Picking up where I left off, the Afghan War is documented in this section of the War Museum. This photograph of a Canadian soldier interacting with an Afghan child caught my eye.
For Canadians, the military mission in Afghanistan came to an end in 2014. Our military spent the final years training the Afghan security forces. The situation remains unresolved, as that country continues to deal with insurgency and instability.
This baton was relayed between Canadian Forces Base Trenton to Ottawa in 2014 and presented to Governor General David Johnston on the 4th of May by a succession of Afghan War veterans in a national commemoration. It contains the last Canadian flag flown in the Afghan mission, and is inscribed with Canadian symbols, including 161 maple leaves to represent the 161 Canadians killed in action during the war.
Coming out of the permanent galleries, the path leads into the Royal Canadian Legion Hall Of Honour. This space features artifacts and panels about commemorations of war, and its centrepiece is the original maquette designed by Vernon March for his proposal for a war memorial of the Great War. Allegories of freedom and peace are at the top of the arch, while 22 figures from all branches in the First World War- soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses, cavalry, and more- move through the arch. The proposal was accepted, and today the National War Memorial stands downtown. Looking at this model gives you a different perspective on it. A Museum guide was giving a talk to several visitors about it while I was here.
The path leads from this area towards Regeneration Hall. This is often used for different exhibitions of photographs or art. This year the Belgian embassy has marked the centennial of the end of the First World War by displaying a series of photographs here, most of them taken in the field, showing soldiers and labourers from around the world who went off to war. We think of the Great War as a white man's fight, but it wasn't exclusively so. Hundreds of thousands of men of different ethnicities from around the world took part in Allied efforts, and campaigns and battles were waged in the Pacific, Asia, and Africa as well as the European theatre.
Here we have Sikhs of the British Indian Army Corps outside a Flemish farmhouse at rest.
These are soldiers of the British West Indies Regiment sitting in the courtyard of a Flanders farm.
Madagascan and Senegalese tirailleurs (light infantry) and workers are seen in this shot taken at Roesbrugge-Haringe in Belgium in 1917.
Spahi is the term for a light cavalry regiment soldier from French colonies. In this case, Algerian spahis are playing music near the front.
This one caught my eye. Tirailleurs from North Africa are posing with a Belgian girl in Flanders in this shot.
Far from home: a New Zealand Maori by the name of William Marsters is in the midst of buying cakes from a Belgian vendor in this shot.
This shot features labourers from Fiji gathered in Stanley Park in Vancouver with an officer, posing before one of the big trees there. They were en route from Fiji to Europe at the time.
And this shot shows First Nations recruits and elders with a government representative in File Hills, Saskatchewan.