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

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Farewell to Boy Roy

Historian Reginald Roy has died in Saanich, B.C., aged 91, leaving a legacy of a dozen books on military history, dozens of scholarly articles and hundreds of interviews with veterans taped over half a century. Just 16, Roy earned the moniker “Boy Roy” when he enlisted in 1939. He served with the Cape Breton Highlanders, earning a commission in 1943. After the war he remained in the reserve force, earned a doctorate and made history his career.  He worked as an archivist, then taught  military history at Victoria College, Royal Road Military College and the University of Victoria. His military experience spiced his lectures and he was a pioneer of  scholarly methods of conducting oral military history  interviews. In 2005, UVic’s McPherson Library  became home to Roy’s interview c...
History by any other name
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History by any other name

A heart-warming piece by a Grade 5/6 teacher in Montreal has appeared on the website of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Literacy teacher Alexandra Papazoglou at Evergreen Elementary undertook a class project on Remembrance to improve skills in spelling, grammar and “technological literacy.”  Her story  might provide a little ray of hope to those of us worried about the lack of history in school curricula, by demonstrating how it can be broached through other areas of study. Instead of spelling lists and boring grammar exercises, Papazoglou's students expanded their literacy skills by tackling a history project. Each student researched the life of a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, wrote reports and produced artwork posted in hallways. These pos...
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New memorial in Britain for Iroquois Squadron

A commemoration and unveiling of a new memorial to those who served during the Second World War in the RCAF's 431 (Iroquois) Squadron is being held Oct. 28 near Selby, North Yorkshire. In 1942 a bomber base was built near the village of Burn, from which the Iroquois Squadron few more than 300 sorties, during which 17 Wellington bombers and 85 crew members were lost. At one time, the population on the airfield was 10 times that of the village.  Now there are about 400 villagers, and the airfield is used by a gliding club. The commemoration will feature a march past by Royal Air Force cadets and unveiling and dedication of a memorial stone on the village green, next to the memorial for the Royal Air Force 578 Squadron, which flew out of the airfield from 1944.  The village pub is hosting ...
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B&Bs for veterans

  For the second year in a row, dozens of  bed and breakfast establishments across the country are offering free accommodations on Remembrance Day to veterans and serving members of the military. B&Bs for Vets, patterned after the program started in the U.S. in 2008, was developed as a way to thank military members and veterans for their service to the country.  The BBCanada.com website lists participating B&Bs.    
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Maori Remembrance

Over the years I’ve marvelled at the differences in the way each of us, each person, each community, each nation, commemorates the fallen, and how those differences personalize the solemn rites for participants. In France, names are read aloud and after each name the crowd intones ‘morts pour la France’ in English, ‘he died for France.’  In Holland, the day of commemoration for the war dead is followed by the joyful national celebration of liberty, marrying the two concepts and giving time for the full feeling of each emotion. In the U.S., families and comrades make special trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the Vietnam Memorial and make rubbings of the names of the fallen listed there. Each of these private, public moments is touching in its own way.  So too is the Maori funeral Ha...
U-Boats in the St. Lawrence
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U-Boats in the St. Lawrence

For those following the stories in Legion Magazine about U-Boats in the St. Lawrence--Hidden Victory In The St. Lawrence, The Luck of the U-Boats, Torpedoed in the St. Lawrence,  Predators in the St. Lawrence-- The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies has posted a real treat--a German newsreel of the day showing a U-Boat en route to havoc in Canada and Canadian footage of a U-Boat surrendering in 1945 off Nova Scotia.    

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