Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Location: Northumberland County N 44 00.401 W 077 52.880
In front of the Legion, 92 King Street.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 187 is named after one of Canada's bravest soldiers, Charles S. Rutherford, who was awarded the Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Military Medal for his bravery on the battlefields of the First World War.
*Charles Smith Rutherford was born in Colborne, Ontario on 9 January 1892. He earned the Military Medal at Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917, and the Military Cross at Arvillers, France in 1918. He earned the Victoria Cross in Monchy-le-Preux, France, 26 August 1918 with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion whilst leading an assaulting party. Finding himself a considerable distance ahead of his men, he noted an enemy party standing before a pillbox ahead of him. Lieutenant Rutherford beckoned, revolver in hand, for them to come to him, and the enemy in return waved for him to come to them. This he did, and by masterly bluff, he informed them that they were surrounded. Incredible, the entire enemy party of 45, including two officers, surrendered to him. Rutherford then persuaded one of the officers to stop the fire of an enemy machine gun nearby. This allowed his own men to advance quickly to his support. Rutherford then captured another pillbox nearby, and another 35 prisoners, as well as a machine gun.
Rutherford died in Ottawa, Ontario, on 11 June 1989.
“For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty. When in command of an assaulting party Lt. Rutherford found himself a considerable distance ahead of his men, and at the same moment observed a fully armed strong enemy party outside a ‘Pill Box’ ahead of him. He beckoned to them with his revolver to come to him, in return they waves to him to come to them. This he boldly did, and informed them that they were prisoners. This fact an enemy officer disputed and invited Lt. Rutherford to enter the ‘Pill Box,’ an invitation he discreetly declined. By masterly bluff, however, he persuaded the enemy that they were surrounded, and the whole party of 45, including two officers and three machine guns, surrendered to him.
Subsequently he induced the enemy officer to stop the fire of an enemy machine-gun close by, and Lt. Rutherford took advantage of the opportunity to hasten the advance of his men to his support.
Lt. Rutherford then observed that the right assaulting party was held up by heavy machine-gun fire from another ‘Pill Box.’ Indicating an objective to the remainder of his party he attacked the ‘Pill Box’ with a Lewis gun section and captured a further 35 prisoners with machine guns, thus enabling the party to continue their advance.
The bold and gallant action of this officer contributed very materially to the capture of the main objective and was a wonderful inspiration to all ranks in pressing home the attack on a very strong position.”
* taken from: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/gal/vcg-gcv/bio/rutherford-cs-eng.asp
The memorial at the Colborne Legion consists of two parts. First is the bell from the local public school, preserved by the members of the Legion adorned with two plaques of remembrance. The second is a striking mural painted on the side of the Legion, depicting the youth of Colborne leaving their schools and village to fight for their country.
THIS CAIRN WAS ERECTED BY BRANCH 187
OF THE CANADIAN LEGION IN THE
CENTENNIAL YEAR 1967,
TO PRESERVE THE BELL OF COLBORNE'S
UNION GRAMMAR SCHOOL 1857-1957
DEDICATED JUNE 14, 1967 BY
CHARLES RUTHERFORD V.C. M.C. M.M.
"THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD,
AS WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW
OLD; AGE SHALL NOT
WEARY THEM NOR THE
YEARS CONDEMN. AT THE
GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
AND IN THE MORNING WE
WILL REMEMBER THEM."
Friday, 22 November 2013
Location: Haldimand County N 42 54.252 W 079 37.164
In Central Park, at the corner of Broad Street West and Cedar Street.
The Dunnville cenotaph consists of a stone cross and small garden in the town's main park. Bordered by nearby water parks and playgrounds, this memorial was erected by the Town of Dunnville to honour the memories of those who fought in the World Wars and Korea.
The town and the Legion are currently investigating the possibility of moving and improving the cenotaph to the large waterfront park along the Grand River.
LEST WE FORGET
IN HONOURED MEMORY
OF THOSE WHO SERVED
IN WARS OF
1914 - 1918
1939 - 1945
1950 - 1953
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Location: City of North Bay N 46° 17.864 W 079° 27.403
On stone pedestal in Veterans Park, between Memorial Drive and Main Street.
North Bay is known as the Gateway to the North, and home to CFB North Bay. The memorial is a CF-100 Canuck mounted on a concrete pedestal. Plaques mounted on the concrete tell the story of the aircraft and give thanks to the men and women of 414 Squadron, 406 Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force and to the citizens of North Bay for their support. It was erected by 406 Wing, Royal Canadian Air Force Association in 1971.
The CF-100 "Canuck" was the last Canadian designed and built fighter flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force. It first entered service in 1950 and the last retired from service in 1981, having been used in reconnaissance, training, and electronic warfare roles. The unit insignia on this aircraft is that of 414 'Black Knight' Squadron, which was based at CFB North Bay from 1957 to 1964 and again from 1972 to 1992. During the Squadron's first stay in North Bay, it flew CF-100s.
ERECTED BY 406 WING,
ROYAL CANADIAN AIR
FORCE ASSOCIATION AND
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY
OF THEIR CONRADES WHO
GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE
SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY
SEPTEMBER 19TH, 1971
THE CF100 "CANUCK" WAS CONCEIVED TO MEET THE
DEMANDING REQUIREMENTS OF DEFENDING A COUNTRY AS
VAST AS CANADA. IT WAS A TWO PLACE, ALL WEATHER HIGH
ALTITUDE LONG RANGE INTERCEPTOR BUILT IN CANADA.
IT FIRST FLEW ON 19 JAN. 1950 AND THE FIRST WERE
DELIVERED TO THE RCAF OPERATIONAL TRAINING UNIT NORTH
BAY IN JULY 1952. THERE WERE 9 SQDNS BASED IN CANADA,
4 BASED IN EURPOPE AND 3 BASED IN BELGIUM. A TOTAL OF
692 CF100s WERE BUILT.
(other plaque of no consequence)
414 (E W) SQUADRON
DEDICATED TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE
SERVED WITH 414 SQUADRON OVER THE PAST
50 YEARS, AND TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTH BAY
FOR THEIR UNENDING SUPPORT.
DEDIEE A TOUS LES HOMMES ET LES FEMMES QUI
ONT SERVI L’ESCADRILLE 414, DEPUIS LES 50
DERNIERES ANNEES, ET A TOUS LES CITOYENS
DE NORTH BAY POUR LEUR APPUI CONSTANT.
Monday, 11 November 2013
Location: CFB Trenton
Highway 2, outside the main gates of the base.
Since the beginning of the Afghanistan War, every fallen soldier killed overseas has returned home to a sorrowful yet respectful Repatriation Ceremony, to be re-united with their families before making the tearful drive along the Highway of Heroes.
Fellow soldiers and veterans are in attendance, as are friends and strangers, standing together in silence, all gathered to pay their respects and give thought to the fallen.
Outside the fence they wait, looking inside as the ceremony of repatriation takes place at CFB Trenton. As the motorcade leaves the Base, it turns onto Highway 2, onto a stretch of roadway now known as Repatriation Row. It is here, that hundreds of ordinary Canadians gather to give thanks and show deep respect for the extraordinary person in the hearse, and to show the families that they are not alone in their suffering. Their sacrifice is shared by all, and will be remembered by all.
Our hero has returned, his task interrupted far too soon.
Our hero has returned, now back on his native soil,
To be reunited with family and loved ones, and buried with dignity.
They stand silent, but for the sobs of sorrow.
They stand parched, but for the tears of sadness.
They may have never known the fallen, but their tributes are touching and personal.
They stand tall and proud as the fallen hero passes.
Some wave flags, some carry signs, some hold nothing but emotions.
All carry the grief of a nation, and respect for the dead.
Along the bridges and vantage points of the Highway of Heroes, hundreds more will stop and pay their final tribute to the heroic and unwavering bravery of the men and women of our Armed Forces.
Remembrance Day is a tribute not only to those of the past, those who have served and have given their lives for our country and our freedom, but also of those who serve today, those who are willing to step into harms way to protect the rights and freedoms that we hold dear to our hearts and to our way of life as Canadians.
Lest We Forget
A group of Canadian Army Veterans is trying to have a marble plaque erected along Repatriation Row, in honour of the ceremonies that take place here. We all hope that we never need another repatriation ceremony, but the grim reality of life is that it will likely happen again.
I came across this marble plaque inside the National Air Force Museum at CFB Trenton. At the time I did not know of its significance, but further study unveiled the meaning of this touching tribute to our fallen heroes.
You Are Now
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Location: Wellington County N 43 58.127 W 080 58.762
West of the main intersection of Allan Street and Veterans Way, in Memorial Park.
This memorial was erected by the citizens of the village of Clifford and Howick Township, to pay tribute to the seven local men who were lost in the Great War. After the Second World War, two more names were added of those lost in that war.
This area is now known as the Town of Minto, following the 1999 amalgamation with Palmerston and Harriston, although each village maintains its own historic roots and memorials.
ERECTED BY THE
CITIZENS OF CLIFFORD AND VICINITY
IN MEMORY OF
THE HEROES WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR
PTE CRAWFORD NEWTON
KILLED IN ACTION AT PASSCHENDAELE OCT. 23 1917
PTE WILLIAM A. HOOD
KILLED IN ACTION AT REMY WOOD AUG. 28 1918
PTE DOUGLAS BATES
KILLED IN ACTION AT ARRAS SEPT. 2 1918
PTE JOHN BINKLE
KILLED IN ACTION SEPT. 29 1918
PTE JAMES F. WELTON
DIED IN ENGLAND FEB. 2 1919
PTE JOHN E. DETTMAN M.M.
DIED IN CLIFFORD NOV. 25, 1920
CPL THOMAS LOCHEED
WORLD WAR II
PTE IRVIN C. WILSON
P.O. CLIFFORD A. HARDING
Saturday, 2 November 2013
Location: Simcoe County N 44 26.393 W 079 45.723
Located inside Springwater Provincial Park. Follow the signs from Highway 26, park at the front gate and follow the path to the right, for 300 metres.
This historic memorial represents a story which is much more involved than meets the eye. The area where the memorial was erected is an area of conservation, of remembrance, and currently of conflict.
This area been used as traditional lands of the Native people who have lived here successfully for over 10,000 years, the rich hardwood forests supplying them with the means to survive and thrive. During the years of settlement, the Natives where eventually replaced by settlers and their farms. The land soon became barren, due to the sandy soil which could not support the toils of farming, and turned to a windblown wasteland of desert. Along came one of Ontario’s most prominent conservationists, Dr. Edmund Zavitz, Ontario's first Chief Forester, who developed the idea of planting pine trees to stabilize the soil and thus helped to save the landscape across southern Ontario. Dr. Zavitz, along with future Premier Hon. E.C. Drury(1919-1922) established Ontario's first demonstration forest right here, near Midhurst, in an area which had eroded to the point of no return and also contained several life-giving springs to sustain and grow his beloved pines. The springs are an important headwaters for the Minesing Wetlands, an internationally important, RAMSAR Convention wetlands. The Minesing Wetlands is the last, largest continuous wetlands in southern Ontario. For years this area was used by “Zavitz’s Boys” as a training ground for conservation and forestry. Over one million pines were planted in the Midhurst Forest Station, and eight to ten million seedlings were distributed across the province
With the outbreak of war in 1914, many of the local boys headed off to Europe to further serve their country and fight for freedom. Many never came back, and eighteen men from Vespra Township(now Springwater Township) lost their lives in the conflict. Dr. Zavitz arranged to pay tribute to these brave souls by erecting a monument in this forest, among the pines and natural springs, to pay tribute to the Vespra Boys. A stone cenotaph was hand-built in 1929 by local men Robert Mills and Harvey Spence under the direction of Methven A. Adamson, Superintendent of the Forest Station 1929 – 1956, The Vespra Boys cenotaph was the central focus of the Vespra Legion Branch 149 which started in 1929, had over 120 members at its height and was de-commissioned in 1974 because its membership fell below the minimum allowable. Two engraved plaques of limestone where embedded on the stone cairn. The inscription on the white marble front piece is Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – Latin from Horace meaning: It is sweet and right to die for your country. In 1913, Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori was inscribed on the wall of the chapel of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK the British Army officer initial training centre. The phrase can be found at the front entrance to the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at the Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA. On the back of the cairn, originally was a fountain of spring water, the essential element of life, along with a suitable plaque. In front of the memorial was once a small pond and fountain, a symbol of eternal life, now filled in and removed.
After the Second World War, a “V” for Victory was created across the bank of a small stream behind the memorial. The original configuration was made of Yew trees, and later changed to a stone V-shaped garden, which can still be seen today.
The area was designated a Provincial Park in 1958, and continued to grow, not only as a recreation area for the people of this region, but also as an area of continued conservation and appreciation of nature. Springwater Provincial Park is a tremendous asset to the people of Springwater Township and visitors alike.
The current provincial government, in its wisdom decided to close Springwater Park in October of 2012, along with nine other Provincial Parks. With encroaching development from Barrie, and the value of this land as a prospective tax base, the future of this beautiful park is under a severe threat. Shortly after the announcement of the closure of the park, the area was occupied by several Native people, destined to save this historic and unique forest from development. The Natives still occupy the park today, but allow visitors to enjoy the forest and roam freely under the tall pines.
The memorial itself is also under threat of being removed, with a group called Springwater Park Citizens Coalition trying their best to protect not only the park, but also to protect the memorial and keep it here in its chosen location, rather than have it moved to another location and possibly being damaged in the process. Recently the memorial was subjected to a severe sand-blasting of the stonework and several of the adjacent flowerpots and decorations were damaged in the process. The work done to the memorial has vastly changed the look, destroying the attractive patina acquired from years of weathering, and also caused cracks in the mortar, which will be destructive once the cold weather and ice wreaks its havoc. Why the Ministry of Natural Resources used such a destructive method is scandalous, although they claim they are trying to restore and preserve the cairn, they seem to have caused more damage than good. This memorial is one small obstacle in the future development of these sacred lands, one which will be removed if the current political agenda is allowed to continue. Hopefully the will of the citizens of Springwater can win out over the tax-seeking, developer endorsed politicians of Ontario.
This year on November 11th, a traditional Remembrance Day ceremony is scheduled to take place, despite the current situation, which will also include a tribute of the Native contribution to our nation in times of conflict. In the past, the MNR had placed a wreath at the cenotaph, but there had never been a proper ceremony. Now with the closing of the park, the local people are taking it upon themselves to do what is right.
The names of the eighteen Vespra Boys lost in the Great War:
· Arthur Bell
· Frederick Benson
· Ernest Cloughley
· Lewis Cole
· Ernest A. Finlay
· Wilson Greaves
· Wilfred Higgins
· Herbert Roy Hodgson
· George Hodgson
· Arthur Jacobs
· Wallace Key
· William Lang
· Garnet Maw
· John Muir
· William Parker
· James Henry (Harry) Priest
· Stanley Reynolds
· George Selkirk
LEST WE FORGET
IN MEMORY OF THE
WHO DIED IN THE
DULCE ET DECORUM EST
PRO PATRIA MORIUM
IN MEMORY OF THE
WHO DIED IN THE
DULCE ET DECORUM EST
PRO PATRIA MORIUM
WE DRINK OF LIFE