Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Heading towards the permanent galleries of the Canadian War Museum, one passes by a series of large scale photographs and images, such as here.

The galleries are organized chronologically, starting with the First Nations and the pre-Contact era. Artifacts and displays include this model, depicting an Iroquois village under attack.

Contact with Europeans would bring a different kind of warfare into the New World. New France saw conflicts with one tribe or another, until the post-Contact wars came to an end and the French would establish alliances.

Such an alliance is seen here, with a French-Canadian militiaman working in tandem with an Ojibwa warrior against their common enemy, the Iroquois.

As France and Britain had been jockeying for power for centuries around the world, so too did that conflict come into North America. The Seven Years War is also referred to as the French and Indian War in some parts of North America, and found the two sides, their colonial counterparts, and various First Nations people in conflict. Here we have a mortar shell and hand grenades recovered from the siege of Louisbourg.

The French and Indian War met its climax on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City. Over a thirty minute period, the direction of North America changed forever with a French defeat. New France came to an end, and Britain rose victorious out of it. This model shows the terrain at the Plains of Abraham and the battle lines of opposing sides.

Just a few years later the American Revolution would have a huge impact on Canada. It included the Continental Army attempting an invasion, but also included Loyalists who would come into Canada following the war. Profiles here include Richard Pierpoint, an African who ended up in slavery, escaped, joined Butler's Rangers, and later settled in Upper Canada. 

Another profile here is that of Joseph Brant, the Mohawk chief who was a formidable ally to the British during the Revolution. He and his people would come to southern Ontario after the war.

The War of 1812 gets coverage here as well.One of the prize artifacts is the jacket of General Isaac Brock, the British general who fell in battle at the Battle of Queenston Heights. Look closely just at the collar line on the chest and you can see a hole. That hole was put in the uniform jacket by the bullet that killed Brock.

Who won the War of 1812? That depends on who you ask. But the goal to remove the British from North America did not happen. Canada would develop on its own instead of being absorbed into its neighbour. That to me feels like victory.


  1. How wonderful that you can go and see all this wonderful history.

  2. The first photograph brought tears to my eyes.

  3. Oh god, the first photo touched my heart ...

  4. That first image is filled with poignancy - I wonder if he ever saw his father again?

  5. ...a turbulent period in the history of the new world.

  6. I can only wonder how a people who went to war in such outlandish costumes could come out on top. :-)

  7. The first photo is very moving, also interesting to read about the alliances that were formed.

  8. This must have a special level of poignancy for First Nations people.

  9. Hello, amazing displays and exhibit. I like the model. Wishing you a happy day!

  10. I looked but didn't see the hole in the jacket. I didn't realize that some of the First Nations fought alongside the French Canadians. Interesting history.

  11. Well cleaned jacket (no blood) from the General. Yes, I'm glad Canada exists rather than having become part of the US. It's pretty inconceivable at this point.

  12. That jacket is quite an artifact. I can definitely see the bullet hole.

  13. Yes, I'm with others on the jacket!

  14. This is a sad commentary on how we treated aboriginal people and we are still at it today.

  15. @Parsnip: it is good.

    @Iris: I agree.

    @Gemel: it has that effect.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Ella: I thought it would.

    @Rosemary: you wonder, though my feeling of it is that the soldiers are liberators, probably the Netherlands during World War Two.

    @Tom: it very much was.

    @Revrunner: you wonder.

    @Alexandria: thank you.

    @David: it would.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Marie: it is!

    @DJan: it is there.

    @Barbara: I'm particularly glad these days.

    @Sharon: Brock was a hell of a general.

    @Jeanie: it's quite an artifact.

    @Red: that is true.

  16. I remember my grade 7 teacher in Montreal reading to us about a battle from the France-Britain war in Quebec. At first I thought I remembered the reading to be about Wolfe and Montcalm, but I have a niggling that it was actually about Dollard and and the Battle of Long Sault. I think my allegiances switched during the reading. Although I am English, I found myself being pretty sympathetic to Dollard des Ormeaux. It's funny what related memories can be triggered by a post of that time but not about that precisely.

  17. Another excellent war exhibit and photos ~

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

  18. A wonderful and impressive exhibit.

  19. Quite an interesting exhibit, especially the uniform jacket with the bullet hole in it.

  20. Humans always seem to fighting each other.

  21. These kinds of exhibits are ones that always fascinate me. Great photos!

  22. @Anvilcloud: I can see that.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Bill: that it is.

    @Lois: I think so too.

    @RedPat: unfortunately.

    @Denise: thank you.

  23. Like many others have already said, that first photo is fantastic.
    For the rest I specially like the scale models telling about situations and stories.

  24. I'm a history buff, fascinated by our mutual histories from the French and Indian Wars, on.Thanks for more insights.

  25. I have learned a but of history just from reading the past few posts, William, and seeing the photos as well.

  26. Rich in war history. Whenever there is war, the people suffer.

  27. always a fan of seeing uniforms ... can you imagine ... i wonder how long it would take some1 to make that? what a great hand. wonder if they were warm, etc.? ( ;

  28. How amazing that the jacket survived and is still cared for:)

  29. Oh my! That first photograph is very special …

    All the best Jan