ANIMALS IN WAR ~ STORIES OF COURAGE: STARBUCK, BEACHCOMBER, AND SIMON

ANIMALS IN WAR ~ STORIES OF COURAGE: STARBUCK, BEACHCOMBER, AND SIMON

Animals have long helped people in times of war, conflict, and peace.  A stone arch in the Peace Tower honours these special workers and supporters; The work by artist, John. A. Pearson, represents the animals that served during the war: reindeer, pack mules, carrier pigeons, horses, dogs, canaries and mice. The inscription reads: THE TUNNELLERS’ FRIENDS, THE HUMBLE BEASTS THAT SERVED AND DIED.   Animals served in wars in a variety of roles such as transporting supplies, delivering messages, helping the wounded or just being a soldier’s companion.  In fact, thousands of animals contributed in times of war. Pigeons were used during the First and Second World Wars to deliver messages when radio or telephone communication wasn’t possible.  They flew for many kilometres and in all kinds of weather.  The sky was sometimes filled with gun fire.  Some of them didn’t complete their journeys and others were wounded.  It was dangerous but the birds were loyal and faithful. One such ‘feathered friend’ was Beachcomber, who served with the Canadian army win WWII as a carrier pigeon.  This was an important job as the soldiers in the field, sailors on their ships, and pilots in airplanes needed the ability to communicate and send messages about their progress, to request supplies, or to call for help.  The messages were written on small pieces of paper, put inside a small container and attached to one of Beachcomber’s legs.  (photo VAC)       In August, 1942, Beachcomber brought the first news of the landing at Dieppe, under hazardous conditions;  for this he was awarded the Dickin Medal on March 6, 1944.       Horses...

NOAH TREMBLAY ~ THE FORCE BEHIND A SPECIAL MONUMENT

    This is Noah Tremblay, shown in the photo during the dedication of a new memorial.  Noah was the driving force behind the creation of a special monument dedicated to the animals that helped people in times of war, conflict and peace. The idea began with the project he did for a school heritage fair.  Soon it became his mission to raise enough money to build a monument.  He collected donations, sold beeswax lip balm, and sold raffle tickets. Noah also designed the memorial that was erected in 2012; it’s made of granite and is dedicated “in memory of all animals and handlers who served in our military and police forces.”  The names of the animals and their handlers are also inscribed on it.  The Memorial to Forgotten Heroes is located in Veterans Memorial Park, Bass River, Nova Scotia. Noah’s work prompted me to share some of the stories of courageous animals who served during times of war.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading the next series of posts. Credit for all information to Veterans Affairs...

NOTICE TO MEMBERS ~ MUSEUM GARAGE SALE

Mark your calendars and get your spring cleaning started!  Our Museum will be hosting its annual Garage Sale on Saturday, June 3rd from 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.  Please keep all items at home till closer to the sale as we don’t have room to store it at the Museum.  Thanks to Bill for taking the lead on this once...
WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX?

WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX?

H. COLONEL CHARLEY FOX R.C.A.F. ~ ” THE FLYING FOX “ Born 16th February 1920 - Died 18th October 2008 WHO WAS CHARLEY FOX? Charley Fox was one of the foremost Canadian air aces of the Second World War, who in particular is credited with taking Germany’s most celebrated general, Erwin Rommel, out of the war.  It is highly likely that it was one of his attacks which badly injured the field marshal and ended his military career some weeks after D-Day.  But such was Fox’s reticence that he did not publicly disclose his involvement in the attack until many years later. Rommel was badly injured when his staff car crashed after Fox’s attack from his Spitfire.  Attacking vehicles on the ground was his specialty, and he and others did much damage to the Nazi war effort in a relatively short but intense combat career which earned him the DFC twice. Aircraft which he flew were themselves damaged 14 times from enemy ground fire during his 220 operational flights.  One of his citations gives us an idea of his effectiveness:  “This officer has led his section against a variety of targets, often in the face of intense anti aircraft fire.  He has personally destroyed a total of 153 vehicles including trains, troop carriers, oil and gasoline tankers, also many German aircraft on the ground.  From early on he showed a marked talent for inflicting accurate destruction with ground attack sorties.  He flew against the rocket sites which were launching V1 and V2 rockets at English cities, as well as carrying out photo-reconnaisance and escort duties.” He joined the RCAF...
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2004 ~ THE CALENDAR IDEA ~ IN SUPPORT OF AN AFGHAN WOMEN’S SHELTER

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2004 ~ THE CALENDAR IDEA ~ IN SUPPORT OF AN AFGHAN WOMEN’S SHELTER

This year, International Women’s Day is celebrated today, March 8th.  The theme this year?  Be Bold For Change! It’s very appropriate then, to share this story today.  Deb, one of our volunteers, served with the RCAF, and in 2004, was with the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.  I was recently chatting with her about the upcoming International Women’s Day, and she recalled a very special time, an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, one that culminated in what she refers to as “the defining moment of my tour”.  I am happy to share this with you, told in Deb’s words.   The Calendar Idea ~ “Three of us female Majors serving in Afghanistan under General Hillier, came up with an idea to mark International Women’s Day in Afghanistan.  It was only five days prior to the official event and we decided on producing a calendar featuring female personnel of NATO stationed in Kabul, with all proceeds from the sale of the calendar benefitting Afghan women in distress.  We received immediate approval from Gen. Hillier and pressed forward with our plans.  In Gen. Hillier’s words, ‘the role of women in Afghanistan, while extremely suppressed by the Taliban, is fundamental to the future prosperity of this country…this calendar project is one small way the military women of NATO HQ can assist Afghan women to move forward and take their rightful place in Afghanistan public and political life.’ While it took a bit of convincing to get the other Nations’ female military members to participate, once they realized what we were trying to do, they...
NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ~ CELEBRATING WOMEN IN AVIATION

NOW IN OUR LIBRARY ~ INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY ~ CELEBRATING WOMEN IN AVIATION

Wednesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, a wonderful opportunity to honour women in aviation!  We have a collection of books in our Museum’s Library that focus on women; I’d like to share some of them with you.   A History of Women in the Canadian Military ~ The author, Barbara Dundas, wrote this story of women in Canada’s armed forces.  Then Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, celebrated the book, “I am sure that anyone who is interested in the ever-evolving role of women will deeply appreciate this book that chronicles an important part of their full and equal inclusion in our society and our national institutions.” The author begins the story in 1885 during the North-West Rebellion, a time when Canadian women first answered the country’s call to military service.  Though the Minister of Militia and Defence was confident of success, he knew that there would be casualties.  And so he ordered a medical contingent to accompany the expedition.  From the beginning, the Medical Director-General for the operation recognized the need for women nurses.  In addition to their medical duties, the nurses who participated in the North-West campaign were expected to establish recreation areas, make bandages, and distribute blankets, clothing, and other supplies sent by various women’s groups and charities across the country.  Military operations were successfully concluded within a month; the services of the nurses were no longer required.  Five nurses, along with the rest of the medical staff, accompanied the wounded to Winnipeg where their patients received additional medical attention. Throughout the immediate post World War II period that nurses saw the most widespread service....

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