|Great Canadian Heritage Treasure||
Only once in a lifetime will you come across war memorabilia that can match this historic WWI plaque.
For a lot of reasons, it is very likely the finest example of memorabilia to come out of the war.
Of the millions of memorabilia items to come out of World War I, very few anywhere can match its provenance, on so many levels of documented authenticity and importance.
It is Canadian but illustrates all the features that any top piece of historical memorabilia should have, in order to qualify it as the best of its class.
But it should also be a stern reminder that when you teach an entire population of men to develop a skill at shooting an enemy you've tired of talking to, and give them all the killing practice they need, overseas, they will inevitably, bring that problem-solving skill home...
|Canadian Corps, Shooting Trophy - France, September 1917|
|Orig. plaque - Size - 34 x 47 cm; wt 5 kg
Found - London, ON
Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005
The destroyed White Chateau at Liévin, showing Canadian stretcher bearers, painted by another famous Canadian WWI artist, gives a good summation of the work of soldiers - destroying buildings and killing people.
Right another chateau at Liévin destroyed in WWI.
But there has been progress, in the past hundred years. Today, at least soldiers gladly, and proudly, own up to their handiwork...
Though it does make the name of the Canadian military, once a label synonymous with the greatest respect, among the vast concourse of non-white, non-Judeo-Christian people of the world, whom God placed in the greatest abundance on the planet, today, instead, a byword for universal revulsion like that of the American military.
|Go to Canadian War Profiteers|
(Not to be confused with the praise heaped on the Canuck military back home by groups of war profiteering journalists and professors, defence contractor lobbyists, former generals turned war promoting consultants, and all around Muslim hating red necks.)
"The job of the Canadian Forces is to be able to kill people"
The town hall and town of Liévin rebuilt on the very ashes of World War I.
Mademoiselle from Armentières
Some claim Canadian Lt. Glitz Rice wrote the music to this famous tune. Others say he wrote an early version of the words, to the song also known as Hinky Dinky Parlez Voo.
What we know for certain is that on the very soil where the song was sung, and thousands of young Canadians shed their blood, the contestants for the Miss Liévin title line up for a shot, sorry, we mean photo...
Smiling happily in the safety of modern Liévin left to right Faustine Durlent, Anne-Sophie Sevrette, and Sandrine Cocq, the world-famous body building champion, who also hails from the town.
We apologize that we cannot show you the same peacetime accomplishments for Afghanistan, because scores of thousands of NATO soldiers have turned the populated areas of Afghanistan into a killing zone, so that nowhere can Afghan civilian life develop peacefully.
As Afghan Member of Parliament Malalai Joya has angrily pointed out, in her tour across Canada, demanding that Canada, for one, pull out its shooting, killing soldiers... And to stop the journalistic hypocrisy, saying they are there to help Afghan women, when in fact they are dying yearly at an accelerated rate, along with their children, no thanks to Canadian and NATO gunners, riflemen, and bombers.
Will powerful, white Canadian males - like Canadian Professor Bob Bergen of the University of Calgary, who is awestruck, "breathtaking" he calls it, by the destructive power of Canada's new Leopard tanks - listen to a woman, even if she's an elected Member of the Afghan Parliament?
Fat chance. Countless Canadian women - white Christian women - claim they suffer from constant sexual harassment in the workplace, in the Canadian Forces, in the RCMP, and from top men in politics. Why would the same men who do this, possibly take a non-white Muslim woman seriously?
The citizens of Liévin were able to start rebuilding their lives after the shooting, killing soldiers went home, after only four years of war.
Not so in Afghanistan, where after 8 - that is eight - years of NATO fueled carnage, the United Nations reports that, since the war began, Afghan civilians - yes like the women of Liévin above - are dying in the greatest numbers ever, in 2009.
Well at least it makes General Hillier and Professor Bergen happy. The good professor writes he regrets greatly that the awesome killing power of the tanks - their "breathtaking" success he calls it - is not being told to Canadians by journalists.
"The job of the Canadian Forces is to be able to kill people."
In 1917, at the height of World War I, Canada had four divisions (some 100,000 men) grouped together for the first time, as a fighting unit on the Western Front, in northeastern France. Leading the IVth Division was Major-General David Watson (1869-1922), of London, Ontario below. Like the overwhelming number of Canada's soldiers in World War I and II, he was a civilian, a journalist and a newspaper owner, and not a professional soldier.
Like other civilians, he signed up because his country called, not because professional soldiering (also called "killing" by modern Canadian General Rick Hillier) was his preferred way of making a buck.
The map below shows that, in spite of what Canadian tour guides, authors, and historians claim - hey, they have to make a living too - Canada's part in World War I was no more than a fleabite on the back of the Dog of War.
As the small hatched circle near Vimy makes abundantly clear, the Canadians were responsible for only a tiny part of the British front in the war. (Canadians fought under British Army command.)
|Go to Lord Byng|
And the British front (solid line) itself was only part of a very long Western Front. The Allied Armies of France, Belgium, America, etc. protected an even longer section (dashed line.)
In spite of patriotic Canadian rabble-rousers, who like to claim that Canada's role was crucial to winning World War I - you know just like the Americans, who say they won it - Canada's part was important only to its own self image as a growing nation. Hey, we're as good as anyone else, at killing...
"We're the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people."
For balance, compare the Canadian contribution to the World War I war effort, and the cost of doing business, with that of France. Canada lost some 66,000 dead; France lost 1,700,000 dead. Canada lost only 2,000 civilians, the French 300,000. Canada suffered some 150,000 wounded; the French 4,300,000.
But to Canadians their relatively small casualties were beyond grievous. Which is why they mourn their own unbearable losses on Remembrance Day.
|Go to Remembrance Day in Canada|
And treasure memorabilia of the conflict that commemorates the sacrifice of so many young Canadians who died, however useless it all turned out to be...
Memorabilia to Die For...
To be in the top rank of historical memorabilia, an item must have all the characteristics that this one has. How well does yours match up with the ?
The plaque is dated - September 1917. (Many items are not dated; rare are those with a year and a month.)
The plaque's original owner/donor is, not only named, but documented, and famous as well. Major-General David Watson led the IVth Division on the left wing of the Canadian attack at Vimy.
It was his troops that moved forward over the very ground that, today, is dominated by the Canadian Vimy Memorial (yellow dot), just south of the town of Liévin at the top of the map below.
General Watson not only commissioned this plaque but held it in his hands when he presented it behind the lines in September 1917. (The plaque was found in his home town. He may have inherited it when the war ended, and his family kept it after his death in 1922. Finally it went to auction along with another fantastic item of war memorabilia - an ultra rare German lance.)
|Go to Walter Allward at Vimy|
|Go to the German Lance|
Canadian Corps Championship Athletic Meet - France, September 1917
The event with which the plaque is associated is named and documented. It was a Shooting Match, during an athletic meet, above and right, which the Canadians held in September, 1917, in northern France during a lull in the fighting, some months after the famous Canadian advance and victory at Vimy Ridge.
The winners of the trophy are named, known, documented, and are significant people, who, among some 100,000 shooters, rose to the top of the heap in marksmanship, a very fine achievement for a soldier.
|Go to Great Canadian Sniper|
|Go to Sharpshooter|
The plaque is associated with a national army that is named, and documented: the Canadian Corps.
The plaque is further associated with a regiment that is named, and documented: the Canadian Light Horse.
(Lots of war memorabilia is traceable no further than to "the British forces" or "Allied forces" or "American army.")
The plaque is an important war document, not a minor scavenged souvenir item.
This trophy was a major focus for the men of the Canadian Corps, not at a rest camp, but in between battles, when they were testing their skills at shooting, preparatory to going at it again.
It is a major document in the life history of the Canadian Corps in World War I.
The named men would fight for another 13 months. Some of them probably did not survive.
(Most war memorabilia pales in comparison to this plaque, most being anonymous trench art, made somewhere, by somebody, of some kind of war detritus... see below)
The plaque is huge and heavy (5 kg) in keeping with its importance to the men and units that would be competing to win it.
The metal is from actual melted down German artillery shells, and so documented. The shells have been symbolically selected from an actual part of the detritus of combat of a vanquished enemy. General Watson seems to say "Good shooting at Vimy led to the victory over the Germans. Keep at it boys, till we gain the victory."
Very likely the shell casings were among those captured at Vimy Ridge which the Canadians count as one of their great victories of World War I.
Vimy, which today has Canada's largest war memorial overseas, is just south of Liévin, in a map showing towns along the Western Front in World War I.
Many towns in this area, including Liévin, were totally destroyed in the fighting. Some literally disappeared forever, bombed out of existence by the incessant rain of artillery shells which reduced homes, stores, churches, and town halls to rubble.
The remains of the French town of Feuchy, south of Vimy, in the British sector, show what Liévin looked like as a result of the combat there, an awesome display of the power of artillery shells, and the eternal will of men to use them on each other, and the homes of women and children.
Modern shells are more deadly and leave nothing standing whatsoever.
Afghanistan has been literally flattened by the much more powerful artillery shells fired by the Canadian military and a few other NATO nations. The carnage is so awful among civilians that the UN says in 8 years of war, more civilians died in 2009 than ever before.
Which is why no Canadian journalist - great patriots that they are - has dare ask how many artillery shells the Canadians have fired on Afghan homes and mosques, to get at the enemy. They routinely fire explosive shells 20 to 30 kms, far beyond the range of sight... and caring...
How many thousands? How many billion dollars worth? The Canadian media keep dutifully mum, you know, to help the war effort...
But it must be worth it. Canadian gunners keep doing it, dutifully...
Says Johnny Canuck, "That's right ma'am, we'll keep pounding them to smithereens, until they tell us to stop."
Above a fine painting by Canadian artist Richard Jack, of the Canadian artillery firing on the German lines at Vimy Ridge, when they were certain they were only targeting soldiers who were trying to kill them. Unlike modern Canadian gunners in Afghanistan, they were certain they were not inflicting collateral damage on enemy women and children...
Right the covered stadium in Liévin.
This area was part of the Canadian sector on the Western Front.
Beyond the green hill on the left, beside the yellow dot, is the Canadian war memorial on the Vimy Ridge battlefield, some four kms away.
During World War I everything across this plain was flattened. No trees or greenery was left. All was burned or bombed out of existence.
Below Canadian machine gunners on Vimy Ridge. It gives a good image of what the area looked like after men and engines of war transformed the area around the stadium with their handiwork.
Which is inevitably what happens when men decide to shoot it out, instead of talk it out...
No wonder Canadian author Farley Mowat, an officer who survived World War II, titled his powerful memoir of the Italian campaign And No Bird Sang. None would; none could...
A. Y. Jackson wrote:
"I went with Augustus John one night to see a gas attack we made on the German lines.
It was like a wonderful display of fireworks, with our clouds of gas and the German flares and rockets of all colours."
But guess again; the French Allies were the first to use gas in World War I.
Though the most feared weapon of World War I, gas was more a psychological help than an effective killing tool.
The number of soldiers it killed are not even a blip on the carnage of butchery that occurred from other weapons.
During World War I the major gas fatalities included:
- Germany - 9,000
- British Empire - 8,100
- France - 8,000
- Russia - 56,000
The wood plaque is made of oak from the door of the town hall of Liévin, France, and so documented.
In the Canadian sector there were probably no towns left standing after three years of war.
Probably the only one which had anything left to salvage was Liévin, in the vicinity of where General Watson's Canadians were positioned.
Souveniring some wood from the main doors of a destroyed public building must have been the obvious choice when he decided to have a plaque fashioned into a shooting trophy for the Canadian Corps.
|At a time when Canadian generals claim they are fighting, bombing, and killing, to bring stability to Afghanistan, the plaque is a stern reminder that the the town hall, and local government, were destroyed by the military, not restored in Liévin, by the fighting.|
Postcards from the time show life in Liévin before the soldiers came and life after the soldiers were finished.
They brought the stability of death and destruction.
It took the deaths of some 66,000 Canadians in World War I, to achieve this, and scores of thousands of French civilians who were caught in the crossfire, in the drive to get rid of "Kaiser Bill."
As Afghanistan Member of Parliament Malalai Joya complains, the Canadians are doing exactly the same thing in her country, with the same results in death to civilians (especially women and children) and destruction of what little housing the Afghans had to begin with before Canadian artillery shells leveled what was left.
But Canadian generals were extremely happy to give their gunners real live targets to aim at, for a change, instead of the infernal paper cutouts they had to be content with shooting at the Meaford and Wainwright tank ranges.
Right what Liévin looked like in happier days, before the soldiers came in 1914.
Right below what the Liévin church and streets looked like after the shelling and fighting.
Thousands of photos like this were common in books published during and after World War I, to show the awful destruction that modern warfare leaves in its wake.
Which is why it was called Total War - it leaves nothing standing, living, or growing, anywhere.
|The University of Calgary's Professor Bob Bergen, is mightily impressed, and has written glowingly, about the wonderful destructive power of the new Canadian Leopard tanks - hey, he says, even the Yanks haven't got such fantastic guns on their Abrams tanks. He would proudly point out that no walls like these remnants of Liévin would remain standing after a broadside from the awesome blast of Canadian tanks.
Needless to say, any children or women cowering in the basements, will be either pulverized or "melted."
Professor Bergen's one regret is that journalists can't write about this marvelous development because they can't be embedded - no room inside - in a tank that goes out to vapourize Afghan men, women, and children. In fact, the extended range of the Canadian guns is such that It's impossible to tell if it's women, children, or men, or all the above that are being obliterated. But hey, it's hard not to be blown away - sorry - by someone so enthralled with the wonderful "technology of people extermination." And the effect it's having on the Muslim people on the ground in Afghanistan.
Afghans know that; Canadians do not...
No wonder Afghans of all complexions want the shooting and killing foreign soldiers to stop their deadly gunplay and leave.
And sooner rather than later.
Conspiracy of the Press - By comparison with WWI, nothing is published today, in the Canadian media, to show the destruction that Canadian arms are doing to the buildings, or people of Afghanistan. The owners of the media and their political cronies make certain of that, because they do not want Canadians, most of whom are already against the war, even more hostile to the powers that be that dearly want to continue the butchery of Muslims... It's all part of the big plan.
Bush in Blackface - President Bush in Blackface - sorry, we mean President Obama, the Peace candidate - has upped, by 30,000, the number of shooting, killing soldiers, to help bring peace to Afghanistan... the peace of the grave.
Which, beside its basic stupidity - more Liévin church pictures and war memorials coming up - shows how totally ridiculous the white European Judeo-Christian value system has become, when Obama who from the beginning made no secret that he planned to up the ante on killing non-white Muslims, is rewarded by other white European Christians, with the Nobel Prize for Peace.
In November 2009, while billions around the world, waited eagerly for him to announce what he would do to end the American led war against Muslim women, children, and men in Afghanistan, he announced he was sending 30,000 more US fighting troops to increase the slaughter and destruction.
As those with half an ounce of knowledge of America and Americans easily forecast during the American election - the Great American Con Game - the Great White Hope has predictably transformed himself into the Black Death.
He has willingly taken over the mantle of responsibility for the slaughter in Afghanistan from the shoulders of world class arch conspirators and human rights violators supreme - Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. They made hundreds of millions of dollars from their war against the Muslims.
Now Obama has cast himself in their mould.