Day: April 20, 2021

So long, Matthew Fisher, Canada’s most-travelled warco
Defence Today, Front Lines

So long, Matthew Fisher, Canada’s most-travelled warco

He could be blunt, bombastic and cringingly irreverent. He was also smart, generous, and always, always interesting. Like virtually all of the most talented, committed and absorbing people I’ve known, Matthew Fisher was a human full of quirks and contradictions. He died in Ottawa on April 10 after a short battle with liver disease. He was 66. He was without doubt Canada’s most travelled and seasoned foreign correspondent of the past half-century—he’d been to 170 countries (only 193 exist) and covered 20 wars in 35 years. Like my dear friend Garth Pritchard, who died a year earlier almost to the day, Matthew did not suffer fools gladly, and he wasn’t afraid to say so. Interestingly, he and Garthy, who’d seen more than his share of war zones, shared a grudging respect but, beyond th...
With the guns in the Second Battle of Ypres
Military History, Military Milestones

With the guns in the Second Battle of Ypres

In 1915, Canadian troops moved to the Ypres Salient in Belgium. The Germans wanted very much to get rid of the bulge into their territory, and used a new weapon hoping to dislodge British, Canadian and French troops. “We saw a thick cloud of green coming across the country towards us.” James Wells Ross, who was in charge of moving the horse-drawn artillery, wrote a letter describing battle preparations and the first gas attack. “On April 22nd, we were in action about 400 yards on the right of the much-coveted village. At about 5 p.m., they started shelling the village very heavily with gas shells and we saw a thick cloud of green coming across the country towards us. Then the rifle fire started and we opened up. “The next thing we knew, the French Zouaves were running back in hundr...

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