On 20 November 1917, the British Army launched an attack toward Cambrai, an important German supply point, using about 400 tanks to great success … initially. Then the German army regrouped. By the end of the battle on 3 December, they had reclaimed almost all of the territory. The back-and-forth took a high toll, with over 40,000 casualties on each side. Continue reading
A war, then a play about the war, to pay for a memorial to those who fell in the war. That is the short story of the memorial in the park where Tower, Union and Bridge Streets meet in Fergus, Ontario. Continue reading
The lessons which the people of England have to learn are patience, self-sacrifice, and confidence in our ability to win in the long run. The aim for which the war is being waged is the destruction of German militarism. Three years of war and the loss of one-tenth of the manhood of the nation is not too great a price to pay in so great a cause.
Sir Douglas Haig, May 1916
I have many times asked myself whether there can be more potent advocates of peace upon earth though the years to come than this massed multitude of silent witnesses to the desolation of war.
George V at Tyne Cot Cemetery, May 1922
In this week of remembrance, may we learn from war as we strive for peace … and freedom and democracy and equality and justice.
Canada’s national war memorial in Ottawa depicts the country’s response to WW1: 22 bronze figures –representing infantry, cavalry, artillery, pilots, mechanics, sailors, sappers, foresters, nurses, stretcher-bearers and others – pass through an archway topped with allegorical figures of peace and freedom. Continue reading
In Flanders fields the poppies grow …
Inspired by John McCrae’s poem, poppies are a common sign of remembrance. Continue reading
While at least 50 members of the Canadian House of Commons enlisted in WW1, few saw active duty at the front. Only one was killed in action.
George Harold Baker – Harry to his friends – was born into a prominent family of United Empire Loyalists. He followed his father into law and then into politics, elected Member of Parliament for the riding of Brome, Quebec in 1911. He was also active in the local militia, so he was quick to volunteer for active service in WW1. He was killed in action on June 2, 1916 at Sanctuary Wood during the Battle of Mount Sorrel. Continue reading
British nurse Edith Cavell was executed on October 12, 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. Her death became a rallying cry for the Allies. Her name was memorialized in many ways. Continue reading
A cenotaph stands in a pretty park overlooking the Gull River in Norland, on the east side of Highway 35, just north of Monck Rd. Continue reading
Enter the main building of Trinity College (6 Hoskin Ave on the University of Toronto campus) and turn left down the hall to the chapel, a quiet Gothic sanctuary in a busy city. Pass through the narthex, home to several tablets commemorating individual graduates, to the nave. There on the east wall is a carved stone memorial to those college alumni and staff who died in WW1 and WW2. Continue reading
Happy 100th anniversary this week to the monument to the war that keeps growing and growing … and one that everyone loves to hate.
Canada’s Income War Tax Act came into force on 20 September 1917. Billed at the time as a temporary measure, it is alive and well 100 years later. Continue reading