Motorcycle messengers

Dispatch riders had doubly dangerous duties during the Second World War   One shell fell behind him, and when a second exploded just ahead, dispatch rider Gordon Edward Allen knew German gunners were homing in on him. “They can hear that stupid bike of yours,” said the sergeant giving Allen directions that would take...
  • Chemistry experiments

    May 26, 2016 by Graham Chandler
    Soldiers were used in the testing of chemical and biological weapons in the Second World War   When Lucien Chasse, a quarry driller from Quebec with a Grade 4 education and little English, signed up for the Canadian Army on Nov. 10, 1943, he had...
  • ARMY: A morass of mud

    December 1, 2015 by Terry Copp
    As Canadian commanders planned to assault Mont Sorrel, Germany attacked. Two weeks and almost 9,000 casualties later, Canada recovered the lost ground   On May 25, 1915, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division officially became part of the British Expeditionary Force with headquarters at Shorncliffe Army Camp in...
  • Army: Modest and meaningless gains

    September 29, 2015 by Terry Copp
    In the fight for Festubert, combat for the “Canadian Orchard” cost 2,468 casualties. The Canadians emerged from the battle for Ypres, Belgium, in 1915 with horrendous casualties: more than 6,000 men, including 1,410 who became prisoners of war. This casualty rate, 37 per cent of...
  • The detached battalion

    July 31, 2015 by Terry Copp
    In the Battle of Frezenberg, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry would give no...
  • The creeping barrage

    June 4, 2015 by Terry Copp
    Of the 18,000 Canadian soldiers on strength for the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, roughly one third became casualties, including 1,672 killed in action and more than 1,000 as prisoners of war. When the Canadians were withdrawn from the front lines on May...
  • Canada’s gift of liberty

    May 10, 2015 by Gerard Triesman
    As a three-year-old, I had no real comprehension of the horrific circumstances in which I lived. The hand grenade, carelessly discarded by a Nazi soldier, attracted my attention. I was playing outside my home in the Netherlands in 1944 when I saw it lying on...
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