Dogfight is the title of this 1919 painting by John Armstrong Turnbull, depicting the fierce aerial combat of the First World War.
One of those combatants was Roy Brown, who came from Carleton Place, not far from here, and survived the war. His medals and logbook are part of the Museum collection. Brown has the distinction of being the man who downed the Red Baron- though there's some controversy to this day as to if the fatal wound came from Australian ground troops firing up at the Baron. Brown is still credited regardless, and in ending the Baron's life, he probably did him a favour. Had von Richthofen survived the war, he would have surely become a propaganda tool for the Nazis. This way the Red Baron's legacy is unstained, and he remains a highly respected aviator.
Before leaving this area, a panel examines the importance of Vimy Ridge. The battle can be said to be a pivotal moment in our history; the First World War and the tough reputation of Canadian soldiers throughout gave the country a place on the world stage.
The home front is also examined with artifacts, panels, and photographs here. It includes family photographs- soldiers home from the war or soon to go back to it posing with their wives and children.
The path moves on to examine the Battle of Passchendaele, a hard fought victory for Canadian troops in 1917. From everything I've ever read or seen about it, if ever there was a hell on earth, it was Passchendaele.
A replica of an area of the battlefield has been constructed here- something that wouldn't be out of place in other parts of the front. Shell holes, equipment, and bodies pounded into the mud.
This is the uniform of Alma Florence Finnie, a nursing sister from Bailieboro, Ontario. She went to France and tended to the wounded along with many other women. The blue colour got them the nickname bluebirds.
Arthur Currie was the senior Canadian officer of the war, a methodical general who proved more capable than many of his European counterparts, willing to adapt to circumstances and not stay true to the Napoleonic era tactics that for four years were doing little but getting masses of men slaughtered. His presentation sword is part of the museum collection.
Thomas Ricketts of Newfoundland was 17 when he won the Victoria Cross for bravery under fire in October 1918. Boys lying about their age and going off to war when they should have been chasing girls. And some of them never coming home.