April 8, 2017
Canadian stamps issued to commemorate Vimy Ridge. They show the Vimy Memorial and preserved trenches nearby. The memorial was completed in 1936.
This post is one in my continuing series related to World War I or The Great War as it is also called. It has been 100 years since these events took place that still impact us today.
One hundred years ago on the morning of April 9, 1917 the Canadian Corps consisting of four divisions commenced the attack on a key high point in the Arras sector of the Western Front. This was Vimy Ridge a strategic point held by the Germans since the early days of the war. Numerous attempts had been made to capture it before without success now it was Canada’s turn.
Within the first two days it was captured and in the hands of the Allies thanks to the detailed planning and execution of the Canadian Corps. The cost was high, 10,600 casualties including 3,598 killed.
Canada’s victory gained us much respect and admiration from the world. There is no doubt in this writer’s mind it was a pivotal point in the history of our nation. We became more than just one of the colonies. We became proud to be Canadians.
Today we do not celebrate a victory so much as we remember the sacrifice of the men who gave their all serving Canada. We remember and mourn those who paid the ultimate price on the battlefield of Vimy. May we never forget these men.
My thoughts are with them today. I am proud to be Canadian.
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Posted by stamperdad
November 11, 2014
Uncle Ken with my grandmother. Although the youngest he was the tallest at well over 6 feet.
November 11, 2014 another Remembrance Day.
I always think of the young men and women who have given so that we can live in freedom and happiness today.
As a history buff and genealogist I’ve discovered so much to appreciate about these people, especially those who were my relatives.
World War I (The Great War)
Grandfather Bert Sendell
My grandfather on my mother’s side served in World War I. He was in the Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) from 1915 until 1919. He drove ammunition trucks loaded with shells and ammo for the troops from behind the lines to forward positions. Most times he was under shell fire from the enemy who were attempting to stop supplies from reaching the troops in the trenches. He told me one time that many of his friends were killed when the trucks were hit. Although he didn’t talk about the war much but occasionally he would. One of my heroes for sure.
World War II
My Father – Mike (Lloyd) Davis
My father with the RCAF in England.
Dad served in the RCAF. He was posted overseas to London, England for several years from 1944 until 1946. Dad told me he served in military intelligence. His group set up phoney airfields around England to fool the Germans. While in London he was subjected to the V-bombs that fell almost daily near the end of the war. He was a newly-wed when he shipped overseas.
My Mother – Helen Davis
Mom served in the RCAF in head office in Ottawa. It was while there she met my Dad and eventually they were married. Because she wasn’t allowed to fraternize with officers she had to resign to marry my father. Ironically after her resignation they hired her back in the exact same position as a civilian.
Uncle Glen Davis
Glen served in the RCAF mainly on the west coast of Canada keeping watch for enemy subs and such. He survived the war and lived a good and long life.
Uncle Ken Davis
My father’s youngest brother Ken served in the RCAF and trained in the British Commonwealth Air Training Program. The day before he was to get his wings as a pilot he was killed in a training accident along with his best friend. He was 20 years of age.
Cousin – Robert (Rob) Davis
Rob served in the Canadian Forces. He was on the frigate HMCS Calgary and based on the west coast of Canada.
Thank you all veterans for your service to my country Canada.
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Posted by stamperdad
January 2, 2014
The year 2014 marks 100 years since The Great War, better known as World War I began. The war to end all wars in fact spawned the even more destructive Second World War. This year will mark 75 years since its violent forces swept the world.
As a genealogist and historian I have long been fascinated by the cause and events of these two conflicts. Both these wars changed the world forever in many ways.
What caused this war of 1914? Europe at the time consisted of many ambitious countries who were allied through treaty with many other nations. All these nations had dreams of grandeur through expansion and imperialism. The British, French, Germans, Russians, Italians, and Ottoman empires were all competing economically and militarily. When the Archduke was assassinated one blamed the other. Foolish pride and inflexibility carried the day. Military forces were massed on borders, ultimatums were issued, and finally attacks took place. The domino effect resulted in a world war. Kings, dictators and politicians had their war into which young men were the fodder to fuel the fires.
My grandfather like most Canadians enlisted in the Canadian Army when war was declared in 1914. Young men rushed to serve King and country and to do their duty. To many it was a great adventure. When they discovered the terrible reality of modern warfare the adventure turned to survival. These young men did their duty and served valiantly, but at a horrible cost.
Has mankind learned its lesson? Much as I’d like to believe so it has not. Wars constantly rage throughout our world today. Fortunately none have escalated into a worldwide conflict, but we have had our near misses, Korea, The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War to name a few examples.
We must understand our history and learn from it, otherwise we are sure to repeat our mistakes. Nations like human beings are driven by foolish pride, nationalist goals, racism, jealousies and ambitions of domination.
The major difference in this world of the 21st century is that mankind possesses the means to make itself extinct, nuclear weapons and weaponized diseases being two major methods of mass destruction.
This centennial year should be a challenge to all of us to learn more about our human history and to open our eyes to the mistakes of the past.
More posts to follow on World War I.
Leave a Comment » | army, canada, current events, history, History & Science, military, nonfiction, remembrance day, The Great War, united states, usa, World War I | Tagged: canada, CASC, CEF, centennial, front, Great War, military, trenches, WW I | Permalink
Posted by stamperdad
February 20, 2012
Crude oil and subsequently gasoline and jet fuel are about to get much more expensive and hard to come by. The Middle East is heating up again. Iran has just shut off the taps to the UK and France for imposing sanctions. Iran is close to becoming a nuclear power. If that doesn’t scare you it sure should. Iranian leaders have publicly stated on several occasions that they intend to wipe the State of Israel off the map. Israel will be sure to make a preemptive military strike in an attempt to stop Iran. That will light the fires.
A nuclear exchange of any kind in the Middle East could contaminate the oil fields for thousands of years let alone kill millions. Unfortunately the government of Iran consists on Islamic extremists who could care less about consequences.
Almost all of the crude oil imported by the United States comes from the unstable Middle East. Any restriction of exports from that region will be catastophic to the American economy and will force them to take action to maintain oil flow. That action is sure as hell not going to be sanctions, but will surely be military intervention.
Unless the West can break its reliance on oil imports from unstable, unfriendly countries and soon war is imminent.
Leave a Comment » | A-Bomb, current events, Islam, united states, usa | Tagged: iran, middle east, military, oil, war | Permalink
Posted by stamperdad