Friday, November 30, 2018

A Farewell To The War Museum

The collection in Lebreton Gallery contains a mix of items from each branch of the military, and across national lines. In the case of the first shot, these are navy mines.

This is the deck gun taken from a World War One era U-Boat. Submarines of the era used these in addition to their torpedo armaments, as torpedoes were in relatively short supply on board.

Earlier on in the series I showed you balcony views of the Gallery. Here we have a view from below the CF-101F Voodoo fighter jet that dominates the space. In use from 1961 for over twenty years, the jet was a high speed long range interceptor to identify and if required attack aircraft entering North American space.

For the above shot, I was standing by this vehicle, which was open at the back to allow for a look at the cramped interior. The BRM-1K is a Soviet armoured reconnaissance vehicle built to transport people, sensors, and communications gear. It was designed to shield its six occupants from nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. This particular one was being used in East Germany in the latter half of the 1980s.

Here we have a wider view of the Gallery and the mix of tanks and other vehicles.

This collective set happens to be another of my favourite artifacts in the Museum. Kurt is the name of this automated weather station, containing a set of instruments developed by the German navy during the Second World War and placed in various spots around the North Atlantic to give reports of weather forecasts. A U-Boat placed Kurt in the far north stretches of Labrador and it began transmitting weather reports for sometime before its power gave out. Its markings make it look as if it was something placed by the Canadian government, which might explain, along with its remote location, why it went undiscovered for so many years. Only the odd hunter might have come across it. A German researcher in the late 1970s, going through navy records, found out about it and passed the word along.

A booklet is on the information panel with a series of photographs. Here it's open to how Kurt looked in 1981 at the site itself- truly a remote place. Who knows how long it might have stayed unnoticed if not for the work of a researcher going through old records?

I headed up out of Lebreton Gallery. I came into the Memorial Chamber, the other of two focal points in the architecture of the Museum. This room contains a reflecting pool and one artifact- the original tombstone of the Unknown Soldier. When that Canadian soldier was repatriated from a cemetery near Vimy Ridge, the tombstone came along, with a second one replacing it at the cemetery and explaining the significance of the grave. That tombstone has been placed here, while his coffin rests at the War Memorial. The architect designed and situated the room so that at eleven in the morning on November 11th, sunlight will illuminate this tombstone, coming through a window on the opposite wall. When I was in here a Museum staffer was giving a talk to a group of people; the shadows you see indicate their presence. On Remembrance Day, many people leave a poppy here.

My final perspective of this visit is a loan to the War Museum, as the display panel indicates it is owned by the Mons Memorial Museum. It is situated by where one enters and leaves the exhibit area. The Mons Gun is one of two field artillery guns presented by Canadian soldiers to the citizens of Mons, Belgium, in 1919. This 18 pounder was used by the 39th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery during the Hundred Days campaign ending the First World War, and is thought to be the last Canadian gun fired before the Armistice. It and its partner were given to the people of Mons and Belgium in friendship. To commemorate the centennial of the Armistice, Mons has brought this one back to Canada for the occasion.


  1. Interesting story about the weather station.

  2. Interessante Ausstellung zur Geschichte und der Militärtechnik.


  3. Six people in such a tank, oh, my goodness.
    Kurt - oh isn´t that kinda cute?
    The architect did a wonderful job with the light on the tombstone.

  4. Brilliant exhibition & tribute, amazed how that weather station remained hidden so long long

  5. Nice serie again, especially that weather station is very interesting.

  6. That photo of the tombstone from the grave of the unknown soldier is really moving.

  7. @Joan: I have always liked that story.

    @Noke: thanks!

    @Iris: he was inspired.

    @Bill: quite true.

    @Jan: it is.

    @Janis: I think so too.

  8. ...let's hope that this museum doesn't need to expanded.

  9. i am curious on how to drive a tank? i am sure it would be a tough task, or at least very time consuming maybe? wonder about the canon too? thanks for sharing. ( ;

  10. I agree with Tom....but all of the tools of war are interesting.

  11. Hello, it is a great museum. They have a cool collection of the war tools. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

  12. Hello William!
    Great series of pictures! I really enjoyed reading about the weather station !
    Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your weekend!

  13. It makes me thankful for our troops.

  14. The weather station story is fascinating - who knows what other things are still out there somewhere.

  15. Weapons are shown but not the ammunition. I wonder why?

  16. You have to wonder what else is out there waiting to be discovered William.. also under the ocean, heaven knows whats under there! This has been a rewardingly informative series, merci beaucoup ✨

  17. The weather station is very interesting, William.

  18. I would be interested to see the inside of a army tank.

  19. This has been a fascinating series of posts, William, and I'm so glad you shared it with us.

  20. Absolutely fascinating, William; quite a museum - and one that would keep me occupied for hours. I have heard of Kurt - ingenious!

  21. @Tom: I hope not.

    @Beth: I have been inside one of the military vehicles. They are cramped.

    @Janey: they are.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Dimi: you're welcome.

    @Sharon: me too.

    @RedPat: potentially lots of things.

    @Red: ammunition seems to be the exception here.

    @Grace: I have enjoyed showing it.

    @Karl: I thought so.

    @Nancy: these vehicles are interesting.

    @Jeanie: I have enjoyed doing so.

    @Mike: thank you!

  22. The story of the weather station was very interesting. Thank you!

  23. What an array of weapons ~ weather station story intriguing ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  24. Great to see that old gun back for a visit!

  25. Glad I discovered your blog before this series began. I have enjoyed it very much. :-)

  26. You did a great job on the war museum series.

  27. @Cloudia: I enjoy coming here.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Marie: it was a pleasant surprise.

    @DJan: and I've enjoyed showing it.

    @Happyone: thanks!

  28. You're not exaggerating how cramped that armored vehicle is!
    And what an interesting story of "Kurt!"

  29. I know others have also commented about the weather station - but it is interesting, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  30. If you want peace, prepare for war...

  31. I was there, once! Interesting post!

  32. @Kay: it is!

    @Magiceye: that's the case.

    @Jan: you're welcome.

    @Klara: indeed.

    @Jennifer: thanks.