John McCrae and the Battles of Flanders
John McCrae—doctor, gunner and poet—was shaken by the battlefield death of a friend in May 1915, and wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields” in tribute. The poem took on a life of its own, and remains today a renowned symbol of remembrance. As a surgeon, McCrae also saved the lives of countless Canadian soldiers, wounded in the fierce battles on the muddy, cratered fields of Belgium’s Flanders region. Written by Tom MacGregor, this special edition pays homage to Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.
The most famous decoration for courage in the western world, the Victoria Cross, has been awarded to dozens of Canadians. To mark this incredible history, Canada’s Ultimate Story has published a colourful special edition that— through words and pictures—highlights Canada’s remarkable place within the Victoria Cross story. This 100-page special edition includes bonus poster, a timeline and maps showing where Canadian VCs were earned around the world. Historian/author Hugh A. Halliday describes how the award evolved and how it was earned through individual acts of valour and self-sacrifice on land, at sea and in the air.
Canada and the Victoria Cross
No one ever set out to earn a Victoria Cross, which is awarded for “valour in the face of the enemy.” They were mostly spontaneous acts in the heat of battle. Of 98 Canadian recipients, 36 received their award posthumously. The lore behind the VC is sprinkled with strange and heart-wrenching stories. Victoria Crosses have been cherished, stolen, lost, recovered, sold and even pawned. Some recipients attained high office; some died in poverty. Written by Tom MacGregor.
Once the First World War bogged down in static trench warfare, life on the front was a series of daring trench raids, terrible losses in ill-conceived battles and constant torment from snipers, rats and lice. Yet throughout, the men could somehow find humour in it for themselves. As historian Jonathan F. Vance notes in his introduction, “There is a cliché that old soldiers never like to talk about their wartime experiences–unless it is to other old soldiers. These stories are just that–First World War veterans talking to each other.”
World War I: True stories from Vimy to victory
When the First World War started in 1914, Canada’s population was less than 8 million, yet more than 620,000 enlisted to stand up to tyranny. Many of the surviving soldiers felt compelled to share their stories—not necessarily with everyone, but with those who had also served—and Legion Magazine helped their voices be heard. Many of those stories, accompanied by dozens of dramatic photos, are collected in this new special edition.