For whom the ship’s bell tolls

Ships’ bells mark the watch, sound alarms, send signals, declare a ship’s presence in foggy weather and even serve as baptismal fonts. Usually engraved, the ship’s bell is often the primary identifying element of an historic wreck, as was the bronze bell from HMS Erebus, explorer John Franklin’s vessel that was found after 168...
  • Military suicide rate shows increase

    December 6, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    A report released by the Department of National Defence on Nov. 29 said overall military suicide rates did not increase significantly after Canada joined the war in Afghanistan in 2001, nor did they vary greatly from the general population. But the document authored by Elizabeth...
  • Canada introduces a new era in peacekeeping

    November 22, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The federal government unveiled its new peacekeeping policy on Nov. 15, more than a year after it declared it would provide the United Nations with up to 600 troops and 150 police officers. Now, after almost two years of review, during which confusion and frustration...
  • Buyers wanted

    November 15, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Remembrance Day has passed. Now remember this: Without a comprehensive plan to re-equip the Canadian Armed Forces for the challenges that lie ahead, our soldiers, sailors and aircrew are placed at an unfair and unnecessary disadvantage. The money has been promised—all $62.3 billion of it—but...
  • Disinformation wars

    November 8, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Russian efforts at propaganda and disinformation are old hat to Latvians and the citizens of other Baltic states now under NATO protection, but Moscow’s current blitzkrieg of online false news and blistering political criticism still poses a formidable challenge. The strategic states on the Baltic...
  • Britain gives Franklin ships to Canada

    November 1, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    On Saturday, May 24, 1845, the world’s first illustrated weekly newsmagazine, The Illustrated London News, ran a 996-word story hailing the launch of an expedition in search of a navigable sailing route across the Arctic linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Buried on page 328,...
  • A war story told in flowers and scents

    October 25, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    As he crossed the battlefields of France in 1915 and 1916, George Stephen Cantlie, a colonel in the 42nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders of Canada, picked flowers and sent them with simple notes to his baby daughter Celia in Montreal. Almost a century later, those handwritten...
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