Saturday, November 23, 2019

From War To War

Throughout the War Museum, individual panels focus on people, from the enlisted ranks to officers. Such is the case with Lieutenant Samuel Honey, a winner of the Victoria Cross who would die in battle.

This haunting painting is called The Conquerors. Painted by Eric Kennington in 1920, it depicts both the living and the dead; Canadian soldiers on the march during the Hundred Days that would end the war. Those with pale faces and gaunt eyes are the ghosts alongside their still living counterparts.

Who was the last man killed in the war? Canadian private George Price is deemed to be the last of the Commonwealth forces.

The First World War section ends with memorial displays- a typical Commonwealth war gravestone, a stained glass window, and a cenotaph statue.

But of course the First World War only set into motion events that would lead to the Second World War. The next section opens with an examination of the rise of dictatorships that would become the Axis powers and the outbreak of war. Canadians would swiftly answer the call as part of the Allied effort.

Canada was a natural location for Allied air training, and panels and artifacts look at the BCATF program.

The Women's Royal Canadian Service was established during the war, and seven thousand women enlisted. One of them wore this uniform. Joan Thompson-Voller was one of the group called Wrens, and she was a regular fixture here at the Museum on Remembrance Day. I chatted with her on a number of such occasions. It's been some years though since I last saw her here, so I assume she's since passed away.

While Canada might have been far from the battlefields of Europe, it didn't mean dangers didn't find their way across the ocean. This map shows multiple attacks by German subs on merchant or military ships off the coast, some of them quite inland along the St. Lawrence River.


  1. Hey, William.
    Norma emailed me back today.
    Happy Weekend.

  2. If only George Price was the last one for good.

  3. The paintings tell a story. Many men were sacrificed when they lost or win.

  4. What would the museums, the memorial celebrations, the film industry do without wars ?? All going bankrupt ! I would prefer a world without wars but that will probably never happen.

  5. @Whisk: you're welcome.

    @Iris: if only.

    @Lady Fi: true.

    @Nancy: I agree.

    @Gattina: unlikely.

  6. Wars will never end it seems, everywhere in the world is one going on.

  7. ...and they never seem to end.

  8. love the stain glass and the uniform. way cool!! ( ;

  9. Thanks for more information on the Canadian effort in these world wars. I like the Wren uniforms.

  10. Oh my goodness, submarine attacks in the St. Lawrence I never knew!

  11. Hello, Cool exhibit. I like the stained glass and the uniforms. Happy weekend to you!

  12. I didn't realize there were so many sub attacks over here.

  13. It's not mention much that the first World War only led to the second world war.

  14. It's so nice that they focus on individual soldiers.

  15. The map is chilling. I didn't realize the enemy was that close.

  16. Wonderful history exhibit and our warriors ~ neat photography ~

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

  17. @Bergson: indeed.

    @Marianne: that's true.

    @Anvilcloud: it is.

    @Tom: unfortunately true.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Marie: it had to be someone.

    @DJan: the lady was quite a presence to speak with.

    @Barbara: they really brought it all close to home. They did the same thing along the American seaboard.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @RedPat: it was a busy war in the Atlantic.

    @Red: it seemed inevitable, but there was a chance to stop it- but people were too interested in revenge.

    @Sharon: it is a good concept to do so.

    @Maywyn: very close indeed.

    @Bill: many of them.

    @Carol: thank you.

  18. Interesting stories and many brave Canadian women who joined the military.

  19. Sad, sad, sad. I didn't realize Canada was in the war from the beginning. Of course you were!

  20. Many interesting facts I didn't know about here William. Let's hope WW3 is not brewing!

  21. Lovely painting and memorable newspaper headlines!

  22. How sad for the last one killed before the end of the war, if only!:)

  23. I never realized subs came as close as the St.Lawrence. How fortunate you were to have spoken with the Wren while she was still working at the museum. What stories she could tell.

  24. Interesting facts William, thank you.

    All the best Jan