Torch February 2017
by Jeffrey Chapman
August 2014 marked the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. Since then, the Canadian War Museum, has been working tirelessly commemorating numerous events, unveiling new exhibitions, and arduously researching new projects, in correlation with the First World War.
One such project is “Medals, Decorations & Orders”. The CWM, with the support of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum, are creating an interactive digital database exhibiting the museum's First World War medal collections, and related personal documents. The scope, and vision of this project is vast, and its success will depend largely on donations.
As we launch into 2017, let me begin this President’s message by wishing all Friends of the Canadian War Museum and our fellow Canadians a Happy Canada 150th Birthday!
This edition of the Torch includes the 1917 World War Supplement. I trust that you are finding the expanding Torch an interesting mix of news and informative tidbits of military history. As more Friends opt for electronic delivery, and we benefit from the subsequent reduced printing and mailing cost, we are confident the Torch will evolve into an even more informative publication. Thanks to our talented and dedicated editorial staff, each edition seems to top the last. That said, we know we know we can still do better and would welcome your inputs and suggestions for future editions.
As of 31 December 2016, the following organisations are Group Friends and we thank them for their support:
- MacFie Clan Society of Canada
- The Black Watch Association - Pacific Coast Branch, North Vancouver
- The Polish Combatants' Association, Branch 8, Ottawa
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 153 (MB), Carberry
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 167 (ON), Exeter
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 (AB), Caroline
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 290 (SK), Nokomis
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 314 (ON), Manotick
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 341 (SK), Pense
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 542 (ON), Westport
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 580 (ON), Cobourg
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 593 (ON), Nepean
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 636 (ON), Minden
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 638 (ON), Kanata
At a small ceremony in the Friend’s Office on Thursday, 20 October, FCWM President Linda Colwell presented Maurice (Moe) D’Amour and Pierre Garneau each with a President’s coin to recognise their long and dedicated service to the Friends and to the Canadian War Museum.
Doug Rowland, past President of the Friends, is shown receiving a donation cheque from the Branch’s General Trust Fund in the amount of $500 from Moira Green the Poppy Campaign Chair of Legion Branch 638 in Kanata, ON. This is the Branch’s second donation to the Friends this year.
Branch 638 is one of 25 Legion Branches that are currently Group Members of the FCWM. They play an important role in the fulfillment the FCWM mandate to support the Canadian War Museum.
If your Branch is not a member, we encourage you to give it some consideration.
The Friends are grateful to the following who made general donations during the period 1 October – 31 December 2016
- United Way Toronto & York Region
- MacFie Clan Society of Canada
- Walker Wood Foundation
- Ottawa Branch Ontario Genealogical Society
- The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 638 (ON)
- St. Aiden's - Building Aiden’s Community
- Mr. Robert Argent
- Mr. Alexander Babcock
- Mr. Charles Derek Bate
- Ms. Dineen Beath
- Sgt. Cheryl Belanger
- Mr. Dany Born
- Mrs. M. Jean Bowie-Reed
- Mr. Bruce Brown
- Mr. Eric Brown
- Mr. Thomas Burnie
- Ms. Barbara Burton
- Dr. David Camm
- Ms. Jacqueline Carey
- LGen Harold Carswell (Ret'd)
- Maj Michel Charrier (Ret'd)
- Cdr John Chow (Ret'd)
- Mr. Gilles Chretien
- BGen Linda Colwell (Ret'd)
- Mr. Garry Comber
- Maj Walter Conrad (Ret'd)
- Mrs. Rochelle Craig
- Mr. Darryl Damude
- Maj Thomas Dent (Ret'd)
- Mr. David Dimitri
- Mr. David Fair
- Ms. Marlyne Feeney
- Ms. Julia Finn
- RAdm. Patrick Finn
- Ms. Donna Fossay
- Mr. Bob Fowler
- Mr. Joseph Gambin
- Ms. Brenda Grant
- Cmdre. John Gruber (Ret'd)
- Mr. Devere Hagan
- Ms. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay
- Mrs. Vera Hanley
- Mr. Reginald Harrison
- Mrs. Arlene Hensel
- Mr. Donald Hook
- Mr. R.J. Houston
- Mr. George Hume
- Mr. William Kiss
- Capt. (Ret’d) Michael Lambert
- Mr. G. Jackson MacKenzie
- Ms. Helen McKiernan
- Ms. Marilyn Minnes
- Mrs. Connie Mooney
- Maj Jim Muckle (Ret'd)
- Robin Nelson
- Mr. William Newton
- Ms. Carole Olive
- Mr. Frank Phillips
- Dr. Victor Rabinovitch
- Ms. Mea Renahan
- Mr. Douglas Rowland
- Mr. Michael Royce
- Mrs. Janet Shirley
- BGen Dean Smith (Ret'd)
- Mr. Robert Smith
- Mr. David Stewart
- Mr. Michael Street
- Mr. George Tarasuk
- Mr. Robert Tucker
- BGen Michael Webber
- LCol J. Roy Weir
- Ms. Beatrix Wertheim
- Mr. Sam Wong
The following is a list of donors making in-memoriam donations during the period 1 October – 31 December 2016. The tributes are recorded in the language in which they were provided.
- Mr. Michael Bedford, In Memory of Stephen Dunne, CWM Volunteer and founder of the FCWM Book Room.
- Mr. William Campbell, In Memory of Colonel (Ret'd) TT (Tony) Baba, RCE, On behalf of the Canadian Army Staff College Class of 1963-65
- Ms. Mai-yu Chan, In Memory of Dr. Marvin Blauer, long time volunteer with the Friends
- LCol Robert Farrell (Ret'd), In Memory of Pte Nelson Farrell, a signals dispatch rider, Second Canadian Division, CEF in the First World War
- Mr. Gordon Foster, In Memory of Mr. Stephen Dunne, a long time volunteer with the Friends
- Ms. Claire Gordon, In Memory of LCdr William J. Gordon
- Dr. Jack Granatstein, In Memory of LGen Charles Belzile
- Miss Christine Haley, In Memory of Captain John Armand Scott Haley. My Father, JAS Haley, passed away November 29, 2015 and I wanted to honour his memory on this Remembrance Day 2016. He is dearly missed today and always.
- Ms. Jacqueline Neville, In Memory of Mr. Edward Neville
- Ms. Lori Parent, In Memory of Mr. Robert Parent
- Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, In Memory of Dr. Marvin Blauer, A wonderful volunteer, committed scholar, educator, public servant and a real family man. He loved helping at the CWM, sustaining the memories of those who served.
- Ms. Margaret Walton, In Memory of Private William Dundas Williamson, my Uncle who died in Belgium/France on 05 July 1915.
Mike Braham, a Friend, Volunteer Interpreter at the Canadian War Museum and co-Editor of the Torch has recently had two books published.
The first, My Father – The Forgotten Air Ace, tells the story of John Randall Daniel (Bob) Braham from the perspective of his eldest son. Bob Braham, with three Distinguished Service Orders (DSO), three Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), the Air Force Cross (AFC), the Belgian Order of Leopold, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre, was the most decorated British Commonwealth fighter pilot of the Second World War. With 29 enemy aircraft destroyed, one probable, and six damaged, he was the top scoring Allied ace flying twin-engined aircraft, and the fifth ranked overall. Despite these distinctions, he remains relatively unknown.
The following poems were received too late for inclusion in our November edition, but their messages are timeless and therefore reproduced below. The first, My Daily Mantra, is by Major (Ret’d) Frank Lucano who is a Volunteer Interpreter with the Friends. The second was written in response to John McRae’s "In Flanders Fields" by 19 year old Donald C. Bridgeman in 1941, who was in the RCAF and killed returning from a bombing raid in 1943. (Ed: Regrettably these may lose something in the translation, but we are confident that the sentiment will remain).
|My Daily Mantra||In Flanders Fields Remembered|
To me from failing hands you threw
The Torch; it's mine to hold on high.
If I break faith with you who died
You shall not sleep, and neither will I.
At the going down of the sun and in
The morning, in the lull at dawn
I remember you.
We take the torch which you did throw,
And hold it high against the foe.
Oh sleep, brave dead – we hold it high
We hold the torch that cannot die.
So sleep great dead, where poppies grow
In Flanders Fields
|Major Frank Lucano||Donald C. Bridgeman|
The Friends of the Canadian War Museum present The Unknown Soldier by Canadian composer Andrew Ager.
The Unknown Soldier, Andrew Ager’s moving work for choir, baritone and orchestra is presented as the centrepiece of the evening. Using poetry by young First World War combatants from Canada, France, England and Germany, the music evokes not only the loss of those promising lives, but also the very real feelings they had in the midst of conflict.
Excerpts from journals and letters written by soldiers in moments of rest are read between movements. In this way, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, now a century past, is brought to life for contemporary audiences in this unforgettable performance.
A major expense of funds and time associated with the Torch is entailed in the mailing of 3-400 hard copies every issue. We would like to reduce those costs through an increased use of the electronic version on the Web Site.
We are aware that not everyone has access to a computer, and for those individuals, we will be pleased to continue with the mailing of a hard copy. However, for those of you currently receiving a copy in the mail and who have access to a computer, we would like to ask that, in future, you rely solely on the electronic version.
Your assistance will be most appreciated.
From 1 October – 31 December 2016 the Friends of the Canadian War Museum have welcomed the following new Friends:
- Ms. Barbara Burton
- Ms. Deborah Burton
- Mel and Carol Dillon
- Mr. David Dimitri
- RAdm Patrick Finn
- Ms. Colleen Fitzpatrick
- Miss Christine Haley
- Ms. Mary Ellen Koss
- Mr. Samphe Lhalungpa
- Ms. Delores McPhee
- Mr. Harold Mills
- Ms. Miriam Rabinovitch
- Ms. Mea Renahan
- Dr. Ken Reynolds
- Ms. Marlyne Saikaley
- Mr. Raymond Schell
- Mr. Curt Sutton
- Ms. Anne Vanderlaan
- Mr. Neil Wood
- Ms. Susan Wood
Since distribution of the last Torch in November 2016, the Friends have been notified of, and mourn, the passing of the following colleagues:
- LGen (Ret’d) Charles Belzile
- Dr. Marvin Blauer
- LCol (Ret’d) J. Bryce
- Mr. Arthur Fisher
Captain (Retired) Michael Lambert, C.D, a Friend and Volunteer Interpreter at the Canadian War Museum has provided the following obituary for his father who passed away earlier this year at age 95.
“CPO1 Bruno Lambert joined the RCN in 1945. During his 22 years and 282 days of Naval Service, he served aboard four proud warships, commencing with HMCS Crescent and later, HMCS Nootka and HMCS Haida. His final sea sojourn was aboard Canada’s last aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure. Of his Service, Frederick C. Frewer, captain of the Bonaventure, wrote the following commendation: “[He] Can take effective charge of any Captain’s office in the Fleet.” Fittingly, for a matelot from the province of Quebec, his first love was always the high seas: Maria pulchra amavit. “