CDNHISTBLOG

News and discussion on Canadian military history and how we remember the service and the sacrifice.

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New memorials in Belgium and France

Today and tomorrow (Oct. 22 and 23) memorials will be unveiled in Belgium and France commemorating participation of the 15th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in two First World War battles. Today in Ieper (perhaps better recognized as Ypres), Belgium,  the city and the 15th Battalion Memorial project (48th Highlanders of Canada) will unveil and dedicate a memorial to commemorate the Canadian contribution to the counter-attack on Observatory Ridge in June 1915 during the battle for Mount Sorrel.  The Canadians had more than 8,000 casualties in the two-week Battle of Mount Sorrel. A similar ceremony takes place Sunday in Festubert, France, in commemoration of the battle fought there in May 1915. Courtesy 15th Battalion C.E.F. Memorial Project (48th Highlanders of Canada) The 1...
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Youth projects encouraged for Veterans Week Nov. 5 through 11

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney has challenged  young people to create their own remembrance  projects  honouring veterans and share them through Veterans Affairs Canada's social media in the days  leading up to Veterans' Week, Nov. 5 through 11. Students are encouraged to create videos to share on VAC's YouTube channel. Suggestions for projects are available  here and graphic material for use in them can be found under the red Table of Contents button.  Or students can share their thoughts on remembrance on VAC's Facebook fan page . B.C's Charlene Towgood shared  her 2010 mashup. Other examples can be found on VAC's Veterans' Week Remembrance Feed.
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Funeral set for First World War soldier

Private Alexander Johnston, who died during the Battle of the Canal du Nord in France on Sept. 29, 1918,  is to be buried next week  with full military honours.  His body was recovered near the First World War battlefield in 2008 and subsequently identified by the Department of National Defence. Born in Scotland in 1885, Johnston immigrated to Hamilton, Ont., and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on Jan. 5, 1918.   He was part of the 78th Battalion,  Manitoba Regiment. Missing after the  battle,  Johnston's name was inscribed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial near Arras, France, along with more than 11,000 other Canadians who have no known graves. His name can also be found on page  437 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber in the Parliament Buildi...
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Portraits of Honour Tour

Residents of the Maritimes and Quebec can still catch the travelling memorial Portraits of Honour, a 10-foot by 40-foot mural of the 156 Canadian Forces troops who lost their lives in Afghanistan since 2002. The cross-country tour is scheduled to wind down in Manitoba in December, and by then about a hundred communities, many hometowns of fallen troops, will have been visited. Thousands of Canadians coast-to-coast have already had an opportunity to view the mural, accompanied sometimes by the Seventh Book of Remembrance, in which is written names of all Canadian Forces who have died in service since 2000. Cambridge, Ont. artist Dave Sopha based  the portraits mostly on military-issues photos. The project, a joint initiative of  Sopha, Kin Canada and the Kin Canada Foundation,  hopes to ...
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Canada commemorates the War of 1812

One hundred and ninety-nine years ago today (Oct. 13) the first major battle of the War of 1812 was fought, resulting in the death of one of Canada’s earliest heroes, British Major General Isaac Brock, aka The Saviour of Upper Canada, whose death scene is imagined in this painting.  So it was natural that the federal government  chose this week to announce its battle plans (ahem) for the upcoming commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The plans so far include a memorial in the National Capital Region,  postage stamps, interactive tours, an educational campaign, historical re-enactments, commemorations, exhibits, improvements to battle sites, sprucing up of historic sites  and honouring  of current militia regiments with links to the war. Irked by British blockades duri...
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Future of commemoration in Canada

Youth Ambassador Nolan Janvier of the Clearwater River Dene Nation in Saskatchewan explores a German bunker at Juno Beach in Normandy, France during a 2008 Veterans Affairs Canada commemorative tour, then blogs about the experience to school chums, friends and family back home.  Photos: Sharon Adams, Legion Magazine With the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812 and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War on the horizon, now is a good time for Canadians to think about commemoration. What does it mean to us as individuals?  As a society?  How will we keep the torch lit? Some answers have begun to emerge as the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs begins its study of commemorative celebrations in the 21st century. Encompassi...

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