Thursday, November 25, 2021


This is the emergency life vest of a German pilot who was shot down in France during the Normandy campaign. Officers and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force signed it.

Here we have the standard helmet used by Canadian and British troops on D-Day.

Nearby, a bust of the man who started it all, brought back as a souvenir by a Canadian chaplain. What was it about this small, raging man that captured the hearts of an entire country and drove the world into a war? We may never know.

Major Alex Campbell led Canadian soldiers during the war until his death in battle, one of the extraordinary stories of the war. He was driven by the death of his own father during the First World War. And as you see below, he had something of a sense of humour.

Some Canadians were embedded with British forces during the North African campaign, including Campbell, who kept a journal, learned his lessons, and taught them well to those he commanded.

Canadians would become heavily involved in the campaigns through Sicily and mainland Italy.

This is Tank At Crossroads by William Ogilvie. We'll carry on here tomorrow.


  1. Interesting vest and helmet. Wishing you Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Fascinating the items your museum has.

  3. Looks like if you like war museums !

  4. The vest is interesting, great exhibit.
    Have a happy day!

  5. More politicians in the mould of Hitler seem to be emerging, unfortunately. We seldom learn from history, it seems.

  6. @Nancy: I liked it.

    @Gemel: indeed.

    @Gattina: this one handles its subject appropriately.

    @Eileen: thanks.

    @David: there are disturbing trends out there in the world.

  7. When mere babes turned men overnight.

  8. ...I am reminded of the song "Brothers in War!"

  9. These displays show a different side of the war.

  10. A wonderful exhibition. The vest is something different to see.

  11. @Revrunner: true.

    @Tom: good comparison.

    @Jan: thanks!

    @RedPat: they do.

    @Bill: comradeship even among adversaries.

  12. That life vest with those signatures is fascinating.

  13. Ese chaleco salvavidas, protegieron mucho a esos soldados. Ahora seguramente lo tiene que haber más moderno y con aún mayor seguridad.

  14. There is a bust of that mean, little Austrian guy?!
    Well. He was a soldier in WWI, not "successful", one of the lowest. Had near to no pen#s, and was frustrated.
    But he could talk.
    Here, even being behind glass... this would be destroyed in a blink of an eye!

    And then... heartwarming, kinda, that some understood most Germans were forced to do the job and not stood behind those weird thoughts. Nice gesture with the signed vest.

    1. He could talk. And he knew how to tap into an anger and resentment that probably wouldn't have been there had the Allied powers handled the end of the Great War with forward thinking instead of revenge.

  15. Good question posed ~ lots of history here ~ thanks ~ ^_^

    Living in the moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  16. Awesome that the equipment is now there for people to see.

  17. i'm checking out the blog today. it has been 2 long since i last visited. hope all is well with ya. enjoy this weekend. take care. ( ;

  18. That vest was a treasure. I love this museum.