On This Date

On This Date: June 2015

June 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
Members of the Chaudiere Regiment approach Bernières-sur-Mer, France, in a landing craft on D-Day. [LAC/PA-131498]

JUNE 1, 1943 HMCS Conestoga in Galt, Ont., is commissioned as the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service training centre. Women complete courses in physical training and navy customs and tradition. JUNE 2, 1866 The Fenian Brotherhood crosses the Niagara River and defeats Canadian volunteers at Ridgeway and Fort Erie. Another Fenian victory against outnumbered Canadians…

Navy

Surrounded by the wolf pack

May 24, 2015 by Marc Milner
Navy personnel aboard HMCS St. Croix man a 4-inch gun on a cold day in March 1941. [DND/LAC/PA-105295]

The sinking of the German submarine U-756 by HMCS Morden on Sept. 1, 1942, remained utterly unknown at the time. The only good news to drift home from distant waters in the late summer of 1942 was HMCS Oakville’s sinking of U-94 in the Caribbean. While Oakville’s hero Hal Lawrence went off on his PR jaunt, the war at sea took a decidedly sharp—and negative—turn for Canada.

Army

Canada’s gift of liberty

May 10, 2015 by Gerard Triesman
A soldier with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders distributes candy to citizens in the eastern Netherlands town of Bathmen on April 9, 1945. [LAC/PA-137908]

As a three-year-old, I had no real comprehension of the horrific circumstances in which I lived. The hand grenade, carelessly discarded by a Nazi soldier, attracted my attention. I was playing outside my home in the Netherlands in 1944 when I saw it lying on the patio. I picked it up and studied it for a moment. With its long wooden handle and round metal top, it resembled a potato masher.

Army

Sweetest of springs

May 8, 2015 by Mark Zuehlke
Dutch civilians in Zwolle ride on a Universal Carrier of the Régiment de la Chaudière. [LAC/PA-136176]

The Second World War in Europe ended officially on May 7, 1945, with the unconditional surrender of all German forces. For the First Canadian Army, however, it had ended two days earlier. On May 5, German General Johannes Blaskowitz surrendered the 120,000-strong Twenty-Fifth Army to I Canadian Corps commander Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes at Wageningen in the Netherlands. Almost simultaneously, at the German resort town of Bad Zwischenahn, II Canadian Corps’ Lieutenant- General Guy Simonds accepted General Erich von Straube’s surrender of about 93,000 troops in northwest Germany.

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Cracks In The System

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
cracks3   A litany of complaints about Veterans Affairs Canada’s treatment of veterans has led to a ‘veterans’ revolt.’ Can new leadership at VAC inspire a culture shift, or should the system be rebuilt from the ground up?   By Sharon Adams and Adam Day  |  Photography By Louie Palu   The scar along retired...

Q & A with Minister O’Toole

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O’Toole ADAM DAY  For the french version, click here On April 23, Legion Magazine’s editorial staff met with Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament for Durham, for a discussion of issues related to Veterans Affairs Canada. This is the full interview:   Legion Magazine: You are...
DartsFeature The camaraderie was amazing and the darts were flying at Cloverdale Branch in Surrey, B.C., as the branch played host to the Dominion Command Darts Championships on May...
CribbageFeature It was a great weekend of camaraderie and cards in Spruce Grove, Alta., at the Dominion Command Cribbage Championships, held April 24-26. On Saturday morning, Spruce Grove Branch hosted the tournament’s opening ceremony, with Spruce Grove Mayor Stuart Houston giving the opening address. “May your cards turn up so you can avoid the skunk...

Victory over Japan

July 1, 2015 by Mark Zuehlke
Kisses and hugs are shared by Canadian military personnel in Ottawa on hearing of Japan’s surrender in August 1945. [LAC/C-003226] Canada’s Pacific War contributions may have been relatively minor, but our sacrifices were no less vital   On Aug. 9, 1945, some 700 prisoners of war—including 166 Canadians—were working as slave labourers in the Omine coal mine on Japan’s Kyushu Island. The mine was situated about 160 kilometres northeast of Nagasaki. At about 10...

John McCrae statue honours veterans

July 1, 2015 by Tom MacGregor
The Canadian doctor who penned the poem “In Flanders Fields” in the midst of one of the bitterest battles of the First World War has been commemorated in Ottawa with a statue. The statue of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was unveiled May 3 during a ceremony in Green Island Park to mark the centennials of the writing of...

Editorial: July/August 2015

July 1, 2015 by Eric Harris
In the aftermath of the First World War, The Royal Canadian Legion was founded by returning soldiers who realized they were not getting the government assistance they felt they had earned. They banded together to represent their interests because they believed no one else...

Travelling About: July/August 2015

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
[Scooter Korek] 1. Visit Halifax for Canada’s largest annual military event The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is a festival of military music, dancing, parades and workshops held every year in picturesque Halifax. In addition to Canadian Armed Forces musicians and pipes and drums, there will be performance teams from as far away as Estonia, France,...

Friendly fire incident investigated

July 1, 2015 by Adam Day
[DND/IS04-2015-001-001] Beginning in Iraq, the lingering mystery about the exact events that led to the death of Canadian Special Operations Regiment Sergeant Andrew Doiron at the hands of allied Kurdish peshmerga forces has been mostly resolved with the release of a highly redacted report into the...

Find-Share-Discuss: July/August 2015

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
John (Jack) Weakford Smith was killed in action in the Battle of Normandy   We thank Laraine Maltby Smith for sharing these photos and encourage others to share their photos of wartime or peacetime service. To submit a photograph (no photocopies), please mail to Find-Share-Discuss, c/o Legion Magazine, 86 Aird Place, Kanata ON K2L...

Battle of Britain in pictures

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
Coventry, in Britain’s West Midlands, is a smoking ruin following an air raid on Nov. 14, 1940. The attack by more than 500 Luftwaffe bombers left an estimated 568 dead. [Imperial War Museum/SG 14861] The skies over the English Channel were grey on July 10, 1940, and laden with the shadow of war. The air battle between Germany’s Luftwaffe and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber and Coastal Commands began on this day with raids on convoys in the English Channel off North Foreland and...

On This Date: July 2015

July 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine
Street scene with Canadian soldiers and French civilians. [LAC/PA-162665] JULY 1, 1934 Commodore Percy W. Nelles becomes the first Canadian-born Chief of the Naval Staff. JULY 2, 1885 The Northwest Rebellion ends with the surrender of Big Bear, and with it, the nomadic life of the...

Studying the benefits of medical marijuana

July 1, 2015 by Sharon Adams
HealthFeature A clinical trial examining medical marijuana for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder is underway in British Columbia, where marijuana, produced legally or otherwise, is estimated to contribute as much to the provincial economy as agriculture and...
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