Archive for January, 2009

Story One Hundred and Two: 1940 French Canadian Guards of Buckingham Palace

London 1940
A news reel illustrating how French Canadians soldiers replaced the Welsh Guards at Buckingham Palace

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Story One Hundred and One: The War Graves Photographic Project

e002343046source: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/022/f1/e002343046.jpg

An amazing project  is called the  War Graves Photographic Project  which  aims  to photograph every war grave ,  individual memorial,  MoD grave and family memorial of  serving military personnel from WW 1 to the present  day.

The goal is 1.75 million graves and memorials from commonwealth veterans.

To volunteer  your time to help

Contact directly

steve@twgpp.org or derek@twgpp.org

Canadian  coordinator  is Vernon Masterman


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Story One Hundred: Canadians as Peacekeepers


During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. Pearson – later Canada’s 14th Prime Minister brought into common use the  term peacekeeping

Since 1947, Canadian Forces have been involved in 72 international operations leading up to the declaration of the Peacekeepers’ Day in Canada falls on 9 August

PA Daniel, Oshawa Resident served in Korea and Gaza as a peacekeeper during his 35 year career with the Canadian Military.  He provides a short story while serving in Gaza

padaniel_collage1Canadians as Peacemakers

New missions – The Cold War’s end signalled a new era of international co-operation at the United Nations. In the five years ending in 1996, the UN set up 24 new peacekeeping missions – six more than the total for the previous 43 years. UN peacekeeping hit an all-time high in late 2006, with more than 80,000 peacekeepers serving on 18 different missions.

New conflicts within states – Traditional peacekeeping took place between states, monitoring peace treaties to which all parties had agreed, and patrolling contested borders. Lately, more conflicts have been internal. Their sides are ‘non-state actors’, not governments. They are harder to define, making it harder to identify who should participate in peace negotiations. Also, there is often no clear area of conflict – fighting is spread through a country’s entire territory. In these cases, the international community is asked to create basic structures for peace and security, and take on responsibilities that used to be internal affairs of the state.

New actors: Conflict resolution is no longer the exclusive job of the UN. Regional organisations such as NATO, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Organisation for African Unity are also involved. In addition, a wide range of other civil and NGO organisations plays key roles in peace operations.

New skills – Because we now face more complex crises, we’ve begun to send people with a greater mix of skills. Military personnel now work with police and other experts to return conflict societies to security. These experts may include regional and municipal administrators; judges and prosecutors to develop judiciaries and run courts; media, health, tax and social policy advisors; child protection experts; facilitators and mediators; and even people to manage basic services such as sewage treatment plants or railways.

Canadian peacekeeping policy is evolving in new directions to meet changing conditions. This site explains how Canada has responded to these challenges to carry out today’s peace operations.




Oshawa Plaque at Oshawa Memorial Park







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Story Ninety-Nine: Sex, Love and War

Over two million allies  soldiers were stationed in wartime Britain, over 500,000 Canadians  were stationed in Britain between 1939 and 1945,    combined with the 1 1/2 million American men,  these men had a variety of affairs with local British women.

The BBC  series  Sex, Love and War details the stories of British women and  their Canadian soldiers.  This is not sexually explicit  but a well done and sensitive documentary loyal to the gift of the storytellers.    See the War Bride Story in the collection, meanwhile many ( numbers  unknown) British women with children did not reunite with their Canadian lovers.

Link( Three part series)


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Story Ninety-Eight: Treason

In 1944 the Nazi created the Britisches Freikorps or British Free Corps which was the brainchild of John Amery a son of a British cabinet minister. This Nazi recruitment effort focused on recruiting POW’s which included three Canadians.

Edwin Barnard Martin of the Essex Scottish Regiment(Captured at Dieppe in 1942) , CPL. John Gordon Galaher, Pvt. George Hale. At a military trial on Sept 28, 1945 they were sentenced to life imprisonment.
All were given a royal pardon in 1954
(Source documents of WW 2 Court Martial Records at ottawa Federal Records Centre in Tunney’s Pasture, microfilm Lot 44, Accession 72R6)

More information at

Documentary: The Brits Who Fought For Hitler
A nation reviles treachery, perhaps now more than ever. But the chronicles of recent history have ignored the most shameful episode of World War Two. The Britisches Freikorps unit of the Waffen SS served alongside the Nazis on the Eastern Front. Its members wore the death’s head insignia and took German rank. They helped defend Berlin even as Hitler retreated to his bunker. But each and every member was recruited from British, Canadian, Australian and South African soldiers who volunteered to betray their country. Recognising the potential propaganda value of the unit, the Nazis ordered 800 SS uniforms with Union Jack arm badges. Most Allied prisoners of war ignored or resisted recruitment tactics ranging from leaflet bombardment to bribery and torture. But some 200 Allied prisoners answered the Nazi call. Some were motivated by greed, or by sympathies with the fascist cause. Others were simply described by intelligence files of the time as of ‘weak character’, and found the opportunities offered by the Germans to drink and womanise too tempting. The British Free Corps was itself betrayed by one of its number who joined only to feed MI5 with information. John Brown, the quartermaster of a camp at Genshagen. As Germany collapsed, Brown’s information allowed the Allies to round up the traitors who often posed as fleeing PoWs. They were prosecuted and sentenced at court martial and treason trials. The intelligence files were quietly closed and access to the devastating information within was restricted. There was no cover-up, rather a conspiracy of indifference. For the first time on British Television, the British SS soldiers speak of their treachery, and their part in a failed German propaganda coup

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Story Ninety Seven: Satire and Nazi Germany

This BBC documentary posted at GoogleVideos looks at the clampdown on satire and other undesirable comedians as the Third Reich grew in power. The plight of specific groups (or “art”) tends to get lost in the scale of the much bigger human cost of WWII.

However here the film looks at how satire and jokes at Hitler’s expense were encouraged to some degree as he came into power but gradually anything deemed “subversive” was squeezed out and telling such jokes gradually became more and more dangerous. We hear about German comedians who are sentenced to hard labour in camps or even death as punishment for making jokes. This is recalled with well chosen recollections from a couple of people involved in the period and it serves to only make things worse by not being at all surprising. After this the film explores the general sense of humour on the street as the war started to turn back against German cities and civilians, where understandably there was a certain amount of gallows humour. Throughout the film the jokes are recreated by two German comedians

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Story Ninety Six: Military Documentaries

Canadian Military Documentaries

A  collection  of short  documentaries detailing the contributionof Canadians from WW One to the Afghanistan conflict.

The Power and the Grace

Canadian Nurses at the Front
Nursing sisters played a major role during the First World War. Between 1914 and 1918, 2,504 served in Europe.

World War One

World War Two

Canada at War


More Documentaries

FactualTV  has  a collection of 88 Military streaming videos to watch on the European and Pacific  WW 2 conflicts


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