Here in the midst of the World War One section is a model display of a trench system. Buttons at the lower panel light up particular positions in turn, such as a sniper's nest.
Across from it is a full sized trench you can walk through, gloomily lit, with sandbags piled higher than your head, and the sounds of artillery fire piped in.
Hand weapons of the era from both sides, replicas perhaps, are mounted onto this wall, as these ones you can touch. I've never touched the knives or bayonet attachments to see if they're sharp, but I have handled the other ones.
This is another one of the large paintings the Museum has in its collection. Louis Weirter was a lieutenant in 1916 when the Battle Of The Somme was underway. The ruins of the town of Courcelette, France, were recaptured by Canadian troops during the battle, a horrendous one in which three million fought and one million of them were killed or wounded between the beginning of July and the middle of November that year. The Battle Of Courcelette is Weirter's rendition of the time.
The path leads on to a display screen that tells the story of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a significant Canadian victory. With battlefield position maps and images from the locale, this presentation explains how Canadian troops took the ridge in a decisive fight that has had a big impact on how Canadians came to think of themselves.
This view is from the opposite side of this area- the two people at the bottom of the pic are looking at the display I was looking at in the above shot, while a plane of the era stands over the room.
One of the paintings in this area features a Canadian artillery crew at work. I neglected this time out to photograph the accompanying panel with its identifying details on the artist.
The effect of the war at home is examined as well. Husbands and fathers were off to war, and left wives, children, parents, and others behind. Civilians at home did their part for the war effort, and dreaded the possibility of getting bad news.
This formidable painting is Over The Top, Neuville-Vitasse, a painting by Alfred Bastien depicting a moment in the Hundred Days campaign that ended the war. The 22nd Batallion, a French speaking infantry unit, attacked the German position near the village, which was part of the Drocourt-Queant Line.
A couple of scale models about fights made during the Hundred Days are found here, depicting small interludes in battle- in this case on the first day of the campaign.
The World War One section ends the legacy of the war in Canada and across the world. I end today with a display case in this area featuring items of commemoration, while setting the stage for the next section- World War Two. A monument maquette, a stained glass window, and a tombstone are found here.