Monday, December 14, 2015

LeBreton Gallery

LeBreton Gallery is a large exhibit space in the War Museum holding a multitude of vehicles and equipment from many nations. One of the first things that one sees is a pair of massive plaques, with the names of many people on them. These plaques were taken from the Eaton department store in downtown Toronto after the current generation of the family drove their forefather's chain of stores into oblivion (hi, Eatons! Yes, dear old Timothy Eaton would be ashamed of the lot of you). Anyway, these plaques were marked with the names of company employees who served and died overseas in the two World Wars. I would assume it's company wide, and not merely the one store. They're remarkable plaques though.

This is a G-Wagen, an armoured transport in current use by the Canadian military. It looks in its current shape for a very good reason. In 2005 in Afghanistan, an IED detonated near this vehicle, injuring the three servicemen and one embedded journalist inside, but the armour of the vehicle saved their lives. The front end of the vehicle took the worst of it.

A different kind of vehicle would be this midget submarine, a one man naval vessel built by the Germans during the Second World War, marked as the Molch or Salamander class. There were, according to the stats on the display, four hundred of these out there, but they were never a serious threat.

Some more of the many vehicles in the Gallery here. The Voodoo fighter jet would have to be one of those items that was installed before construction of the Museum was complete.


  1. The plaque in your first photo reminds me of some old mailboxes in apartment buildings when I was a little girl for some unknown reason. :)

  2. Don't tell anyone but I'm a bit of a sucker for museums like this ;-)

  3. Vehicles, especially the "wounded" ones, remind us of the reality of war.

  4. oh, i wish i could see her shield (looks like there are many designs there.) closer... a magic lamp too. i think that is what that is. very cool! ( :

  5. i'm glad they were able to walk away from that hit

  6. wow, the store employees plaque is different! glad it was preserved.

  7. That museum has a remarkable collection of of the elements of war.

  8. You obviously love museums and you have a background in history. You should be working in a museum!

  9. The comparison of world war II tanks and tanks nowadays is like two completely different vehicles. You wouldn't want to be shot a in the WW II tank.

  10. Fantastic collection in the museum William. Must admit the one man submarine freaked me out, can't even imagine being deep underwater in such a close fitting vehicle !

  11. @Linda: I can see that.

    @Chrissy: I'm fascinated by them.

    @Janis: it does make for a sensible addition to the museum.

    @Beth: the next time I'm in the museum, I'll have to photograph some of the detail on these plaques. I found they seem to absorb light.

    @Tanya: relatively- they did get hurt, but it could have been far worse.

    @Tex: it's a good addition to the museum. When the chain went under, who knows what might have become of them otherwise?

    @Sharon: I've been pleased by this museum ever since it opened. The old museum, which I've never featured in this blog, but is still there, was quite cramped.

    @Norma: thank you!

    @Red: oh, definitely not

    @Grace: it's peculiar- I tend to associate military submarines as big, but this thing is barely bigger than a conventional torpedo.

  12. I could spend days in this museum...

  13. Lots of different items to see there!

  14. As VP said, I could spend days in this place.

  15. Well, I'm glad someone thought to rescue those plaques!

  16. @VP: I know the feeling.

    @Marleen: a lot, yes.

    @Denise: that appears to be a consensus.

    @Ciel: too many.

    @EG: it was a good idea.

  17. The plaques. That someone cared enough to have a memorial so beautiful made for those whose lives were lost, is what impresses me. I hope they survive through time...and others care as much.

  18. Oh, that we could beat our swords into plowshares!

  19. You did well to get the shots of those plaques.

    Really do like your new header. It has the 'Wow' factor.

  20. Quite a collection. It is hard to believe that a store would be so patriotic today and spend money honoring their employees.

  21. William, I love, love, love your Winter header!!! Thank you for putting it up! :) :)

  22. There's too much to see...both in terms of volume of things to look at and in terms of war and what it all means...

  23. @Mona: plaques and cenotaphs have the same affect on me.

    @Revrunner: if only.

    @Lauren: I thought of switching out the headers earlier.

    @RedPat: I assumed someone in the Toronto area might have remembered them.

    @Mari: the chain as it was in its final years wouldn't have done that.

    @Linda: you're welcome!

    @Kay: that is true.

    @Linda: I quite agree.

    @Jan: it was good that the museum preserved them.