AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ THE CHRISTMAS EDITION

AL WILSON’S CARTOONS ~ THE CHRISTMAS EDITION

Many of Al Wilson‘s cartoons relate to specific happenings from about 1958 - 1974, especially in the Comox area.  We know you’re enjoying this popular series, and are happy to share this month’s edition with you!   Once again, we’d like to give a special shout out to Al and Carol!  We know they check out this monthly series, and we so appreciate their generosity in giving us permission to share the collection with all of you!       This month we offer you three Christmas pieces:          ...
THE MEMORIAL (SILVER) CROSS

THE MEMORIAL (SILVER) CROSS

  The Memorial (Silver) Cross was first authorized on December 1, 1919.  It was meant as a reminder of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian servicemen who died while on active duty. The National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother is selected annually by the Legion, from the nominations submitted by Legion Provincial Commands as well as individuals.  The Silver Cross Mother chosen represents the mothers of Canada at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa.  At this ceremony, the Silver Cross Mother places a wreath at the base of the National War Memorial on behalf of all those mothers who have lost children in the military service of Canada.  Her tenure begins on November 1st and throughout the year, the Silver Cross Mother carries out other official duties as required.  This year, Mrs. Diana Abel has been named the National Silver Cross Mother....
THE VICTORIA CROSS

THE VICTORIA CROSS

THE VICTORIA CROSS   The Victoria Cross, founded by Queen Victoria was created in 1854.  The first recipient was in 1857 for bravery in the Crimea War against Russia. Since its inception, only 1358 Victoria Cross medals have been struck.  A single company of jewelers, Hancock of London, has been responsible for the production of every Victoria Cross.  Because of its rarity, the VC (Victoria Cross) is highly prized and the medal has fetched over 400,000 UK pounds at auction. Since 1987, the private collection of UK Lord Ashcroft amassed more than one-tenth of all VC medals issued.  He recently donated his entire collection to London’s Imperial War Museum.  It is reported that Lord Ashcroft paid 1.5 million for the VC of Captain Noel Chavasse, Medical Corps, a medical doctor.  He is only one of three people who were awarded the VC medal twice for bravery on the battlefield. Of the 1358 VC medals issued, only one has been awarded to a woman.  This was Elizabeth Webber Harris.  Her bravery astounded the entire regiment.  She remains the only woman to receive the Victoria Cross.  It was given to her for her work in India.  In 1869 a cholera epidemic broke out.  Hundreds died.  Elizabeth, a nurse, was credited with saving many of the British and Indian soldiers that she was assigned to, risking her own life with this very infectious disease.     A Canadian Story: Andrew Mynarski VC RCAF: Mynarski, born in Winnipeg, was 27 years old when he flew with 419 Squadron, based in England.  On the night of June 12th 1944 he was on a mission...
THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ OCTOBER

THE WICKENBY NEWSLETTER ~ OCTOBER

  This is another of our series: the Wickenby Register Newsletter.  The newsletters were printed twice yearly; they include information about 12 Squadron RAF, memories of service men and women, the occasional recipe, stories of times past… But perhaps the thing that spoke to both Mel and me when we saw them was the inclusion of a poem on the back of each issue.  We hope that you’ll enjoy these two:        ...
“NURSE VIOLET”

“NURSE VIOLET”

  In 1995, a woman donated a Queen Alexandra Nursing Sister’s uniform, medical equipment, medals, badges, autograph book, photographs, and a 1930s era obstetrical nursing book.  The donor didn’t have much information, explaining that they were given to her family when she was a child, by a woman guest in their Black Creek home.  the uniform and artifact had been used by the family’s children as costumes.  The donations are now incorporated into our WWI Nursing Sister display.       One of our former volunteers, Corrine, explains the process of updating the display and the discoveries made during that time ~ “The process of updating the display with a new state of the art “personnequin” with realistic features and posable hands, tweaked our curiosity about the items used to dress our nurse.  With the help of Allison Hetman, Mel Birnie, Brian O’Cain, and Robert Lesage, we did some detective work and came up with some basic facts that raise yet more questions.   Informally known as Nurse Violet, the original owner of the uniform and artifact was a woman named Jean McPherson, born in Orangeville, Ontario on July 5th, 1886.  Jean’s records contained no information on her parents, so it proved difficult to find any relatives.  Military documents indicated that she had her medical for the Canadian Medical Service on September 8th, 1916, and her unit at that time was listed as the Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Service (QAIMS).  She sailed from Montreal on the SS Scandinavian on October 12, 1916 but no destination was listed.  Entries in her diary suggest that she was in France in 1916,...

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