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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier turns 20

More than 20 years ago, The Royal Canadian Legion set out to honour some 115,000 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in two world wars, Korea, South Africa and Afghanistan. The effort culminated in a ceremony in France, where the remains of an unknown Canadian soldier killed at Vimy Ridge in 1917 were exhumed...
  • The evolution of war photography

    March 18, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
    In an age when technology limited most photography to static studio poses and bland, if not severe, countenances, Canadian army photographer William Rider-Rider elevated the art to a higher level under the most trying of circumstances. Armed with a bulky 4×5 box camera, the lieutenant...
  • Looking to recruit more women—or anyone, for that matter—the Royal Canadian Navy is switching to gender-neutral terms for its junior ranks. The ranks master seaman, leading seaman, able seaman and ordinary seaman will be scrapped and likely replaced by equivalent ‘hands’ or ‘rates,’ depending on...
  • Games of war

    March 4, 2020 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It’s snowing as I write this—heavily. They tell us to expect 40 centimetres in Ottawa. It’s one of those storms that I remember as a kid, before the responsibility of shoveling—or much responsibility at all—was foisted upon me. In those days, winter storms were somehow...
  • Scientists have found that the current United States Army helmet provides no better blast protection than its First World War predecessors and, indeed, the vintage French helmet was actually better than the modern American design. The biomedical engineers from Duke University in Durham, N.C., hope...
  • A new exhibition of works by artists “commissioned” by the Defence Department reflects Canada’s changing environment and the evolving roles of the country’s military in the wake of an intense 13 years fighting a war in Afghanistan. Six civilian artists made up the eighth group...
  • The first casualty of war may be the truth, but the last and just as certain is the non-combatant. As many as 85 million people were killed during the Second World War but fewer than 30 per cent were military. More of the dead were...
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