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Elmer Cole: “I don’t think we’ll make it back to the pub tonight”

Trooper Elmer Cole spent nine hours driving a Churchill tank at Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942, trying to hold off German forces and find a way past the obstacles inland. The stone beach was already littered with dead Canadians and disabled tanks from the King’s Own Calgary Regiment of the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade...
  • Christmas at war: A cabin in the Hurtgen Forest

    December 12, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Christmas Eve 1914. The Tommies of Britain’s Queen’s Westminster Regiment had returned to the frigid trenches the previous day, relieving regular troops after four days of rest. Suddenly, in the stillness and cold, the voice of a young farmer’s son, Edgar Aplin, rose...
  • Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

    December 5, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries. She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known...
  • Citizens of War

    December 1, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The faces of the long-suffering people of Afghanistan reflect their resolve and resilience Kabul, 2004. Afghan mothers comfort sick and dying children in a hospital all but void of equipment and medicine. Across the street, fathers, banned by convention from the wards, sleep on concrete...
  • Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

    November 28, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day, 1945—the day that Corporal Reginald Wise, who was no fool and no martyr either, would cheat death. More than once. Wise and the rest of his Royal Marine commandos were advancing on a German position in Northern...
  • Scattering Canada’s armed forces

    November 27, 2018 by David J. Bercuson
    The Canadian military seems to be spread all over these days. During its deployment in Afghanistan, most of Canada’s non-North American military effort, especially that of the army, was focused almost exclusively on that mission. That was in keeping with the views of then Chief...
  • The seizing of Europe’s bells

    November 21, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The bells that rang out across allied nations after the First World War ended what for many had been a four-year silence enforced by regulation in some places and imposed by confiscation in others. In Germany and across Europe, tens of thousands of bronze bells—some...
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