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Editorial

Editorial: Igor Gouzenko Defects to Canada

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

A knock on the apartment door froze him in his steps. Another knock, louder, more insistent. The knocking turned to pounding. A voice called his name several times. Finally, the pounding stopped, and he heard footsteps going down the stairs. He knew he needed help.

Article

Simon Girty

Simon Girty, frontiersman, British Indian agent, Loyalist settler in Upper Canada (Ontario), (born 14 November 1741 near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; died 18 February 1818 in Malden, Upper Canada). Girty fought in the American Revolution and in wars involving Indigenous peoples and white settlers. Girty had a great capacity to work with Indigenous leaders but was often remembered as a villain and controversial figure, mainly because of his allegiance to Britain, rather than to the Americans.

Memory Project

Lucien Dion (Primary Source)

Mr. Lucien Dion is a Korean War veteran who went overseas with the 2nd Battalion of Le Royal 22e Régiment in 1951-1952. Trained as a Universal (Bren) Carrier driver, he experienced one of the most terrible episode of the regiment's history: the Battle of Hill 355 in November 1951.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Content warning: This article contains content which some may find offensive or disturbing.

Article

Oliver Milton Martin

Oliver Milton Martin, Kanyen'kehà:ka (Mohawk) army officer, air force pilot, teacher, principal, magistrate (born 9 April 1893, in Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, ON; died 18 December 1957 in Toronto, ON). Martin served in the Canadian Army during both world wars. During the First World War, he fought on the Western Front as a commissioned officer and later trained as an observer and pilot. During the Second World War, Martin commanded home defence brigades in Canada. He reached the rank of brigadier, the highest rank attained by an Indigenous soldier to that point. After the war, he worked in education and was the first Indigenous person appointed as a provincial magistrate in Ontario.

Memory Project

David Bowen (Primary Source)

Delivering dispatches between units was a dangerous and often thankless job. David Bowen navigated the difficult terrain and remained aware of the risks he took each day. During the Korean War he began sketching and producing watercolour images of daily life. Today he is an accomplished artist.

Content warning: This article contains content which some may find offensive or disturbing.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Canadian War Art Programs

Since the First World War, there have been four major initiatives to allow Canadian artists to document Canadian Armed Forces at war. Canada’s first official war art program, the Canadian War Memorials Fund (1916–19), was one of the first government-sponsored programs of its kind. It was followed by the Canadian War Art Program (1943–46) during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program (1968–95) and the Canadian Forces Artists Program (2001–present) were established to send civilian artists to combat and peacekeeping zones. Notable Canadian war artists have included A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, Lawren Harris, Alex Colville and Molly Lamb Bobak.

Article

Leonard Birchall

Leonard Joseph (Birch) Birchall, CM, O Ont, air force pilot, war hero, educator (born 6 July 1915 in St. Catharines, ON; died 10 September 2004 in Kingston, ON). During the Second World War, Birchall became known as the “Saviour of Ceylon” for alerting Allied forces of an approaching Japanese fleet. Captured after sending his message, he is also renowned for the courage and leadership he displayed while a prisoner of war.

Article

Bertram Hoffmeister

Major General Bertram (Bert) Meryl Hoffmeister, OC, CB, CBE, DSO & Two Bars, ED, Canadian Army officer, businessman (born 15 May 1907 in Vancouver, BC; died 4 December 1999 in Vancouver, BC). During the Second World War, Hoffmeister commanded the Seaforth Highlanders in Sicily, the 2nd Infantry Brigade at Ortona (1943) and the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, which distinguished itself under his courageous leadership in Italy and later in North-West Europe. Military historian Jack Granatstein has referred to Major General Hoffmeister as one of “the best Canadian fighting generals of the [Second world] war.”When the war ended, Hoffmeister resumed his career in the BC forest industry and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.

Memory Project

Gilles Martin (Primary Source)

Gilles Martin served in the Canadian Army during the Korean War. Read and listen to his testimony below.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Memory Project

Jack Mussellam (Primary Source)

Read and listen to M. Mussellam's veteran's testimony below.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Nichola Goddard

Nichola Goddard, MSM, soldier (born 2 May 1980 in Madang, Papua New Guinea; died 17 May 2006 in Afghanistan). Captain Nichola Goddard was the first female Canadian soldier to die in combat. Her death shocked the nation and was widely covered by Canadian news media. Although many Canadians believed that military combat was a job for men, Goddard’s story revealed the commitment, service and sacrifice of women in the Canadian armed forces.

Article

Andrew Mynarski, VC

Andrew Charles Mynarski, airman, Victoria Cross recipient (b at Winnipeg 14 Oct 1916; d at Cambrai, France 13 June 1944). Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster bomber that was shot down by a German aircraft.

Editorial

Vancouver Feature: Hero Slain on a Vancouver Street

The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated.


Constable Robert McBeath stopped a drunk driver on Granville Street in the wee hours of an October morning in 1922. It was routine police work for the twenty-four year-old constable, but it would cost him the life he had risked just a few years before, when he earned the Victoria Cross at the Somme.

Memory Project

Ivan Harvey Feldberg (Primary Source)

Ivan Feldberg served in the Canadian Army  (PPCLI) during the Second World War. Listen and read his testimony below.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Content warning: This article contains content which some may find offensive or disturbing.