Friday, January 7, 2022

From One Cataclysm To The Next

 It is thought that Canadian Private George Price was the last soldier to die in the First World War, certainly the last Commonwealth soldier. He was shot dead two minutes before the armistice came into effect on November 11th, 1918, at Mons, Belgium- the end of the line for Canadian forces in the war.

The cost for the country was a high one. An entire generation of men: killed, wounded, traumatized, or otherwise marked by the memories of war. Families whose lives would be forever changed by it. This was typical, of all sides.

George Agnew Reid painted Armistice Day, Toronto, after the war. 

In the wake of the war, people tried to make sense of what was left. Cenotaphs and memorial windows went up in town squares and churches. Temporary grave stones were replaced by the familiar site of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission- an organization created during the war- and one of which is displayed at bottom left here.

The aftermath of World War One merely set the stage for the Second World War. Instead of seeking to ensure that another war would not happen, the victors sought harsh payback. This created the conditions for the later rise of the Nazis in a Germany that resented that harshness. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.

The next section is about the Second World War. Canada in the 1930s was as affected by the Depression as much of the rest of the world.

The rise of the powers later called the Axis is examined in this first portion of the gallery. Videos and flags of those powers are seen here.

This is one of those trophies of war: one of Hitler's cars. It's the first thing the visitor sees entering this gallery.

Canada declared war after Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Troops were signed up for the journey to Europe.

A mannequin sports the typical uniform of a soldier.

Early on in the war, the Miracle of Dunkirk: the salvation of an army of men from France as the Germans overwhelmed Allied forces in their blitzkrieg through France. The salvation of that army would one day come back to haunt the Nazis.


  1. The title of your post tells a lot...

  2. Hello,
    The memorial windows are beautiful. Take care, have a great day and a happy weekend!

  3. ...war never solves problems, it just creates more of them.

  4. The stained-glass is beautiful.

  5. War has given rise to so many occupations and so many economies!

  6. Dunkirk is an event in which I am particularly fascinated. Can you imagine the courage it took for the small boat owners to cross the channel, rescue soldiers and return under enemy fire. And the last man to die in WWI story is so sad.

  7. Sad, I see the war graves in most churchyards listing the dead, many from Canada

  8. What a beautiful idea the memorial windows were. That one is stunning.

  9. Ugh! That car! And to think of who rode in it.

  10. The goodness of citizens, and the ignorance of governments ultimately never fails to amaze me

  11. So many people died, such a shame.

  12. Beautiful memorial window ~ War is neverending ~

    Wishing you a gentle day,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. Such sad times. Interesting read thanks for sharing with us.