Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Crucible

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.


  1. Interesting exhibits about war especially the trenches.

  2. I honestly don't like to see these things now as a museum thing as I have seen them when I was a child in real, it was our playground, just like the ruins of the houses. We didn't need Disneyland ! The good thing was we didn't know in what we were playing or with what, that I learned later ! Strange to say, but as children we had fun to hide in there !

  3. My interest is in domestic history so I like to understand the stories of those at home.

  4. Continuo a acompanhar esta bela exposição.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  5. Never was mass murder so well documented.

  6. Hello William!
    Very interesting exhibition,and I really enjoyed reading all those informations about the WW1,and seeing the pictures.
    Like the last picture with the stained glass window and the monument. Have a lovely Thursday!

  7. ...and some want to glorify war!

  8. I went down in trenches like that at Vimy a few years ago. Thank goodness my sons have never seen war.... and I hope they never will.

  9. @Nancy: it does give you a bit of an understanding, being able to walk through.

    @Gattina: I think it's a bit of a different point of view here, as the country has been less physically touched by war.

    @Joan: and the home front does get examined, particularly in the two World Wars.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @S.C: quite true.

    @Dimi: thank you.

    @Tom: unfortunately.

    @Shammickite: I hope not.

  10. Oh my goodness, to walk in a facsimile of one of those trenches would be scary.

  11. Very scary times those must´ve been. But the commemoration site is beautiful.

  12. I find this museum fascinating, William. That trench, especially. And the stained glass in the last photo is beautiful.

  13. The hardships of fighting a war in that era are brought to life here.

  14. Walking in a trench must have been very sobering.

  15. I am not a good museum-goer. I've been there and liked it, but this has all seemed new to me, or most of it has.

  16. always a fan of a stain glass window. gorgeous colors. ( :

  17. Amazing that the detail of the battles is still with us.

  18. Exhibitions and paintings like these really bring it home as to the conditions these young men had to fight, horrific! This is a fascinating series William ✨

  19. @DJan: it is eye opening.

    @Iris: I certainly think so.

    @Marie: it is.

    @Jeanie: thanks!

    @Sharon: they are.

    @RedPat: indeed.

    @Anvilcloud: I've been in this museum many times, and I find it fascinating.

    @Beth: this stained glass stands out beautifully.

    @Red: quite true.

    @Grace: thanks!

  20. A well documented exhibition. Thanks for sharing, William.

  21. I like to see that the museum tells about the First World War in different ways.

  22. Chilling and very real. Well done.

  23. Facinating yet thoughtful displays of a very difficult subject:)