Samstag, 19. September #Veteransmefloquinerally2020
Letztes Jahr hatte ich die Gelegenheit, an der dritten jährlichen Veteranen-Mefloquin-Rallye in Ottawa teilzunehmen, und hatte die Ehre, Marj Matchee vorzustellen, die treibende Kraft hinter der Rallye und langjähriger Mefloquin-Anwalt. Es war ein unvergesslicher Anlass für mich und ich hatte die Gelegenheit, viele Menschen zum ersten Mal persönlich zu treffen, und ich freute mich darauf, im nächsten Jahr wieder dabei zu sein.
Die Dinge haben sich seit letztem Jahr sehr verändert und infolgedessen konnte die Rallye nicht mehr in Ottawa abgehalten werden. Unbeeindruckt davon machte sich Marj daran, einen neuen Plan zusammenzustellen. In Edmonton wird es eine weitere Kundgebung geben, und sie wird dort sein, um für die kanadischen Veteranen und ihre Angehörigen zu kämpfen und sich für sie einzusetzen, deren Leben durch Mefloquin zerstört wurde.
Aber Edmonton wird nicht der einzige Ort sein, an dem eine Kundgebung stattfindet, da es auch eine in Kingston, Ontario, geben wird. Möglicherweise findet auch eine in Nova Scotia statt. Wo immer Sie sich in Kanada oder auf der ganzen Welt befinden, wenn Sie eine Erklärung zu Mefloquin abgeben möchten, ist dies eine großartige Gelegenheit, dies zu tun. Sie müssen keine Kundgebung abhalten, aber wenn Sie in der Lage sind, eine auf jeden Fall zu organisieren, tun Sie dies.
Wie immer ist der Zweck der Kundgebung, die kanadische Regierung aufzurufen:
Wiedereröffnung der Untersuchungskommission von Somalia.
Anerkennung derer, deren Leben durch den Befehl zur Einnahme von Mefloquin beschädigt wurde.
Bereitstellung von Finanzmitteln für die Erforschung eines Heilmittels und Bereitstellung medizinischer Ressourcen für betroffene Veteranen.
Für diejenigen, die außerhalb Kanadas leben, wäre dies eine großartige Gelegenheit, das Bewusstsein für Mefloquin in Ihren Ländern zu stärken und gleichzeitig Ihre eigenen Regierungen aufzufordern, auch in diesem Bereich Maßnahmen zu ergreifen. Tausende Veteranen in ganz Europa leiden wahrscheinlich, weil ihnen auch das Gleiche passiert ist. Die Advocacy-Bemühungen in Irland und Großbritannien geben den Veteranen dort eine Stimme, aber das Gleiche gilt nicht für Kontinentaleuropa, wo die Rate von PTBS und Selbstmord unter Veteranen im Laufe der Jahre in die Höhe geschossen ist.
Sie können immer noch Ihre Unterstützung zeigen und etwas bewirken, ohne eine Rallye abzuhalten. Wo immer Sie sich am 19. September auf der Welt befinden, machen Sie ein Foto von sich selbst mit einem Schild mit dem Hashtag # Veteransmefloquinerally2020 und dem Ort, an dem Sie sich befinden, und veröffentlichen Sie es auf der Facebook-Seite der Veteranen-Mefloquine-Rallye 2020, indem Sie auf den unten stehenden Link und klicken dann “Diskussion” auf der Seite selbst. Es muss auch kein großes Zeichen sein, selbst wenn Sie es mit einem Sharpie auf ein Stück Papier schreiben, reicht dies aus.
Nehmen Sie sich am Samstag, dem 19. September, wo immer Sie sich auf der Welt befinden, ein wenig Zeit, um Ihre Unterstützung für die Veteranen zu zeigen, die einen sehr hohen Preis für ihren Dienst bezahlt haben, und um die Regierungen wissen zu lassen, dass sie für ihre Dienste zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden Aktionen.
L’année dernière, j’ai eu l’occasion d’être à Ottawa pour le troisième rallye annuel de la méfloquine des vétérans et j’ai eu l’honneur de présenter Marj Matchee, la force motrice du rallye et défenseur de longue date de la méfloquine. Ce fut une occasion mémorable pour moi et j’ai eu la chance de rencontrer beaucoup de gens en personne pour la toute première fois, et j’avais hâte d’y assister à nouveau l’année suivante.
Les choses ont beaucoup changé depuis l’an dernier et, par conséquent, le rallye ne pouvait plus avoir lieu à Ottawa. Sans se laisser décourager par cela, Marj s’est mis à élaborer un nouveau plan. Il y aura un autre rassemblement, à Edmonton, et elle sera là pour se battre et défendre les anciens combattants canadiens et leurs proches dont la vie a été détruite à cause de la méfloquine.
Mais Edmonton ne sera pas le seul endroit à organiser un rallye, car il y en aura également un à Kingston, en Ontario. Il peut également y en avoir un en Nouvelle-Écosse. Où que vous soyez au Canada, ou dans le monde d’ailleurs, si vous voulez faire une déclaration au sujet de la méfloquine, ce serait une excellente occasion de le faire. Vous n’avez pas besoin d’organiser un rallye, mais si vous êtes en mesure d’en organiser un, faites-le.
Comme toujours, le but du rassemblement est d’appeler le gouvernement du Canada:
Rouvrir la Commission d’enquête sur la Somalie.
Reconnaître ceux dont la vie a été endommagée suite à l’ordre de prendre de la méfloquine.
Mettre à disposition des fonds pour la recherche sur un remède et mettre les ressources médicales à la disposition des anciens combattants qui ont été touchés.
Pour ceux qui vivent à l’extérieur du Canada, ce serait une excellente occasion d’accroître la sensibilisation à la méfloquine dans vos pays tout en appelant vos propres gouvernements à agir également sur cette question. Des milliers d’anciens combattants à travers l’Europe souffrent probablement parce que la même chose leur est arrivée. Les efforts de plaidoyer en Irlande et au Royaume-Uni donnent la parole aux anciens combattants là-bas, mais on ne peut pas en dire autant de l’Europe continentale où les taux de SSPT et de suicide chez les anciens combattants ont explosé au fil des ans.
Vous pouvez toujours montrer votre soutien et faire la différence sans organiser de rallye. Où que vous soyez dans le monde le 19 septembre, prenez une photo de vous tenant une pancarte avec le hashtag # Veteransmefloquinerally2020 ainsi que l’endroit où vous vous trouvez, et publiez-la sur la page Facebook du Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally 2020 en cliquant sur le lien ci-dessous et puis «Discussion» sur la page elle-même. Cela n’a pas besoin d’être un grand signe non plus, même l’écrire sur un morceau de papier avec un Sharpie fera l’affaire.
Le samedi 19 septembre, où que vous soyez dans le monde, prenez un peu de temps pour montrer votre soutien à ces vétérans qui ont payé un prix très élevé pour leur service, et pour faire savoir aux gouvernements qu’ils seront tenus responsables de leur Actions.
Zaterdag 19 september #Veteransmefloquinerally2020
Vorig jaar had ik de kans om in Ottawa te zijn voor de derde jaarlijkse mefloquine-rally door veteranen en had ik de eer Marj Matchee voor te stellen, de drijvende kracht achter de rally en al jarenlang voorvechter van mefloquine. Het was een gedenkwaardige gelegenheid voor mij en ik had de kans om voor het eerst veel mensen persoonlijk te ontmoeten, en ik keek er naar uit om het volgende jaar weer aanwezig te zijn.
Sinds vorig jaar is er veel veranderd en als gevolg daarvan kon de rally niet meer in Ottawa gehouden worden. Marj liet zich hierdoor niet afschrikken en begon een nieuw plan op te stellen. Er zal weer een bijeenkomst zijn, in Edmonton, en ze zal daar zijn om te vechten en op te komen voor die Canadese veteranen en hun geliefden wier leven is verwoest door mefloquine.
Maar Edmonton zal niet de enige plaats zijn die een bijeenkomst organiseert, want er zal er ook een zijn in Kingston, Ontario. Mogelijk vindt er ook een plaats in Nova Scotia. Waar je ook bent in Canada, of de wereld trouwens, als je een statement wilt maken over mefloquine, zou dit een geweldige kans zijn om dat te doen. Je hoeft geen bijeenkomst te houden, maar als je er een kunt organiseren, doe dat dan.
Zoals altijd is het doel van de bijeenkomst om de regering van Canada op te roepen:
Om de onderzoekscommissie van Somalië te heropenen.
Om diegenen te erkennen wier leven is beschadigd als gevolg van de opdracht om mefloquine te nemen.
Om financiering beschikbaar te stellen voor onderzoek naar genezing en om medische middelen beschikbaar te stellen aan getroffen veteranen.
Voor degenen die buiten Canada wonen, zou dit een geweldige kans zijn om het bewustzijn van mefloquine in uw landen te vergroten, terwijl u uw eigen regeringen oproept om ook in deze kwestie actie te ondernemen. Duizenden veteranen in heel Europa lijden waarschijnlijk omdat hetzelfde met hen is gebeurd. Advocacy-inspanningen in Ierland en het VK geven een stem aan veteranen daar, maar hetzelfde kan niet gezegd worden voor continentaal Europa, waar het aantal PTSS en zelfmoord onder veteranen in de loop der jaren omhooggeschoten is.
U kunt nog steeds uw steun betuigen en een verschil maken zonder een rally te houden. Waar ter wereld je ook bent op 19 september, maak een foto van jezelf met een bordje met de hashtag # Veteransmefloquinerally2020 samen met de locatie waar je bent, en plaats deze op de Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally 2020 Facebook-pagina door op de onderstaande link te klikken en dan “Discussie” op de pagina zelf. Het hoeft ook geen groot bord te zijn, zelfs als je het met een Sharpie op een vel papier schrijft, is het voldoende.
Neem op zaterdag 19 september, waar ter wereld u zich ook bevindt, de tijd om uw steun te betuigen aan die veteranen die een zeer hoge prijs hebben betaald voor hun diensten, en om regeringen te laten weten dat zij verantwoordelijk zullen worden gehouden voor hun acties.
Sidste år havde jeg muligheden for at være i Ottawa til den tredje årlige Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally og havde æren af at introducere Marj Matchee, drivkraften bag rally og lang tid mefloquine talsmand. Det var en mindeværdig lejlighed for mig, og jeg havde chancen for at møde en masse mennesker personligt for første gang, og jeg ser frem til at deltage igen året efter.
Tingene har ændret sig meget siden sidste år, og som et resultat kunne rally ikke længere afholdes i Ottawa. Uforfærdet over dette satte Marj sig i gang med at sammensætte en ny plan. Der vil blive afholdt endnu et møde i Edmonton, og hun vil være der for at kæmpe og tale for de canadiske veteraner og deres kære, hvis liv er blevet ødelagt på grund af mefloquin.
Men Edmonton vil ikke være det eneste sted, der afholder et stævne, da der også vil være et i Kingston, Ontario. Der kan også være en, der finder sted i Nova Scotia. Uanset hvor du er i Canada eller verden for den sags skyld, vil du være en god mulighed for at gøre det, hvis du vil afgive en erklæring om mefloquine. Du behøver ikke at afholde et rally, selvom hvis du er i stand til at organisere en på alle måder, gør det.
Som altid er formålet med rallyet at kræve Canadas regering:
At genåbne Somalia Undersøgelseskommission.
At anerkende dem, hvis liv er blevet beskadiget som et resultat af at de blev beordret til at tage mefloquine.
At stille finansiering til rådighed til forskning i en kur og for at stille medicinske ressourcer til rådighed for veteraner, der er blevet ramt.
For dem, der bor uden for Canada, ville dette være en god mulighed for at øge mefloquine-opmærksomheden i dine lande, samtidig med at du opfordrer dine egne regeringer til også at gribe ind i dette spørgsmål. Tusinder af veteraner i hele Europa lider sandsynligvis, fordi den samme ting skete dem også. Advokatbestræbelser i Irland og Det Forenede Kongerige giver stemmer til veteraner der, men det samme kan ikke siges for det kontinentale Europa, hvor antallet af PTSD og selvmord blandt veteraner har skyrocket i årenes løb.
Du kan stadig vise din støtte og gøre en forskel uden at afholde et rally. Uanset hvor du er i verden den 19. september, skal du tage et billede af dig selv, der holder et skilt med hashtagget # Veteransmefloquinerally2020 sammen med den placering, du befinder dig på, og sende det på veteranens Mefloquine Rally 2020 Facebook-side ved at klikke på linket herunder og derefter “Diskussion” på selve siden. Det behøver heller ikke at være et stort tegn, selv det at skrive det på et stykke papir med en Sharpie gør det.
Lørdag den 19. september, uanset hvor i verden du måtte være, skal du tage lidt tid til at vise din støtte til de veteraner, der betalte en meget stejl pris for deres service, og at lade regeringerne vide, at de vil blive holdt ansvarlige for deres handlinger.
Prošle godine imao sam priliku biti u Ottawi na trećem godišnjem veteranskom mitingu meflokvina i imao sam čast predstaviti Marja Matcheea, pokretačku snagu skupa i dugogodišnjeg zagovornika meflokvina. Bila mi je to prilika za pamćenje i imao sam priliku prvi put osobno upoznati mnogo ljudi i radovao sam se ponovnom sudjelovanju sljedeće godine.
Stvari su se od prošle godine puno promijenile i kao rezultat toga miting se više nije mogao održavati u Ottawi. Nespreman zbog toga, Marj je krenuo u sastavljanje novog plana. Bit će još jedan skup, u Edmontonu, i ona će biti tamo da se bori i zagovara one kanadske veterane i njihove najmilije čiji su životi uništeni zbog meflokina.
Ali Edmonton neće biti jedino mjesto koje će održati miting, jer će ga također biti u Kingstonu, također u Ontariju. Može se dogoditi i u Novoj Škotskoj. Gdje god se nalazili u Kanadi ili svijetu, ako želite dati izjavu o meflokinu, ovo bi bila izvrsna prilika za to. Ne morate održavati skup, iako ako ste u mogućnosti organizirati ga na bilo koji način.
Kao i uvijek, svrha skupa je poziv vladi Kanade:
Da biste ponovo otvorili istražnu komisiju u Somaliji.
Priznati one čiji su životi oštećeni uslijed naređenja da uzmu meflokin.
Da se stave na raspolaganje sredstva za istraživanje lijeka i kako bi se stavili na raspolaganje medicinski resursi pogođenim braniteljima.
Za one koji žive izvan Kanade ovo bi bila odlična prilika za povećanje svijesti o meflokinima u vašim zemljama, a istovremeno ćete pozvati svoje vlade da poduzmu akciju i po ovom pitanju. Tisuće veterana širom Europe vjerojatno pate jer im se dogodilo i ista stvar. Napori za zagovaranje u Irskoj i Velikoj Britaniji daju glas tamošnjim braniteljima, ali isto se ne može reći za kontinentalnu Europu gdje su stope PTSP-a i samoubojstava među braniteljima tijekom godina naglo narasle.
I dalje možete pokazati svoju podršku i napraviti promjene bez održavanja skupa. Gdje god da se nalazite u svijetu 19. rujna, fotografirajte sebe kako držite znak s hashtagom # Veteransmefloquinerals2020 zajedno s lokacijom na kojoj se nalazite, i objavite je na Facebook stranici Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally 2020 klikom na donju vezu i zatim „Rasprava“ na samoj stranici. Ni to ne mora biti veliki znak, čak će to i ispisati na papir s Sharpieem.
U subotu, 19. rujna, ma gdje bili u svijetu, odvojite malo vremena da pokažete svoju podršku onim veteranima koji su za njihovu uslugu platili vrlo strmu cijenu, a vladama dajte do znanja da će biti odgovorni za svoje radnje.
Saturday, September 19th #Veteransmefloquinerally2020
Last year I had the opportunity to be in Ottawa for the third annual Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally and had the honour of introducing Marj Matchee, the driving force behind the rally and long time mefloquine advocate. It was a memorable occasion for me and I had the chance to meet a lot of people in person for the very first time, and I was looking forward to attending again the following year.
Things have changed a lot since last year and as a result the rally could no longer be held in Ottawa. Undeterred by this, Marj set about putting together a new plan. There will be another rally, in Edmonton, and she will be there to fight and speak up for those Canadian veterans and their loved ones whose lives have been destroyed because of mefloquine.
But Edmonton won’t be the only place that is having a rally as there is also going to be one in Kingston, Ontario too. There may also be one taking place in Nova Scotia as well. Wherever you are in Canada, or the world for that matter, if you want to make a statement about mefloquine this would be a great opportunity to do so. You don’t have to hold a rally, though if you are able to organize one by all means do.
As always the purpose for the rally is to call for the Government of Canada:
To reopen the Somalia Commission of Inquiry.
To acknowledge those whose lives have been damaged as a result of being ordered to take mefloquine.
To make funding available for research into a cure and in order to make medical resources available to veterans who have been affected.
For those who live outside of Canada this would be a great opportunity to increase mefloquine awareness in your countries while calling on your own governments to take action on this issue as well. Thousands of veterans across Europe are likely suffering because the very same thing happened to them too. Advocacy efforts in Ireland and the UK are giving voice to veterans there, but the same cannot be said for continental Europe where rates of PTSD and suicide among veterans has skyrocketed over the years.
You can still show your support and make a difference without holding a rally. Wherever you are in the world on September 19th, take a picture of yourself holding a sign with the hashtag #Veteransmefloquinerally2020 along with the location that you are at, and post it on the Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally 2020 Facebook page by clicking on the link below and then “Discussion” on the page itself. It doesn’t have to be a big sign either, even writing it out on a piece of paper with a Sharpie will do.
On Saturday, September 19th, wherever in the world you may be, take a little bit of time to show your support for those veteran’s who paid a very steep price for their service, and to let governments know that they will be held accountable for their actions.
The decisive final one hundred days of World War I and the important role played by Canadian Corps.
26/27 August – The Battle of the Scarpe begins.
Arthur Currie’s plan for the beginning of the battle was to rain down massive amounts of artillery on the well dug in enemy in order to soften them up for the attack. At 3am, as a light rain came down, it began and caught the Germans completely by surprise. Two Canadian divisions and one British division were able to advance forward over 5km and by the end of the day the villages of Monchy, Guemappe, and Wancourt were in Allied hands.
The weather would play a factor on the 27th as heavy rains slowed down the advance and made for difficult conditions under which to engage the enemy, and thus would advance little more than 3km on that day.
Mechanized infantry was still in its infancy and mounted cavalry units were used regularly on the battlefield, but so were bicycles. In fact there were battalions of soldiers on bicycles and their use would continue in the Second World War.
Victoria Cross awarded to Lt. Charles S. Rutherford – Captured over 70 prisoners and neutralized enemy machine guns, without firing a shot.
Lt. Charles Rutherford of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 26 August in Monchy-le-Preux while leading an assault party. Scouting ahead of his troops by some distance he saw some Germans standing near a pillbox. They motioned to each other, with Rutherford approaching the Germans, revolver in hand. He was able to convince them that they were surrounded, leading to the surrender of 45 men including 2 officers. He was then able to convince one of the German officers to order a nearby machine gun to cease fire, allowing his own men to advance towards him.
Rutherford then moved on to another pillbox, assaulting it with a Lewis gun section and convinced a further 35 Germans to surrender as well as capturing a machine gun.
The 2nd Battle of Arras – Library & Archives Canada
The decisive final one hundred days of World War I and the important role played by Canadian Corps.
12-25 August – Holding off attacks and drawing up battle plans.
Special thanks to University of Calgary history professor Dr. David Bercuson.
While performing dangerous clean up operations after the battle, contact with enemy troops resulted in another two Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians for actions on August 12th and 13th.
Pte. Thomas Dinesen, 42nd Battalion, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
Sgt. Robert Spall, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, 3rd Canadian Division
By the 20th of August the Canadians had advanced more than 22km capturing more than 9,000 enemy prisoners, as well as a large number of weapons along the way. There are some 11,800 casualties up to this point from the 8th of August.
On August 22nd Lt.Gen. Sir Arthur Currie outlines his plans for an attack to the east in Arras. It is to be known as the Battle of the Scarpe and is set to begin four days later on the 26th.
Arthur Currie – From boyhood to the beginning of the war.
Arthur William Curry wasn’t born into the officer class or aristocracy of the late 19th century. He was born on his grandfather’s humble homestead farm on the 5th of December, 1875. It was a strict Methodist household he grew up in, the third of eight children, but revealed his sense of humor and an infectious laugh at school. He proved to be a good student and had convincing oratory skills which had many believing he should pursue a career in law or perhaps medicine.
His family were of modest means however and after father died in 1891 he would attend teachers college in Strathroy earning a third-class teacher’s certificate. Finding little luck finding work he went back to school in an effort to get an honours certificate so that he could gain entrance to university. He would leave the school before graduating amid rumors of a dispute with one of his instructors and in May of 1894 he made his way west in the hopes that fortune awaited him on the coast of British Columbia. The building of the transcontinental railway had resulted in a construction boom and Curry had hopes of cashing in.
It wasn’t long before he realized that the opportunities he had been dreaming of were not to be found and so he would have to rely on teaching to earn a living. After receiving his British Columbia certification he landed a job teaching on Vancouver Island and it was there in May of 1897 that he joined the Canadian Militia. He started at the lowest rank, gunner, in the 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment.
It was also in 1897 the he would change the spelling of his name to Currie, the rumor being that he didn’t like being the object of jokes about spicy Indian food. He continued to teach and work part-time in the militia but he was becoming increasing dissatisfied with his prospects as a teacher, and in 1899 stomach issues left him briefly hospitalized. After this he decided to abandon teaching and try his luck as an insurance salesman in Victoria.
In 1900 Currie was promoted to corporal and had so impressed his superiors that he was being offered a commission. This would certainly be a great move for him as it would begin to open doors for him within society circles, however there would be costs involved. Among other things officers were expected to provide their own tailored uniforms, not to mention the fact that he was engaged to be married. These things would provide the impetus for Currie to succeed in the insurance business and he did in fact succeed, taking over the insurance business he worked at in 1904.
He worked hard at both pursuits, becoming established within the local business community and making a name for himself, while taking whatever courses were available to him in the militia and would read whatever he could in an effort to advance his military career. By 1909 Currie had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was now in charge of the regiment he had joined only a dozen years before as a gunner.
His business prospects were starting to take off as well. In 1908 he partnered with another local businessman, R.A. Power, to form a venture they called Currie & Power. Seeking to take advantage of a real estate boom Currie invested heavily speculating on the market, with the business initially proving to be a success. But in 1912 the real estate market began to soften and Currie soon found himself in deep financial trouble. In 1913 the market collapsed and Currie was facing the prospect of having to retire from the militia due to his age.
It was around this time that he was offered the command of a newly formed regiment, the 50th Regiment (Gordon Highlanders of Canada). In addition to having to plan and organize its formation Currie would have to foot the bill for the regiment’s uniforms along with other expenses. Ultimately the government would allocate funds for new uniforms in the amount of $10,833.34, however Currie was still in a state of financial crisis. He was facing the prospect of having to declare personal bankruptcy, a move which would see his militia career end in disgrace and leaving his social status in ruins. Currie would spend the money but not to buy the uniforms. Instead he diverted the proceeds into his own account and used the funds to pay off his own personal debts.
At the time he did this, Currie had been under the impression that the regiment was going to be underwritten by the Gordon Highlander’s honourary colonel, William Coy, to the tune of $35,000. Currie had anticipated that he would be able to cover the funds he had embezzled using these proceeds. Unfortunately for Currie, Coy didn’t honour his committment and it was likely only a matter of time before his creative accounting scheme was uncovered.
The man serving as Currie’s third in command of the “Gay Gordon’s” as they were called was Garnet Hughes, who also happened to be the son of the Minister of the Militia in the Borden government, Sam Hughes. Having seen the younger Hughes in action Currie concluded that although he was a good and capable cadet Garnet Hughes was incompetent not fit for military command.
Meanwhile, when war broke out the senior Hughes began handing out plum command positions within the 1st Division and he would offer Currie, his son’s CO, command of the 2nd Brigade. Although he considered it, Currie decided that it would be best to remain in Victoria in order to address his dire financial situation. But he would later change his mind after he was approached by Garnet Hughes, who convinced him to accept the position. Currie was promoted to Brigadier General in late September of 1914 and soon after left for England with the rest of the 1st Division.
Around the time that Currie was arriving in England, the details of his embezzlement scheme had become known to Prime Minister Robert Borden. Rather than recalling the Brigadier back to Canada, Borden instead chose to do nothing.
This struck me as odd, since Currie was an unknown at that time and had no battlefield experience which might influence Borden’s decision. I talked with University of Calgary history professor Dr. David Bercuson, an expert in Canadian military history, to see if perhaps he could shed some light on this. Despite looking through Borden’s diaries and papers extensively he could find no mention about this. He did offer me his theory about though and he believes that it was because Borden trusted Sam Hughes to do the right thing. He may have thought that Hughes had known about the embezzlement and promoted him anyway. It’s speculation and we will never really know but this explanation is the most plausible.
Awe inspiring memorial the reason behind “Exercise Freedom Together”.
As we near the last bit of the dog days of summer, Remembrance Day is probably one of the farthest things on most of our minds. Yet, for some it is very much at the forefront. For them it is the culmination of a commemoration of remembrance that starts at the beginning of November and runs until the 11th. They are the many men and women involved in the Field Of Crosses Memorial Project in Calgary.
Every November since 2009 over 3,500 white crosses have been popping up on a clearing along Memorial Drive here in Calgary, the thoroughfare named in honor of those from Southern Alberta who perished in the Great War of 1914 to 1918, better known as World War One. After the war a plan was made to have a living memorial to those fallen, and between 1922 and 1928 3,278 trees were planted along Memorial Drive. The majority of them were poplar trees which are now at or near the end of their natural life cycles and will be replaced by a number of different tree species.
The crosses stand on a two hectare parcel of land on the north side of Memorial Drive not far from the Centre Street bridge. Some 3,500 stark white crosses, each representing a military service member from Southern Alberta who gave their life in service to their country. These were men and women from Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, and numerous other communities who answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Navy, army and air force personnel from the Great War to Afghanistan including our fallen peacekeepers are memorialized here.
Sunrise and sunset ceremonies
Beginning on the first day of November and going everyday until the 11th solemn ceremonies are held at sunrise and sunset according to tradition, with a flag raising ceremony at dawn and a flag lowering cermony at sundown. For schoolchildren the sunrise ceremony is an excellent way for them to learn about the history of this country and the significance of Remembrance Day. Many field trips have taken place here since the memorial began.
A sunset ceremony is particularly poignant as the field is illuminated with nearly 3,500 candles, one placed in front of each cross and lit by a group volunteers. It is one of those scenes that can leave a person awestruck. Not only is it something to behold it also serves to remind us that there is a life that has been lost for each candle, a life with a story of their own, a life cut tragically short.
It was Calgary businessman and philanthropist Murray McCann who had the vision for the memorial. His inspiration came while driving through the southern US state of Georgia where he encountered a roadside memorial of crosses in the small town of Menlo. Residents of the town had put them up to honour those from their midst who had died in service to their country. When he returned home he told his friend, Calgary Poppy Fund president and navy veteran George Bittman, about his plan to put up a memorial to southern Alberta’s fallen. Together they were able to put up the first memorial in 2009. George Bittman was tragically killed in an accident in 2012 but McCann vowed to carry on in George’s spirit.
The philanthropist wanted to make sure that this memorial would outlive him in perpetuity, and in 2019 the Field Of Crosses Memorial Foundation was granted status as a registered charity.
This year the foundation has launched its fundraiser which it has called Exercise Freedom Together. It’s an invitation for Canadians to celebrate the freedoms for which our fallen military service members have made the ultimate sacrifice, while enjoying some exercise in the company of others. It is a challenge to walk, run, or bike 3k and post a photo of you or your squad, with your hand on your heart if possible, to Facebook and/or Instagram (or other social media) using the hashtags @Exercisefreedomtogether or #Exercisefreedomtogether. Individual participants are asked for a donation of $5 and “squads” (groups of up to 5) donate $25.
More importantly however they are asking that you challenge others to do it as well. The goal is to raise $150,000, so the more people that hear about Exercise Freedom Together the better. Form a squad with your friends or your coworkers and challenge others to get out and walk, run, or bike 3k for the Field Of Crosses Memorial Foundation.
100 days from 8 August 2020 – 11 November 2020
The campaign is running for one hundred days beginning on August 8th and ending on November 11th, 2020. This is to comemmorate the period of World War I known as The Last Hundred Days, which was the last 100 days of the conflict. During that time the Allies made huge advances against the Germans, winning a number of important battles, and the Canadian Corps played a significant role in it led by Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie who is considered to be one of the best field commanders not only in the Canadian army, but of all time.
The cost of these victories was enormous on all sides with tens of thousands of soldiers killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Canadian Corps suffered over 45,000 casualties during the last hundred days. To put this into perspective Canadian troops first saw action in April of 1915 meaning that they would begin to see casualties at this point. Of the total number of Canadian casualties at the end of the war one fifth, or 20%, occurred in the last one hundred days.
Across the country
From its inception in 2009 the Field Of Crosses Memorial has been unique to Calgary, but the Foundation would like to see it spread to other communities accross the country. It is an incredibly poignant way to honour those who have fallen, particularly in communities that do not already have permanent memorials.
So what would it take? To start with, an individual or group who would be willing to dedicate the time and effort that it would take to do it and a list of the fallen from your community. For more information you can contact Major (retired) Kent Griffiths from the Field Of Crosses Memorial Foundation.
The final one hundred days of World War One was marked by a series of important Allied victories, and Canadian Corps would be leading the way.
The Battle of Amiens 8 August 1918 – 11 August 1918
The 8th of August marked an important day in Canadian history. August 8th, 1918 was the beginning of the final one hundred days of World War One, a period which is highlighted by a number of key allied victories against the Germans. Canadian troops would go on to play a pivotal role at this time, and it would also be when they would become feared by the enemy for their savagery. It is often said that Canada became a country after the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 1918, and if this is the case then the last 100 days are when we started to form an identity. The effort would prove costly however as Canada would suffer over 45,000 casualties, an incredible 20 percent of the overall total, during those final bloody days of the “War to end all wars”.
Those final days also saw many acts of incredible bravery and heroism by soldiers of the Canadian corps. Out of the 64 Victoria Crosses that were awarded to Canadians during the first world war almost half of them (30) were awarded during those last one hundred days.
The attrition of trench warfare
Prior to World War I, wars were essentially fought the same way. Two armies would meet on the battlefield and would fight in full on frontal clashes much in the way it had been done in the Roman era. There was artillery of one form or another as well as mounted cavalry elements, but for many hundreds of years throughout history battles essentially all looked alike. Masses of troops converging together to fight it out until there was a winner and a loser, inevitably resulting in the loss of an incredibly large number of men on both sides. There was something of a chivalric code of honor that ruled warfare and this continued on into the Great War.
The net result would be millions of men dead in a war that had seen neither side make any significant gains. It was the conflict that ushered in the modern era of weaponry as the machine gun, the tank, poison gas, and high explosive artillery, were introduced to the field of battle. Yet for all of this the tactics that were employed were anything but modern, and would result in carnage on a monumental scale.
The Canadian Corps
When Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1914 it automatically meant that Canada was too, since Canada was then a Dominion of Great Britain. Canadian troops were part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and were placed within British units under the command of British officers. At the outset of hostilities the British were confident that the war would be short even going so far as to say that it would all be over by Christmas. But as the war continued on past 1915 it was becoming more apparent that there would be no easy victory any time soon.
By this time political pressure was beginning to mount in Ottawa to have more autonomy from Great Britain, especially as far as the Canadian Corps was concerned. When it was formed in 1915 it was commanded by Gen. Sir Edwin Alderson then taken over in 1916 by Gen. Sir Julian Byng, who would later go on to become the Governor General of Canada. The pressure was its highest following the Battle of the Somme, which lasted from July 1st until mid-November and saw thousands of Canadians killed, wounded, or missing in action.
Canada was beginning to assert itself as a nation within the British Empire, and if it’s sons were going to be sent off into harms way, then it should have more of a say about it. As a result, in 1917 the Canadian Corps was placed under the command of Gen. Arthur Currie and the rest as they say is military history.
General Sir Arthur Currie
Arthur William Currie was born on December 5th, 1875 on a farm near Napperton, Ontario. His career began as a part-time citizen soldier in the militia in 1897 as a gunner while also working jobs as a teacher and later sold insurance as well as being a speculator in real estate. In 1900 he received his commission and began to rise quickly through the ranks, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1909. In September of 1914, a month after war was declared, Currie was made a Brigadier General and placed in command of the 2nd Canadian Brigade.
By the end of the war he would be the commander of the Canadian Corps and knighted by King George V. As I write about the hundred days I will also be telling the story of the man considered to be one of the best field commanders of World War I and perhaps in history.
The Battle of Amiens
Early in the morning of August 8th the Allies began their attack behind a creeping barrage of artillery. By the end of the day French and Australian troops spearheaded by the Canadian Corps had made the greatest advance of the entire war to that point, moving 13 kilometers across a 20 km line and catching the Germans completely by surprise. More than 5,000 were taken prisoner and they would 161 guns. General Erich von Ludendorff called it “the black day for the German army in the history of thgis war”, and it would deal a demoralizing blow to German troops.
The plan called for the Germans to be deceived into thinking that the Canadians were someplace that they weren’t in order to catch them by surprise. Detatchments from two infantry battalions, a wireless unit and a casualty clearing station, were sent to the front near Ypres while making an effort to ensure that the Germans saw them as they did so. They would then surreptitiously return to their units which were being sent to Amiens secretly.
Four Canadians would distinguish themselves that day and be awarded the Victoria Cross.
Cpl. Harry Garnet Bedford Miner, 58th Battalion, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
Pte. John Bernard Croak, 13th Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
Cpl. Herman James Good, 13th Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
Lt. James Edward Tait, 78th Battalion, 4th Canadian Infantry Division
9 August, Day 2 Battle of Amiens
Another hard fought day as the Corps advance another 6.5 km and suffer over 2,500 casualties. Four more Canadians earn the Victoria Cross.
Lt. Jean Brillant, M.C., 22nd Battalion, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
Sgt. Raphael Louis Zengel, M.M., 5th Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
Cpl. Frederick George Coppins, 8th Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
LCpl Alexander Brereton, 8th Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division
10-11 August, End Battle of Amiens
The battle officially ends on August 11th after three German counterattacks are held off.