a meet and greet event held at the hotel in Sydney on the Friday night before. T...

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