Sunday, October 25, 2009

Novemebr 11th Remembrance Day

If you have a Canadian $10 bill, look at the back right side of the bill.

  • You will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial.
  • His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died last year, at the age of 90. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the   Second World War.
  • Born in England, he one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg.
  • He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. Enroute to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire.
  • Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk.
  • Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in north Africa and Italy.
  • Enroute his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck. 
  • In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel
  • Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital.
  • They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padre. 
  • After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county.
     At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa. One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him.

     "He had no idea he would be on the bill," his daughter said.

And now you know the rest of the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.


john allison said...

Les. Thank you so much for that touching story. Many of our parents served in WW !! and Korea. What a generation we had to follow. They set the standard and the bar very high through their love and dedication to a cause that we still remember today. We from Verdun can be very proud of them. The highest participation percentage wise of any city or region in the Armed forces during the 2nd World War, were the men and women of Verdun. God Bless each and everyone of them. They gave everything they had that we might have a better life....

william Cooper said...

Many may not be aware but Canadian Military were conducting business in Vietnam as well.
Bill (Second Avenue)

Les F said...

to quote wikipedia,Canada' was associated in a 'Non-Belligerent' way.Also this was in 1973,nearing the end.but a Vet is a Vet anyway you look at it. .............HF&RV
Canada and the Vietnam War
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Military history of Canada:
Wars since Confederation
Red River Expedition
Boer War
First World War
Russian Civil War
Spanish Civil War
Second World War
Korean War
Cold War
UN Peacekeeping
Invasion of Afghanistan
Canada did not fight in the Vietnam War and diplomatically it was officially "non-belligerent". The country's troop deployments to Vietnam were limited to a small number of national forces in 1973 to help enforce the Paris Peace Accords.[citation needed] Nevertheless, the war had considerable effects on Canada, while Canada and Canadians affected the war, in return.

pauline garneau said...

Canadian Newsreels

Canada's special brigade (00/08/1950): interior shots of meeting of the Canada-United States Industrial Mobilization Board, CD Howe present. Sequence on men enlisting at #4 Personnel Depot in Montreal, at #6 depot, Chorley Park in Toronto, line-ups, signing up, medical examinations. Shots of men still in civil clothes having first army meal. sequence on men reading about enlistment, joining up, undergoing medicals, swearing loyalty. Sequence on basic training, rifle firing, bren gun, motorcycle training, artillery training. Cut to sign "Canadian Army - Petawawa, Ontario". HASs of smoke on field, flame throwers in action, tracer bullets. Sequence on men learning use of grenades and grenade launchers.