Monument of the Week. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Caribou.

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 A Pitiful Act of Destruction

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the destruction of the Berlin Wall today- a sort of monument against freedom and symbol of the cold war- it is with great sadness that I post this weeks monument. One of my personal favorites and one that suffered a senseless  and cowardly act of vandalism.

Many of our memorials are victimized this way. Our National War Memorial in Ottawa has suffered this at least twice. The first time, remembered to most Canadians, was when three youths decided to urinate  on  this most respected and revered monument to  Canadian veterans,  on Canada Day 2006- not really vandalism I should add, but equally as devastating and insulting. Just recently, The bullet scars that now mark the National Memorial after the brutal and senseless shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton, adds to the count.

The Caribou of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment is one of our most important icons of Canadian WWI history . This regiment fought too courageously for words to express and paid the ultimate sacrifice that cannot be repaid by any Canadian. To desecrate the Caribou of Bowring Park or any part of this treasured Saint Johns monument is a sinful act of disgrace to those  who paid the cost for the progress freedom.

Absolute shame on those who did this.

And thank you to those who labored the long hours and cared enough to repair the Caribou of Bowring so that The Royal Newfoundland Regiment memorial is always proudly seen as representing this heroic regiment that has earned the right to this honor and our undiminished respect.

Please read the article below in this post.

And please visit the post ” The Royal Regiment of Newfoundland and the Caribou”in this blog posted almost a year ago today (2013/11/23). 

Thank you

Richard Parrish

 

Caribou war memorial returns to Bowring Park

Monument needed repairs after antlers damaged by vandals

Nov 10, 2013 12:56 PM NTCBC News

The Caribou monument was returned home to Bowring Park on Saturday, after undergoing repairs for damages caused by vandals.

The 85-year-old bronze statue commemorating Newfoundlanders who died in the First World War was taken out of the park in early September.

Repairs took months — but for the people involved it was a labour of love.

Frank Gogos, with the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry, said everyone involved was more than happy to take part in the repairs and reinstallation.

Frank Gogos, with the Newfoundland Bronze Foundry, says working on the Caribou Monument was a big honour for everyone involved. (CBC)

“I’ve been studying the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment for a number of years, and to be involved in such a monumental icon of Newfoundland history is just something I’ll take with me forever,” Gogos said.

“This is a life-changing moment to be able to work on the caribou, and everybody who’s been involved in it, their life changes a little bit when they understand how much this means to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Morgan MacDonald, sculptor and project director, said he was hoping to get the project finished in time for Remembrance Day.

“We didn’t want to disappoint the veterans, and of course it’s a special memorial for Bowring Park and the city of St. John’s. It’s an iconic piece,” he said.

MacDonald said to be selected to work on the famous caribou was a pleasure.

“The caribou has been such an icon for the city, and for the province as a whole, and to be connected and part of that history right from the First World War, and to be picked to do this … it’s truly an honour to be a part of this. It’s an icon, in our history and in our heritage.”

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CTV NEWS Kitchener, Ontario, Gives Coverage to WWI: A Monumental History

 

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Remembrance Day. Guelph, Ontario, 2012.

Click on link to see Clip       http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=487336

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Monument of the Week. Kemptville Ontario Cenotaph

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Article From Inside The Ottawa Valley                                                              Nov. 8, 2012

The Kemptville Cenotaph honours local military personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice, and those that served, during World War I, World War II, Korea and most recently, Afghanistan. The cenotaph is formally registered with the Department of National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage, National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials as Memorial Number 35041-018.

The following is an excerpt from a speech made by Reeve Dr. W.F. Storey that was published in the Weekly Advance, dated Thursday, Nov. 10, 1921, entitled “Lest We Forget.”

“He was reminded that just a year ago the president had gently reproved the civic fathers for their procrastination in the erection of a Memorial, but was pleased to announce that through the co-operation of the Women’s Institute, the Town Council, the Oxford Township Council, and, he hoped, the Council of the Township of South Gower, the ground had been broken, a Memorial Monument ordered and he hoped that before long would be completed and erected.”

(The reference to “president” refers to Corporal H.F. O’Callaghan, who was the president of the GWVA – Great War Veterans Association of the day).

BRIEF HISTORY OF KEMPTVILLE CENOTAPH

The Kemptville Cenotaph was designed and manufactured in 1921, using seven blocks of Stanstead grey granite from the Beebe, Quebec quarry and includes the carved statue of a young soldier, bases and twin shafts.

During the month of May 1922, the cenotaph was erected on the north side lot of the old Kemptville post office on Prescott St., through the combined financial efforts of the Women’s Institute and the Town of Kemptville, Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower Councils. An official unveiling ceremony was held on June 3, 1922, in memory of the men from these municipalities who laid down their lives in the Great War. The Kemptville Cenotaph continues to be the focal point of our Nov. 11 Remembrance Day Services since that time.Ontario 3 + re shoots 789

RELOCATION OF CENOTAPH

The cenotaph was relocated to the front lawn of the North Grenville District High School in November 1961, due to what was described at the time as being cramped quarters at the former post office location.

In 1988, at the request of Legionnaire Lawson Arcand, a Veteran of World War II, the inscription “Korea 1950 – 1953” was added to the lower part of the centre base of the Cenotaph, in recognition of soldiers that served during the Korean War.

DAMAGE AND MISCHIEF

On a dark October 1992 day in the history of this silent sentinel, the cenotaph was attacked and damaged by vandals who decapitated the statue of the soldier and chipped off parts of the rifle and rifle sling.

The perpetrators were tracked down and the head of the statue was later located as the result of a highly praised follow-up investigation by members of the former Kemptville Police Department. That saved an estimated cost that was said to be in excess of $25,000 to have a professional stone carver create a matching replacement. Still, the resulting repair costs were close to $3,000.

MONUMENT RESTORATION PROJECT

In June 2006, the Veterans Affairs Canada Cenotaph/Monument Restoration Program, Corporation of the Municipality of North Grenville and the Royal Canadian Legion, Kemptville Branch 212, provided joint funding to refurbish the Kemptville Cenotaph. During the restoration process, the name of Private Blake Williamson (Afghanistan –

2006) was added to the 50 names listed on the twin shafts of the cenotaph, the first name to be added to the memorial since World War II. A special re-dedication service was held on Saturday, June 16, 2007.

SIMILAR MONUMENTS

It is interesting to note that research conducted by accessing the National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials database, resulted in learning that there are three other cenotaphs in Ontario having very similar designs to the Kemptville Cenotaph.

They are located in Cape Croker (Memorial Number 35009-001), Sunderland (Memorial Number 35093-020) and Wiarton (Memorial Number 35

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Now On Sale in Stores Across Canada

WarBookLooksLikeCoverSept26GreyBkgrd20inchAt72dpi_1200pxHonourable veterans, WWI history Academics, teachers and everybody.

IT IS HERE!

We are very proud of this book. A labour of love that was three years in the making and will  certainly  be a proud part of your book collection and something to be shared with your children and/or grand children.

It makes a very unique gift that will be appreciated by all.

Only $39.99 Can.

NOW AT AMAZON

You can also find WORLD WAR I: A MONUMENTAL HISTORY at these fine bookstores: 

Fincher’s in Goderich and Kincardine, Ontario.

Book Shelf Cafe, Guelph, Ontario.

Epic Books, Hamilton, Ontario.

Bryan Prince, Bookseller, Hamilton, Ontario

Westdale Bookworm, Hamilton, Ontario

A Different Drummer Books, Burlington, Ontario

Barely Bent Books, Dundas, Ontario.

Book Express, Cambridge, Ontario.

Chapters, Cambridge, Ontario.

Hole In The Wall Books, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Wordsworth Books, Waterloo, Ontario.

A Second Look Books, Kitchener, Ontario

The Book Factory, Simcoe, Ontario

Perfect Books, Ottawa, Ontario.

Astrolabe Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario.

Millpond Records & Books, Cambridge, Ontario.

McNally Robinson bookstores in Winnipeg and Saskatoon

Bookmark Books in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Munro Books, Victoria,B.C.

Grain of Salt in Cambridge, Ontario

Willow Books, Toronto, Ontario

Roxanne’s Reflections Book and Card Shop in Fergus, Ontario

La Bouquinerie Anglaise, Quebec City

Coles Bookstore, Parkland Mall, Red Deer, Alberta

Audrey’s Book Store in Edmonton, Alberta

Novel Idea in Kingston, Ontario

Available at the Dundas Museum and Archives, Dundas Ontario

Available at the Preston Legion ( Cambridge, Ontario)

Available at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, London, Ontario

 Available at the University of Toronto Bookstore.

 Coming soon to Norm Christie’s CEF Books Online.

 

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Link to article from FYI

Hi Everyone;

Here is a link to an Article published in FYI magazine written by Robert (co authour)   about WWI: A Monumental History. Please Read.

A soon as I figure it out, I will import the whole article.

Thanks

Richard

 

01112014-FYH-H-004

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Hamiltonians Pay Last Respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

“He is Canada’s son…He belongs to us all”, his family said in a statement.But Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was also a Hamiltonian. This made his tragic murder more personal to Steel Town. The city I live in. He was one of us and only 24.
And he had a son.Nathan C Hamilton Armoury SU OC 26 028

Nathan Cirillo was gunned down last Wednesday while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. A place that honours our fallen military heroes and is a sacred place to Canadians. Nathan will now be remembered for eternity at this special place. A place for heroes.

 Our deepest sympathies go out to his parents and family.

Richard Parrish

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WWI: A Monumental History, launched with first book signing at Centenary Symposium in Toronto hosted by Queen’s Own Rifles

Print on canvas ‘In Flanders’ by Brian Lorimer. Photograph by CJ Harvie

Memory and the Education of Memory : Canada and the First World War Symposium

Posted on centenarynews.com on 12 October 2014

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Memory, Education and the Education of Memory

The ‘Canada and the First World War’ Symposium was held in Toronto on the 28th September 2014 – and was an opportunity for some of Canada’s leading experts on military history to share their views on the war’s centenary.

Christopher Harvie attended the symposium, and has sent in this personal account of the event.

Moss Park Armoury is an unimpressive plainly rectangular building squatting in deep downtown Toronto. Its drab style reflects the period of its build, the late 1960’s when it was constructed to house four Canadian Army Reserve units, two of infantry and one each of artillery and medical services.

On a quiet Sunday morning I had made my way from the subway station at Queen St, a familiar walk through a gritty, dusty little nook of the city and found myself alone, contemplative, in the Officer’s Mess of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, standing in the exact spot where I had been sworn into the Regiment a little over twenty years ago. It was fitting my day began with personal reflection as I had come to attend a symposium dedicated to commemoration.

Supporting Memory Projects

The Symposium of “Canada and the First World War” was an all day event featuring book and art sales, displays of military antiques and a selection of speakers, some of whom are the giants of Canadian military history. Organised with the cooperation between the Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Museum and the 15th Bn (48 Highrs) CEF Memorial Project the event was of a limited attendance which allowed for a much more intimate feel between speakers and audience; with plenty of time between lectures to mingle and chat candidly with them.

The QOR Museum, located at the Toronto landmark Casa Loma displays the history of one of Canada’s oldest still standing regiments. Operated by retired members of the 48th Highlanders, the 15th Bn Memorial Project has sought to install informative plaques at actual battle sites where the battalion saw action in France and Flanders; including most notable at 2nd Ypres where it experienced the highest one day loss of a single Canadian battalion in the entire war.

Identifying the Missing

Television presenter, historian and author Andrew Robertshaw led off the morning. Perhaps best known for his work with the BBC on “Finding the Fallen”, Mr Robertshaw related the importance of identifying human remains from Europe’s battlefields. “Keen,” as he says, “to make people think about he past” in an address passionately delivered with a lot of jovial asides, Mr Robertshaw insists that painstaking efforts to prove identity “all matters tremendously.” In light of the news of four Canadians recently named from discovered remains, his message was timely. But with no dedicated teams actively seeking to recover such a terrible number of missing Mr Robertshaw insists that there are “huge gaps in the process.” Modern development threatening the destruction and loss of remains is akin to “killing a man twice.”

Monumental History

He was followed by Robert Konduros and Richard Parrish… photographers who spoke at length of the process that went into their book “WWI, a Monumental History.” Travelling throughout Europe and Canada the pair had taken pictures of various monuments to Canada in the war. Highlights included the only monument to Canadian nursing sisters, of whom 46 died in WWI and that of foreign internments. Messrs Konduros and Parrish were pleased to announce that statues of John McCrae, author of ‘In Flanders’ Fields” would be unveiled next year.

Purpose Behind the Event

During lunch, which was catered using recipes from Mr Robertshaw’s book “Feeding Tommy, Recipes from the First World War”, I spoke with Lt Colonel (ret.) John Fotheringham one of the symposium’s organisers. He had wanted to put together an event to two purposes, to raise funds for the memorial projects and to commemorate the centenary of the war. When asked if disappointed that the event had been undersubscribed, Col Fotheringham disagreed. “Commemoration was the primary goal; fundraising a secondary concern.” Above all, the idea was “to put on a good event.” It was projected that the attendance would be sufficient to cover expenses.

A long break for lunch allowed me ample time to seek out the various exhibits and sales which had been set up in the Senior NCO’s Messes of MPA’s various regiments. Above all, I was particularly taken with artwork presented by painter Brian Lorimer. On display were framed paper and canvas prints, books and art cards. These prints offered for sale were stirring, revealing in the artist’s words a “fresh approach, explosive in colour and energy” as juxtaposition to traditional monochrome photographs and muted post war paintings. Lorimer’s oils are stark and incompletely rendered visions as of a dreamscape.

Missing Men, Missing Graves

Norm Christie, author, TV presenter and battlefield tour operator continued the theme of commemoration and the human cost of the war. Mr Christie relied on his prior experience as Records Officer with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to impart the difficulty and desire to create a suitable memorial for each person as his view of history is that he’s “interested in individuals.” It is no easy feat as he illustrates. “Of 700 000 Commonwealth deaths half have no known grave, and a quarter of that number have not been found.” In his three years as R.O. with the CWGC, Mr Christie was instrumental in the identification of fifty men; a matter of pride but a long way to go involving some 16 000 sites around the world, thousands of cemeteries as well as isolated graves.

Mr Christie, whose television series “For King and Empire” is a touchstone for modern Canadian interpretation of WWI, believes that each of the CWGC sites is a “time capsule of history.” The study and understanding of the lives of those kept therein helps to “find answers to questions never asked.”

His latest project is the investigation of and search for a burial plot, designated as CA40. It is known to be the last resting place of 44 individuals of the 16th Bn (Canadian Scottish). The exact location having been lost over time, it is believed to be a mass grave made from a mine crater in no man’s land somewhere in the Vimy area of operations. With adequate funding the possibility of surveying with ground penetrating radar might provide the exact location, probably at a depth of 7-10 metres.

Inspiring to Educate

The day was capped off by a resounding lecture given by Professor Jack Granatstein, perhaps thedominant name in Canadian military history. His numerous books and his tenure (from which he is retired) at York University have been a dedication to the education of Canada’s martial heritage. It was to this theme that he spoke, elevating the messages of commemoration of the previous guests to move with his notion that understanding the context of a historical event is critical, and sadly that it is lacking in school curriculum at present. Prof Granatstein gave as evidence that shortly after he became Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum, a survey of the collections revealed a 35 page report on factual errors. For him, the understanding of history and its lack has been a top down problem.

The system of educating history, he says, is “out of whack.” In true form of a university lecturer, Prof Granatstein further illustrated this notion with a point by point reasoning of why the actions of the Canadian Corps in the “100 Days” at the close of the war was “without question the greatest success of Canadians in battle.” Without dedicated programs of study this and other messages of Canada’s war are being lost. For example, there has not been a military history program at York University in the years since his retirement, and only a small number of universities have any such program. This in turn is reflected in the level of education received by those training to be teachers which in turn affects the understanding of our past by students at all levels. The talk given by Prof Granatstein was met with resounding applause and spontaneous shouts of “hear, hear”, though it must be said, he was preaching to the choir.

Insisting that the teaching of Canadian history needs to change, it was to this audience that the Professor made the challenge to “resurrect and honour (our history) at a grassroots level,” that we be instrumental in inspiring others to “go, listen, read and reflect.”

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WORLD WAR I: A MONUMENTAL HISTORY now in stores across Canada

WarBookLooksLikeCoverSept26GreyBkgrd20inchAt72dpi_1200px

Honourable veterans, WWI history Academics, teachers and everybody.

IT IS HERE!

We are very proud of this book. A labour of love that was three years in the making and will  certainly  be a proud part of your book collection and something to be shared with your children and/or grand children.

It makes a very unique gift that will be appreciated by all.

NOW AT AMAZON

You can also find WORLD WAR I: A MONUMENTAL HISTORY at these fine bookstores: 

Fincher’s in Goderich and Kincardine, Ontario.

Book Shelf Cafe, Guelph, Ontario.

Epic Books, Hamilton, Ontario.

Bryan Prince, Bookseller, Hamilton.

Barely Bent Books, Dundas, Ontario.

Book Express, Cambridge, Ontario.

Chapters, Cambridge, Ontario.

Hole In The Wall Books, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Wordsworth Books, Waterloo, Ontario.

A Second Look Books, Kitchener, Ontario

The Book Factory, Simcoe, Ontario

Perfect Books, Ottawa, Ontario.

Astrolabe Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario.

Millpond Records & Books, Cambridge, Ontario.

McNally Robinson bookstores in Winnipeg and Saskatoon

Bookmark Books in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Munro Books, Victoria,B.C.

Grain of Salt in Cambridge, Ontario

Willow Books, Toronto, Ontario

Roxanne’s Reflections Book and Card Shop in Fergus, Ontario

La Bouquinerie Anglaise, Quebec City

Available at the Preston Legion ( Cambridge, Ontario)

Available at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, London, Ontario

 Available at the University of Toronto Bookstore.

 Coming soon to Norm Christie’s CEF Books Online.

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WWI: A Monumental History to be Published in 2014

A pictorial history of Canada’s involvement in WWI has been captured in the sculptures and monuments to WWI that are located all across Canada, France and Belgium. Authors and photographers Robert Konduros and Richard Parrish have created a tribute to those Canadians who gave so much in the struggle of civilization against barbarism ( so it was thought) and to the surviving loved ones and communities who  commissioned these memorials to mark their loss. The book also highlights the boldness and beauty of the many” Great War” statues and monuments in Canada and the sculptors who created them. In this year of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of First World War, the book is a retrospective look at this cataclysmic period in history from the point of view of Canadian memorial sculpture. A monumental part of history that has certainly been carved in stone.

Available October 8, 2014.

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The Christmas Truce WWI

“It was a curious scene – a lovely moonlit (Christmas) night, the German trenches with small lights on them, and the men on both sides gathered in groups on the parapets. It is weird to think that tomorrow night we shall be at it again. If one gets through this show it will be a Christmas time to live in one’s memory.” Captain R Armes of the 1st North Staffordshire regiment. (Quote from “WWW.histortlearningsite.co.uk)

There are a lot of myths and legends surrounding the first Christmas truce at the western front in 1914. It supposedly started when the British Expeditionary Force heard the Germans singing carols and other patriotic songs. The Germans had also hung lanterns and lined their trenches with small fir trees. What happened next was an extraordinary event of human spirit that entrenched itself permanently in the pages of WWI history and became one of the most popular Christmas stories of all time.

I have created a list of sites and sources so you can read and enjoy this remarkable  story yourself. There is also a video to watch.

Merry Christmas to all. Peace on earth.

Richard

http://www.firstworldwar.com/features/christmastruce.htm

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/christmas_1914_and_world_wa.htm

http://jonathanturley.org/2011/12/25/a-christmas-truce/

Start Video at 0:27 to begin at truce segment.

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photo German post card. Copy right Simon Rees

 

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