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Left: Cpl (Ret’d) Tomkins at age 85 in 2003. He was one of the few known Cree Code Talkers who used the Cree language to create a secret code that may very well have turned the tide of the Second World War in favour of the Allies. Photo courtesy of Adele Laderoute. Right: Corporal (Retired) Charles (Checker) Tomkins during the Second World War, circa 1940. He was part of a group of Indigenous Canadian soldiers who created a secret code using their own language that the enemy had no way to break.  Photo courtesy Alex Lazarowich

Indigenous languages used as code in Second World War

Lynn Capuano with files from Shannon Morrow, Army Public Affairs ~ Secrecy in communication during the Second World War was as important as it was difficult. What better way to create an unbreakable secret code than to use a little-known language as its base? Messages, whether in plain language or in code, were constantly being intercepted, stolen, […]

Photo courtesy Hayley Young, CFMETR

HMCS Regina conducts sensors and weapons testing

Stephen McCormick, CFMETR Range Engineer ~ As part of ongoing ship readiness preparations, HMCS Regina was at the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges Oct. 24 to 25 to conduct FORACS testing – FORACS is an acronym that stands for NATO Naval Forces Sensor and Weapons Accuracy Check.   Over the past 22 years Canada […]

Second World War veteran William ‘Glen’ Ryder poses for a photo with his wife Velma Ryder at Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead on Oct. 28, 2019. During the war, Ryder was part of a six-man crash boat crew that patrolled the west coast of Vancouver Island for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Marine Division. Photo by Peter Mallett. Inset: William ‘Glen’ Ryder

Japanese submarines brought unease to west coast

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ On a cool, sunny day inside a glassed solarium at Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead Care in Saanich, 97-year-old William ‘Glen’ Ryder reflected on his days as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Marine Squadron. During the final three-and-a-half years of the war, Ryder was part of the Marine […]

Funeral service for the nine deceased crew members of HMCS Kootenay with the burnt and damaged ship in the background at Devonport, UK, Oct. 27, 1969. The ceremony was held on board HMCS Saguenay, a fellow ship that had served alongside Kootenay in the naval exercise.

Engineer recalls tragedy of Kootenay explosion

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ It’s been 50 years since a deadly explosion and fire ripped through HMCS Kootenay, but the “awful aftermath’ still haunts 71-year-old Englishman Robert Twitchin. The east coast tragedy is still considered the worst peace-time accident in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), killing nine sailors. It all went wrong in the engine […]

Murray Edwards attends a ceremony for his 90th year certificate presented by Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in November 2019. Credit: Peter Mallett

A forgotten Hero of a forgotten war

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ A 99-year-old veteran of the Korean War isn’t giving up his life-long quest to see a platoon mate receive proper recognition for his unparalleled heroism at the Battle of Kapyong. Murray Edwards served Canada from 1942 – the height of the Second World War – to the Korean War, Cyprus, and […]

Chief Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Melvin Hiles, 90, is presented with his Ambassador For Peace medal by Korean Consulate Official Kangjun Lee during a private ceremony at the Kiwanis Village seniors home in Nanaimo on Oct. 8. Credit Garth Hiles. Left: An undated file photo of Melvin Hiles from his first days at CFB Esquimalt.

Korean War Veteran receives special medal

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ There were hugs, cheers and tears for the family of an ailing veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy when he received an Ambassador for Peace medal for his service in the Korean War. Chief Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Melvin Hiles, 90, was presented the commemorative medal by Korean Consulate Official […]

Veteran’s common scents business

Veteran’s common scents business

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ When Lieutenant-Commander (Retired) David Lewis launched his small business, he had a simple business plan that relied on one premise: The nose knows common scents. Knowing there are about 450 olfactory receptors that communicate between the nose and brain, the 60-year-old veteran created Battle Rattle Candle Company – scented candles with […]

This authentic Second World War-era coat is just one example of the contents of the Canadian War Museum’s Supply Line Second World War Discovery Box. The resource is being made available to schools at no charge and includes other artifacts from the era to enhance classroom instruction. Photos Provided by the Canadian War Museum.

Discovery Box makes history tangible

Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs ~ The Canadian War Museum is bringing the Second World War to life for students across the country with a new “Discovery Box” of artifacts designed to stimulate discussion in the classroom. The project is a follow up to the museum’s Supply Line First World War Discovery Box, which has been borrowed […]

Historica Canada’s new history teaching tool

Historica Canada’s new history teaching tool

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ A new teaching tool by non-profit Historica Canada is bringing first-hand accounts of veterans to the classroom just in time for Remembrance Day. Record of Service: Canadian Contributions to International Peace and Security is geared towards middle school and high school students and includes a free education guide and accompanying DVD […]

Former Canadian Forces Artist Program volunteer Scott Waters depicts two members of 2RCR (Royal Canadian Regiment) sleeping in their light armoured vehicle during training at CFB Gagetown in 2006.

Artist Scott Waters paints a picture of a soldier’s life

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~ Toronto-based artist Scott Waters’ military experience has framed much of his work. He served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry between 1989 and 1992, and was stationed at Work Point. He and his platoon mates were preparing for war, hoping to be deployed to Kuwait for The Gulf War. His […]