Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Warriors

The Valiants encircle the staircase leading down from Plaza Bridge. The top of the War Memorial can be glimpsed in the background; the site has been undergoing some work in recent months, but will soon be reopened to the public. Here I wanted a wider shot.


This rather large statue commemorates General  Sir Arthur Currie, who planned the attack on Vimy Ridge and led Canadian forces through much of the First World War.


Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski was an air gunner on a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War. The plane had been hit in action, and was on fire; he was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his attempts to save a trapped comrade (who survived the crash).

And this last member of The Valiants is Lieutenant Hampton Gray, a pilot who served all over during the Second World War, from Africa and Norway to the Pacific theatre. He won the Victoria Cross posthumously for his successful attack on and sinking of a Japanese destroyer on August 9th, 1945, in Japanese waters. He was thus one of the final Canadian casualties of the war, and has the unique distinction of being the only foreign military serviceman to have a memorial on Japanese soil, near the site of that engagement at Onagawa Bay.



31 comments:

  1. It is really interesting to look at all these important shapers of Canadian history.

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  2. Hat off to them. What would our world be now had they not been valiant?

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  3. Wonderful sculptures you have shared over the last few days. Such tributes to these brave men and women are brilliant to see and educational too.

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  4. A great way to remember the heros of the wars though I feel Sir Arthur Currie has no place amongst them being he was one of the cowards who sent thousands of men needlessly to their deaths because of outdated Ideas in warfare. He should have been leading them then he could have earned his place amongst them

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  5. Enjoying your series on the Valiants. I think Canada does memorials extraordinarily well! You should put Vimy Ridge on your list of places to visit - it is stunning and humbling. Don't altogether accept the 'lions led by donkeys' view - too easy to say and ignores some realities.

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  6. A great tribute to brave men we still need now in the restless world.

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  7. Wonderful tribute here, William.

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  8. Saddens me to think of so many lives lost and under such harrowing circumstances.

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  9. It's wonderful that these true heroes have been recognized in this manner. I get a little frustrated with the tendency today to treat everyone in uniform as a hero. That's not even close.

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  10. @thank you.

    @Ciel: a much darker one, to be sure.

    @Lauren: it's been a pleasure showing them.

    @Bill: in fairness, Currie didn't think or operate along the same lines as European commanders. The Canadian servicemen didn't fight like Europeans either, which made them a feared enemy by Germans in that war.

    @Mike: Vimy Ridge is definitely on my list of places to see.

    @Bieb: we certainly do need people like these.

    @Linda: thank you.

    @Revrunner: and on such a catastrophic scale.

    @Lowell: it's a label used too often.

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  11. A lot of history here, and a great tribute to these brave men.

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  12. Thank you for all these. The work is great.

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  13. The faces on those last two statues look almost exactly the same.

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  14. thanks for sharing these patriots!

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  15. A real open air museum: I am impressed!

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  16. I'm glad you included the wide shot to get an idea of the area where the sculptures are.

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  17. @Karl: in this case, it's been a very fitting monument. And with the War Memorial closed off for another week or two, it's been a nice place to come and reflect.

    @Luis: thank you kindly!

    @Sharon: I noticed that. Gray's face seems a bit leaner.

    @Tex: you're most welcome!

    @VP: thank you!

    @Judy: I definitely wanted one wide shot in the mix.

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  18. Great series of sculptures on the last four posts.

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  19. Why no arms. I mean I get that it's a bust but why don't busts have arms. Just once I'd like to see one of these buggers in a wave-motion, as if to say "Howdy".

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  20. So nice that Canada takes its history seriously!

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  21. Canada honors its heroes. I wish we held ours in such high regard.

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  22. They really seem to ask you to stand still and pay some attention..

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  23. You are giving them their due recognition!

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  24. @Jose: thank you.

    @Whisk: I was always puzzled by that as a child.

    @Cheryl: well some of us do. Others, not so much.

    @Norma: there are days we don't. Particularly if they're not so heroic in the eyes of the current despot in the Prime Minister's office.

    @Marleen: they do have that effect.

    @Greensboro: they're quite patient photo subjects, after all!

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  25. So many brave men (and women) and still the wars continue.

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  26. It would be very nice to walk around these brave warriors. Thank you for sharing them William.

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  27. i love the details - how you can see the uniforms & such ... super awesome!! ( :

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  28. A fine series of sculptures William.. must be quite a sight to see in it's entirety.

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  29. It is fitting to see these now that we are having the 100th anniversary of all that carnage.

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  30. It's good to honor warriors. I just wish there were other ways besides war. And the older I get the more I despair of our ever finding those ways.

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