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Figgy Dowdy...if you dare

Figgy Dowdy...if you dare

 

For centuries the plain ships biscuit has been the English sailors staple fare.  Much maligned and the butt of many jokes, it is the Naval version of the Army's "hardtack".  It is made very simply using only flour, water and salt.

With such plain fare, the sailors had to become creative...

American Infantry Weapons on Dec 7, 1941

American Infantry Weapons on Dec 7, 1941

 

On 0755 hours Sunday morning December 7, 1941 the United States Navy’s Pacific
Fleet was attacked by Imperial Japanese Naval forces. By 0945, just shy of 2 hours, the attack was over, leaving in it’s wake all of the USN Pacific Fleet 8 battleships either sunk, capsized, or run aground. It’s three aircraft carriers were saved by not being in harbour that day.
In total of the 96 ships in harbour that day, 18 were sunk or heavily damaged. 188 Naval and Army Air Corp planes were lost and a total of Naval, Army, Marine and civilian casualties for the day were 2,403 dead and 1,178 wounded.
On Monday, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan and the US had
entered World War 2.

Pearl Harbour in Retrospect

Pearl Harbour in Retrospect

 

On the evening of Dec. 7th, 1941 the Canadian Prime Minster announced that Canada was at war with Japan. The British garrison at Hong Kong had been attacked and even though Canada had been at war since 1939, it was the first time the Canadian Army had gone into action. On Christmas Day the garrison fell and of the 1,975 Canadians that were part of the defense force, 290 were killed in action and those who survived the battle became POW’s and their ordeal was just beginning, another 287 would die in the camps.

I made a Havelock....and you can too

I made a Havelock....and you can too

 

Perhaps most commonly associated with the French Foreign Legion, thanks to countless books and movies depicting the Legionnaires in North Africa wearing the iconic white cap cover with neck flap, the havelock was known to be in use since about the middle of the 19th century by the British army in India.  Being an extremely useful piece of kit, it's use quickly spread to other armies in other hot regions of the world.

Early settlement of Mt. Newton Valley

Early settlement of Mt. Newton Valley

 

Known to be the oldest church in BC still on its original site and having been in continuous use since being built, St. Stephen's Anglican Church was once an important center to a new and, for quite some time, isolated community.  It is now little known, few remembering or knowing it's history or significance to the area.

The history of Vancouver Island is very recent.  White settlement didn't start until the building of Fort Victoria, a fur trading outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company, in 1843.  Farms were needed to support the Fort and provide fresh produce.  One of the earliest settled in the area was Craigflower Farm, named after the farm in England owned by Andrew Colville, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.  Craigflower farm was one of the very first farming communities in all of Western Canada, and it was to this farm that an enterprising young Scotsman, William Thomson, found his way, via an eventful route, in 1854.

 

The Haversack and its Contents

The Haversack and its Contents

 

The Haversack is an important and often overlooked part of the soldiers gear.  In the British Army, it is also known as a bread bag and was used to carry the soldiers food rations.

Haversacks have been used for a long time, but by the 1700's the British Army started to standardize the sizes so that each soldier could carry the prescribed amount of food that was issued, and no less.