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Filmmaker Garth Pritchard: The good fight

  “F/8 and be there” has been Garth Pritchard’s camera-ready mantra over more than 50 years as a journalist, rancher and raconteur. And the robust Alberta-based filmmaker has been all over the world with Canadian troops, from Africa and Burma to Afghanistan and the Balkans. Beloved by soldiers from one end of Canada to...
  • A feather in your cap

    May 1, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Celebrated officers wore the feathered crowns of egrets. British infantrymen wear “hackles.” Italian shock troops, known as Bersaglieri, rather flamboyantly sport the feathers of a particular wood grouse known as a capercaillie. Military tradition has spawned a bizarre menagerie of headgear, both for dress occasions...
  • Diving into healing waters

    April 24, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Retired Marine gunnery sergeant and combat diver Dan Griego spent two years combing the eastern seaboard from Florida northward searching for an area rich in shipwrecks so he could give his brothers-in-arms some meaningful, healing work. He ended up with Jeff MacKinnon, a third-generation treasure...
  • 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...
  • Words of war (part 2)

    April 10, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts. I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them. —Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Collins,...
  • Words of war

    April 3, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead. . . . Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, Whose limbs were made in England,...
  • The VC heroes of Hill 70

    March 27, 2019 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines the verb “brain”—as in to “brain” someone—as “dash out the brains of” or “strike hard on the head.” In a particularly graphic description of his Victoria Cross-earning feats on Hill 70, the London Gazette of Nov. 8, 1917, said Robert...
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