Military | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Macleans

    Canadian Troops to Stay in Afghanistan

    Their widows wept. A bagpiper played an old, sad song. The faces of comrades were ashen. Memorial services for fallen soldiers are, of course, painfully unique to the families and friends of the dead; but what they offer the nation is familiar ritual, perhaps a feeling of closure.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on October 20, 2003

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  • Article

    Canadian Volunteers in the War of 1812

    A band of Americans and pro-American Canadians living in Upper Canada, the Canadian Volunteers were a company-sized regiment that fought on the American side during the WAR OF 1812.

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  • Article

    Canadian Women in the Cold War Navy

    Women served in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) throughout the Cold War. Known for much of this period as “Wrens,” they played an important role in RCN missions and operations, including antisubmarine warfare. In 1951, the Canadian Naval Reserve began recruiting women into the service. Women could join the regular navy beginning in 1955; the RCN was the first Commonwealth navy to integrate women into the permanent force. For many years, Wrens served in shore-based branches and trades, including stores, communications, intelligence, submarine detection and in the medical services. By the end of the Cold War, all naval trades and occupations, except submarine service, were open to women. (See also Canada and the Cold War; Women in the Military.)

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  • Article

    Canadian Women's Army Corps

    During the Second World War, Canadian women, for the first time, were mobilized for service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Of the roughly 50,000 women who enlisted, more than half served in the Canadian Army. Most were assigned jobs involving traditional female work such as cooking, laundry and clerical duties, but women also pioneered roles in the mechanized and technical fields. The Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) performed essential services, both at home and overseas, that helped bring about Allied victory.

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  • Article

    Carlyle Clare Agar

    In 1949 he airlifted construction material, equipment and personnel to the mountainside Palisade Lake Dam. In 1951 he performed a similar task for the Aluminium Co of Canada's giant smelter complex at Kitimat, BC.

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  • Article

    Charles Cecil Merritt, VC

    Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt, VC, barrister, soldier, Member of Parliament (born 10 November 1908 in Vancouver, BC; died 12 July 2000 in Vancouver). During the Second World War, Lieutenant-Colonel Cec Merritt was the first Canadian to earn the Victoria Cross (VC) in the European theatre, the highest award for bravery among troops of the British Empire.

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  • Article

    Charles Constantine

    Charles Constantine, mounted policeman (b at Bradford, Yorkshire 13 Nov 1849; d at Long Beach, Calif 5 May 1912). Immigrating to Canada as a young man, Constantine was a member of the Red River Expedition sent against Louis Riel and the Manitoba Métis in 1870.

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  • Article

    Charles de Beauharnois de La Boische, Marquis de Beauharnois

    Charles de Beauharnois de La Boische Beauharnois, Marquis de Beauharnois, (baptized 12 October 1671 in La Chaussaye, near Orléans, France; died 12 July 1749 in Paris, France). Beauharnois was a naval officer in the wars of Louis XIV. From 1726 to 1747, he was the governor of New France. He initially built upon Indigenous alliances and defended New France from British incursions. However, the loss of Louisbourg in 1745 and the subsequent deterioration of relationships with Indigenous allies both occurred under Beauharnois and contributed to the eventual conquest of New France.

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  • Article

    Charles de Menou d'Aulnay

    Military supremacy did not solve the problem of how to bring real social and economic stability to the colony for d'Aulnay. After his accidental death by drowning in 1650, Acadia lapsed again into internal strife.

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  • Article

    Charles Foulkes

    Charles Foulkes, army officer (b at Stockton-on-Tees, Eng 3 Jan 1903; d at Ottawa 12 Sept 1969).

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  • Article

    Charles Gavan Power

    Charles Gavan Power, "Chubby," lawyer, politician (b at Sillery, Qué 18 Jan 1888; d at Québec C 30 May 1968). Power was seriously wounded in WWI and won the Military Cross for gallantry. He denounced military "brass hats" ever after.

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  • Article

    Charles Goldhamer

    Charles Goldhamer, painter (b at Philadelphia, Pa 21 Aug 1903; d at Toronto 27 Jan 1985). He was commissioned as one of Canada's official war artists, and his candidly observed charcoal drawings of burned Canadian airmen in an English hospital are some of the most horrific images of WWII.

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  • Article

    Charles Gorman

    Charles Gorman, speed skater (b at Saint John 6 July 1897; d at St Martins, NB 11 Feb 1940). Despite suffering a shrapnel wound in one leg during WWI, Charlie Gorman's international success earned him the title of "the man with the million dollar legs.

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  • Article

    Charles Hamilton Mitchell

    Charles Hamilton Mitchell, CB, CMG, DSO, civil engineer and military intelligence officer (born 18 February 1872 in Petrolia, ON; died 26 August 1941 in Toronto, ON). Charles Hamilton Mitchell was an engineer and intelligence officer in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War and attained the rank of brigadier general. He served in England, France and Italy during the war and became the most decorated intelligence officer in Canadian military intelligence history. After the war, he became dean of engineering at the University of Toronto, serving in that role until 1941.

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  • Article

    Charles Henry Byce

    Charles Henry Byce, DCM, MM, Cree soldier, war hero, pulp and paper mill worker (born 9 March 1916 in Chapleau, ON; died 25 November 1994 in Newmarket, ON). Byce was Canada’s most highly decorated Indigenous soldier of the Second World War (see Indigenous Peoples and the Second World War), receiving the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and the Military Medal (MM).

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