Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Canada at War: A Guide to LAC's Websites

Private G.R. MacDonald of The Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.) giving first aid to an injured French boy, Brionne, France, 25 August 1944.

"Military and Peacekeeping" is one of the many topics found under the umbrella title of "Canada at War: A Guide to Library and Archives Canada's Websites Recalling the Canadian War Experience", found online at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/veterans/index-e.html.

This webpage will lead you to the many resources available on their website, particularly those who lost their lives in the First World War. Veterans' Week 2011 marks the 93rd anniversary of the armistice ending the First World War.

Sunday evening, we watched TVO's excellent documentary, "The Last Day of World War One", hosted by Michael Palin.

Although it was a British program about the last day of the war and the fighting that continued on that day even though the Armistice had actually been signed, many references were made to Canadians, including Strathroy, Ontario's own, General Sir Arthur Currie.

TVO is commemorating Remembrance Day with a month of special programming ww3.tvo.org/story/tvo-commemorates-remembrance-day-month-special-programming

Tomorrow's Post: Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War 

Monday, November 7, 2011

New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs Week 10

Here are some of the websites and blogs that I have come across the week ending November 6, 2011 -

The War Graves Photographic Project http://twgpp.org Started in England, it now covers Canadian graves, with over 30 volunteers taking photos of cemeteries under the guidance of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Canadian Veterans Affairs. You can research by surname and first name, and they have a photo gallery onsite, and News & Information. If you have a question about a Canadian grave, please email Vernon Mastman at vernon@twgpp.org.

The War of 1812 Website  www.warof1812.ca A well-rounded site that was started to commemorate the War of 1812 by listing the latest articles on the War of 1812, book reviews, videos, prints, maps, uniforms, and games.

The Birthplace of John McCrae and a National Historic Site http://guelpharts.ca/mccraehouse/index.php Read about the site and the events that are being held at the John McCrae House, the author of In Flanders Fields.

CFS Alert http://jproc.ca/rrp/alert.html Canadian Forces Station Alert in Nunavut is the most-northerly, permanently-inhabited settlement in the world of the Canadian military! The site gives a history of the place and the personnel, explanations of some of the equipment used, and contains some really good photographs of the station.

The Canadian International Military Tattoo New! www.canadianmilitarytattoo.ca The tattoo will take place in Hamilton to mark the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, as well as the 150th Anniversary of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

Canadian Forces casualties in Afghanistan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Forces_casualties_in_Afghanistan A breakdown of the Canadian casualties in Afghanistan is given as well as a history of where these casualties occurred, and continue to occur.

Avroland www.avroland.ca Dedicated to the people and projects of AVRO Canada and Orenda Engines Limited. The Toronto Aerospace Museum has completed their full-size replica Arrow, which is onsite, as well as the people who helped design and build the Avro Arrow.

Canadian Heroes (Military Heroes) www.canada-heros.com/military.html A blog which answers the question of "Who is a Hero?" Read about the Canadian heroes of yesterday and today. It also has Ginny McIlmoyle singing the song, "The Highway of Heroes", the stretch of Hwy 401 that goes from CFB Trenton to Toronto.  The song was written to honour the people who came back to Canada after they were killed in Afghanistan.

The Heroes Remember www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/hrp This website contains video interviews of Canadian Veterans of the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the Chinese-Canadian veterans, along with some very interesting anecdotes on their experiences.

Remembrance Day in Canada: Remembering Canadians Who Fought and Died in War http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/canadawar/a/remembranceday.htm  Lots of interesting links on this site, especially on the First World War.

Tomorrow's Post: Discover the Collection: Military and Peacekeeping

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets Database (1910-1941)

Canadian Corvettes, on antisubmarine duty while escorting a WW II convoy. National Archives of Canada / PA-115350

Library and Archives Canada has just announced the launch of a new online database, "Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets (1910-1941)".

The LAC says that "Through this online database, researchers can access more than 16,700 references to individuals who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some records for those who enlisted between 1919 and 1941".

The database is available at the following address:

For more information, please contact webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

I had one uncle in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, and his name was John (Johnnie) Turner Barclay (b. 1916 – d. 1975) from Jordan Falls, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. He was my father's brother, and his home base was CFB Halifax.

He often talked about the stormy weather that they had as they crossed the Northern Atlantic to fight off of the coast of England in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was in the engine room, and he said that there were cramped conditions in which they lived and worked during those long days at sea.

The navy lost 24 ships and 1,797 sailors in the war.

Admiralty House Museum, Halifax, NS http://psphalifax.ca/marcommuseum/convoys.html I have been at the museum in Halifax, and it is a beautiful place. The website says, "The museum has a library of over 50,000 volumes, archives, and a permanent collection displaying historical artifacts including model ships, weapons, photos, medals and much more".

Tomorrow's Post: New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs, Week 10

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Canada's Veterans' Week

Veterans' Week 2010

Canadian Veterans' Week will remember those Canadians who are, and have been, members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Veterans Affairs Canada, www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/veterans-week, is asking us to "Make remembrance more than something you feel. Make it something you do".

This Veterans’ Week, take the remembrance challenge - "There are many ways to show that you remember and honour our Veterans". For instance -
  • Pin a poppy above your heart.
  • Attend the local Remembrance Day ceremony.
  • Talk to a friend or relative who has just returned home from Afghanistan or who served in other areas of conflict.
  • Listen to Veterans talk about their experiences.
  • Create a mashup and share it on the Veterans Affairs Canada YouTube Channel.
  • Visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Facebook fan page, write on our wall, and share how you remember.
  • Follow Veterans Affairs Canada on Twitter and tweet about how you remember.

  • Change your Facebook profile picture to a poppy.

  • Blog, tweet or update your Facebook status about the importance of remembrance.
You can share your experiences with people who have put their experiences online in a video at the Remembrance Feed at www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/feature/remember/social?startRow=61 

You can share the experiences of the students at Westgrove School from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the experience of Jason Peters from College of New Caledonia, Prince George, B.C., to the experience of Cindi Hachey from Maugerville, New Brunswick.

Visit the Events page at www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/veterans-week/events for more information on  the events nearest you.

As the website says, "Together, it is our duty to pass on the legacy and keep the memories of our Canadian Veterans alive."

Tomorrow's Post: Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets (1910-1941)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blogger Showcases Canada’s Veterans' Week (November 5-11)

(Ottawa, Canada - November 3, 2011) In accepting the remembrance challenge of this year’s Veterans’ Week, “Make remembrance more than something you feel. Make it something you do”, Canadian blogger, Elizabeth Lapointe, will have a whole week of Canadian military-related posts on her blog, www.GenealogyCanada.blogspot.com.

Lapointe says, “Coming from a military family, and married into one, Veterans’ Week means something special to me. It is in this spirit that I will post on related Canadian military websites and blogs, culminating with a special Remembrance Day post on November 11th.”

Some examples of the posts planned during Veterans’ Week include a post on Veterans’ Week itself, listing the different events planned across Canada; a post covering the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National Military Cemetery at Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery in December; and on November 11th (Remembrance Day), there will be a post on The Portraits of Honour National Tour, which has been going across Canada since May, and which will stop in Ottawa on November 11th and 12th.

Also included will be a special “Canadian Military” websites and blogs list that will be posted on Monday, November 7th as a special edition of the “New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs” series, which is published every Monday.

“I have gone through the military websites and blogs, and have picked the ones which have special meaning and remembrance for this week. Join me as I take the journey to the best websites and blogs honouring Veterans’ Week - November 5th to the 11th," says Lapointe.

About GenealogyCanada

The blog, www.GenealogyCanada.blogspot.com, has been covering Canadian genealogy, heritage, and history since the first of over 500 posts was published in January, 2008.

At the www.GenealogyCanada.com website, there are over 30 monthly newsletters covering news on Canadian genealogy, heritage, and history, including the famous “Website of the Month”.

Tomorrow's Post: What is Canadian Veterans' Week?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Save Library and Archives Canada!

Over the past years, we have gradually seen the decline of service at the Library and Archives Canada.

Now it has come to light that the government is thinking of closing some parts of the LAC that the public now uses, and turn the space into office space for government employees.

This also involves what has been considered as "public space" on the main floor, including the auditorium, and meeting rooms. The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) meets for their monthly meetings, and conference; the Ottawa Genealogical Society (OGS) use to hold (until very recently) their monthly meetings and conferences there, and various SIGs also hold their meetings every month.

Now, a new group The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has a website called "Save the Library and Archives Canada" at http://www.savelibraryarchives.ca/default.aspx.

They held a press conference yesterday where they laid out their concerns about the LAC, and they have set up a web page where you can read the open letter they wrote to the Daniel Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. You can also leave your email address in order to be brought up-to-date with the latest news from CAUT.

John D. Reid on his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections http://anglo-celtic-connections.blogspot.com/ has been keeping us informed about the LAC. Read about what he has to say today about the LAC, and the government proposed cutbacks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Talk to be given on Home Children

A press release has just been received from Touchstones Nelson -

"Are you a descendant of a British child immigrant? Is there a “home child” in your family background? How would you know? Join historian and author Art Joyce Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Touchstones Nelson, Shawn Lamb Archives, 502 Vernon St., Nelson, BC for his presentation "Laying the Children’s Ghosts to Rest: Honouring Canada’s Child Immigrants".

These girls from the Barnardo's homes in England were among the 100,000 British poor children who were emigrated to Canada between 1869-1939. The families of the children often had no choice in their emigration and they were forced to work on farms or as household servants until legal age for little or no money. This group is arriving at St. John, New Brunswick in the 1920s. Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Between 1869 and 1939, 100,000 children were emigrated from Britain to Canada as a means of providing indentured labourers for newly developing farms or – in the case of girls – domestic servants for households. Tens of thousands more children were sent to Australia and New Zealand. Siblings were often separated and in most cases never saw one another or their parents again.

Joyce discovered that he was the grandson of just such a “home child” five years ago while doing genealogical research into his Joyce ancestors. Since then he has expanded his interest to include research on the history of Canada’s child immigrants, and in particular, the impact of this on families in the Columbia Basin.

He plans to compile a book based on both his family’s experience and the experiences of other Basin families who have “home children” in their background.

Joyce is the author of two books of West Kootenay history, "A Perfect Childhood and Hanging Fire & Heavy Horses", on the heritage homes and public transit of the historic city of Nelson, BC. A passage from A Perfect Childhood is quoted in the Knowledge Network’s BC Moments series and he was a popular heritage columnist for the Nelson Daily News from 1996-2000. For the past seven years he has worked as reporter and arts and culture editor for the Valley Voice newspaper in the Slocan Valley. Joyce is also the author of two recent books of poetry".

The website is at http://www.nelsonmuseum.ca/news/programming.php

A special "Canadian Military" websites and blogs will be listed here on Monday November 7th!