Legion Enters the Blogosphere
For the past two years, the Legion has embarked on an aggressive two-phase plan to modernize its organization. The first phase was for Dominion Command to make arrangements to provide a computer to every Legion Branch. The second phase consisted in revamping its outreach efforts through both traditional media and new media – more commonly referred to as social media and this is where we would like to welcome you to LegionConnect.
“The unprecedented ease of communication and access to information means that any Veteran who wishes to express themselves has ample mediums to do so,” says Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Tom Eagles. “The aim of Legion Connect is to offer currently serving and former military members a unique opportunity to engage in virtual discussions amongst the Veteran community on issues that directly impact them free of charge and free of commercial advertising,” adds Eagles.
Any Veteran that wishes to join Legion Connect is invited to visit our link: register and look up your Alma matter or your friends and current or former colleagues.
During the Second World War, more than 70 million people died worldwide as a result of the war (training, combat, civilian casualties, war crimes, as well as famine and disease related to the war). The numbers are numbing, the tragedy literally incomprehensible. The death machine ground away twenty-four hours a day for nearly six years, spewing inhumanity, obscenity and tragedy unchecked around the world. It was a time of incredible creativity in the pursuit of death—ballistic missiles, new flying machines, new tactics, gigantic factories for death that ran like Swiss timepieces and finally nuclear weapons. In the end, it was blood and flesh and young lives that made the difference.
War's opening gambit is death, and it's not over until the killing is
To die in war is a tragedy of immense proportions. Each young life is a story of potential squandered, of beauty consumed by violence, of unimaginable grief for mothers, fathers and spouses. To have died in that horrific war is tragic and a sacrifice that for many millions of people in Europe and the Far East is, today, largely forgotten on an individual basis. For a country with a small population like Canada's during the Second World War, the numbers were tiny fractions of the loss felt by countries like Russia, Poland, Japan, Germany and nations in Europe and the Far East, but none the less, the pain for our country is felt to this day. All these deaths are tragedies, but to be the first or the last of these numbers carries a certain extra tragic significance. To be first, to be taken out of the fight in the opening gambit, to die in the first action, is akin to the first pawn tak
en in a chess game... gone, forgotten and out of the game. To be last seems the greater tragedy—a death by crushing misfortune. After years of risking one's life, having it taken with the finish line, not just in sight, but literally underneath you, carries with it an eternal sadness.
The first Canadian-born combatant to die in the Second World War was Sergeant Albert Stanley Prince, a bomber pilot of the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command. He was killed within 24 hours of Great Britain's declaration of war on Germany and while attacking cruisers of the Kreigsmarine in Wilhelmshaven, the German Navy's main base on the Baltic. His death came a full two years and three months before America entered the war, and was the first Canadian death of more than ten thousand to die in the service of Bomber Command alone. Albert was dead and Eliza Prince became the first of nearly 45,000 Canadian mothers who would carry that sacrifice in their hearts until their dying days. Winifred, his
wife, would have to suffer the loneliness and deprivations of war while carrying her grief for all but 24
hours of a war that lasted more for 52,000 hours.
The last Canadian to die in the Second World War was Lieutenant Gerald Arthur “Andy” Anderson of Trenton, Ontario. Andy, a member of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, was a Corsair pilot serving with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. The circumstances of his death are particularly heartbreaking as we shall see. One can imagine that his mother Annie was excited that her son would soon becoming home, for news of the atomic bombs which struck the final blows against Japan would have reached her before the news of her son's death. He died the same day that the last nuclear weapon was used in a war—August 9, 1945.
Good Day Shipmates, The Friends of HMCS Haida received a request to iden fy the sailors in the a ached photo. Do any of you know who they might be.? Thanks. Andy Barber 905 820-5683