Day: November 5, 2021

Osborn & Sakai
Heroes And Villains, Military History

Osborn & Sakai

Sacrifice and atrocities in the Battle of Hong Kong WARRANT OFFICER JOHN OSBORN In October 1941, the Winnipeg Grenadiers joined the Hong Kong garrison as part of ‘C’ Force. British-born Warrant Officer John Robert Osborn was 42. He had been gassed on the Western Front in the First World War. This left him with lingering chronic respiratory issues.  Emigrating to Canada in 1920, he settled in Winnipeg, married, and by the start of the war was the father of five children. Age, marital status and questionable health could have excused him from active overseas service. But having joined the Grenadiers in 1933, Osborn was determined to do his part.  Known as a fair but spit-and-polish, highly disciplined and stern non-commissioned officer, Osborn had an instinct for training soldiers. In ...
Was Canada’s decision  to reinforce Hong Kong a mistake?
Face to Face, Military History

Was Canada’s decision to reinforce Hong Kong a mistake?

Richard Foot says NO Was Canada wrong to send soldiers to Hong Kong in 1941? Absolutely—if one weighs the question with the full benefit of history. On the other hand, if we examine it with an honest appraisal of what it was like to be living in Canada in 1941, with all the pressures and prevailing attitudes of that extraordinary year, then the choice to commit troops becomes clear: it was certainly the right thing to do at the time. King’s government faced increasing pressure for a more robust contribution. By the fall of 1941, Canada had been at war for two years, yet Prime Minister Mackenzie King and his cabinet were still wrestling with what role the country should play. French Canada was lukewarm on the war effort, memories of conscription in 1917 still divided Canadians, a...
To the prince!
Blog, Humour Hunt

To the prince!

Peter Magwood of Dartmouth, N.S., recalls when he was a petty officer aboard HMCS Annapolis on a port visit to Rosyth, Scotland, during a NATO deployment in 1974. The coxswain, Chief Petty Officer Guy Joudry, noticed that the frigate HMS Jupiter was moored across the jetty. Prince Charles was serving as Jupiter’s communications officer. Joudry, Magwood and some other petty officers were chatting when Joudry had a brainstorm: invite the prince aboard for a drink. A suitable letter of invitation was drafted and Magwood was delegated to call on Jupiter and deliver the invite. He tells what followed: “When I arrived at the brow of the frigate, I was asked by the quartermaster what my business was. I gave the reason and soon heard the pipe: ‘Inspector MacKay is requested to the quarterdec...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.