Month: June 2021

Victory March
HISTORICPHOTOBLOG, Military History

Victory March

London hosted a formal — and boisterous—celebration on  the first anniversary of the end of the Second World War A year after the Second World War ended, Britain threw a proper celebration, one that the whole country—civilians as well as the men and women who had served overseas—could enjoy together. And what a party it was. More than five million people crowded the sidewalks and streets of London and choked The Mall to take part in daylong celebrations on June 8, 1946. The crowd included visitors from all over the world. They started gathering before daylight to claim good positions along the parade route. At 10 a.m. an open carriage carrying the Royal Family slowly proceeded from Buckingham Palace to the reviewing stand on The Mall, where military commanders and heads of state ...
Veterans with PTSD should have MedicAlert IDs, says Afghanistan vet
Defence Today, Front Lines

Veterans with PTSD should have MedicAlert IDs, says Afghanistan vet

War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should have validated MedicAlert bracelets stating that they have a combat-related illness, said the decorated survivor of an RPG attack and subsequent firefight. Sean Teal, a wounded veteran who served four eventful tours in Afghanistan and earned the military’s second-highest award for valour, struggled with physical pain and mental health issues until he was ushered out of the army in 2014. Then his problems got worse. “It’s hard to get sympathy or empathy from people who can’t relate.” He said civilian doctors unfamiliar with his experience overseas and the stresses of combat all but ignored his military medical files and perpetuated a cycle of treatment that eventually rendered him a “slug,” unable to eat, sleep or...
The hunt for Convoy HX-133
Military History, Military Milestones

The hunt for Convoy HX-133

It was a taste of what was to come. Convoy HX-133—49 merchant ships and an escort of five warships—left Halifax on June 16, 1941, bound for Liverpool, England. Not all of them would arrive. The merchant ships were arranged in nine short columns, with the escorts—HMC ships Chambly, Orillia and Collingwood, all of them corvettes, and two destroyers, HMCS Ottawa and HMS Wolfe—dispersed among and around them. They sailed into heavy fog. “During this time there were several collisions resulting in five ships having to return to port,” wrote Commodore R.R. Gill of the cargo ship Glenpark. “Gales were experienced which slowed convoy down considerably.” As well, convoys “could only go as fast as the slowest ship,” recalled Ottawa veteran Georges Joseph Charrier in a Memory Project inte...
Bugs in barracks
Humour Hunt

Bugs in barracks

Many military barracks during the Second World War were primitive. Celia Brown, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division, found herself living in barracks at a Winnipeg repair depot, where she was introduced to the ubiquitous cockroach. “I got a jar and I caught eight or 10 cockroaches.” “At night, when you went in the washrooms and turned the lights on, it seemed to us there was millions,” she said. “Probably not that many, but a lot of cockroaches went running. One day, I left my hat on top of my pillow, because you had to make your bed up first, and when I came back and picked up my hat, out popped a cockroach.” That was the last straw for Brown. “I got a jar and I caught eight or 10 cockroaches, took them into work the next day. Our CO was quite friendly;...
Scholarship to research TBI classification system
News

Scholarship to research TBI classification system

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the focus of the recipient of the 2020 Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research.  “Traumatic brain injury was a significant injury in both Iraq and Afghanistan war zones and is a leading cause of mortality in Canada for people under 40 years of age,” said Abdelhakim Khellaf during the online presentation of the award on Jan. 27.  Knowing the severity and type of injury are important. The award is usually presented at the annual forum of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.  Khellaf, of the University of Toronto, will focus on the development of a new classification system for TBI.  For more than a decade, international researchers have been ref...
Walk in the park
Canada Corner, O Canada

Walk in the park

It began, as so many things did in this country, with John A. Macdonald.  In November 1885, he declared that 26 square kilometres on Sulphur Mountain overlooking Banff, Alta., would be designated for the public. It contained the Cave and Basin hot springs, which had been used by Indigenous peoples for centuries but had recently been discovered by railway workers. Macdonald had an ulterior motive. The hot springs could become a tourist attraction and help make his beloved railway economically viable. The following year, a legal survey of the area declared that “a large tract of country lying outside of the original reservation presented features of the greatest beauty, and was admirably adapted for a national park.” In 1887, the Rocky Mountains Park Act created what is now Banff Nationa...

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