Boer War Page 70u
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The First 18 Pounder Shell - 1915

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Presentation 18 Pdr. Shell Casing, 1915
Orig. brass casing - Size - 36 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
The First
18 Pounder Cartridge Case
Made Commercially
in Canada
February 1st, 1915
The Canadian Pacific Railway Company
Angus Shops, Montreal
Presented to
The Honourable Sam Hughes
Minister of Militia and Defence
by the
Shell Committee

Brig General Alec Bertram, Chairman
Hon Col J Cantley           Brig Gen J Benson
Hon Lt Col GW Watts     Lt Col C. Greville Karston
Mr E Carnegie                Lt Col FD Lafferty RCA
Mr JW Borden                Mr David Carnegie MJCE
                                     Ordnance Advisor

A fabulous memento of a trying time in Canadian history, the bloodbath of World War I, in which Canada lost some 60,000 men. In 2007, only one veteran remains.

When he is gone would be a good time to re-evaluate a war that was foisted by the ruling elites upon a largely illiterate and uninformed public, which, in those days, tended to believe politicians and the media, holus bolus.

This very shell casing was once the focus of an entire nation when it was presented to Sam Hughes, then spearheading Canada's war effort in Europe.

This shell casing, which never saw a battlefield, symbolizes, not only Canada's readiness to make war on real enemies, like Hitler in WW II, but also its ability at peacemaking, like when it refused to join George Bush and his "running dogs" - to quote Mao, who could clearly foresee the poodle Blair - in running amok against Muslim and non-white peoples of the world.

Some would say this shell casing, unlike the many retrieved from battlefields in Europe, is a grave disappointment, as it was never fired, and so did not kill, a deserving group of Germans, Russians, Turks, Austrians, Hungarians, Romanians - or Afghans for that matter.

No doubt, they would carp, "So, it did not do its job - to make the world safe for Democracy!"

Great Canadian Achievements

1st Prize for Stupid

This Canadian WW1 invention must take the cake for the stupidity. It was supposed to be used as a shield when firing a rifle through it and then as a shovel when digging.

Modelled on a Swiss invention this device was intended to be used as both a shield and a shovel. Patented in the name of one of Sir Sam Hughes private secretaries it was a complete failure in every respect. The handle was too short, the shovel too dull to dig with, the hole in the blade was too low to shoot through unless mounted on a low pile of dirt and worst of all it was not bullet proof. 

The entire shipment of 22,000 shovels which had cost the (Canadian) government over $29,000 was sold off as scrap in 1917 for $1,400. . .and just to add insult to injury, a right handed shooter would have almost no protection even if the thing was successful as the aperture is on the wrong side.

We publish with unabashed humility this completely unedited page left from an Aussi website down under.

This may very well have been one of the Sole Source Contracts for which Ottawa is still famous today...

Please visit:

Go to The Digger Site

Lots of interesting stuff to see there.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Boer War Autographs, 1897
Orig. page from autograph book - Size - 13 x 20 cm
Found - Gardiner, MD

Borden and Hughes were small town boys determined to make their big mark - check their signatures - in comparison to plain old Wilfrid who signed underneath them.

Left is a fabulous collection of signatures of famous personalities in Victorian and Edwardian Canada, on a page taken out of some notables' autograph book. These were all probably signed in England, possibly in 1897 during the Jubilee celebrations. (Judging by Hughes signing Canada)

Sam Hughes below, mentioned above, when he was Canada's Minister of Militia, is number two on the page. He was notorious in the Boer War for his independent streak that got him fired as intelligence officer for British General Warren of Spion Kop infamy, during the Karroo Campaign when he was brash enough to write the press the mistakes Warren had made at the Battle of Faber's Put.

Now after the Boer War he's championing a fabulous Canadian weapon for the Militia... the Ross rifle...

Under him is Frederick Borden below Canada's Minister of Militia all during Sir Wilfrid Laurier's 15 years in office, 1896-1911. His son was the most famous Canadian casualty of the Boer War.









Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Photo Portrait, General Sam Hughes, 1915
Orig. photo - Image Size - 50 x 64 cm
Found - Mt. Forest, ON
With Dedication and Original Autograph

A very rare and fabulous portrait of one who was previously Canada's most notorious general, complete with an original dedicated autograph. It hung for decades in a Canadian armoury until it was put to auction.

Sam Hughes is of course, the Canadian precedent, for dismissing top Generals who are out of step with the times and are seen as a liability for the government seeking to escape the negative branding with which the war-loving general is identified.

Canadian General Rick Hillier is known around the world as the symbol of the turn-about in Canada's role from peace-keeper to leader of a Band of Killers with his adamant press pronouncement that "our (the Canadian Forces) job is to be able to kill people" specifically "the scum bags and murderers" in Afghanistan. At home he is known as the general whose gung-ho, war-mongering has killed scores of ordinary Canadian young men and a woman, all for no gains whatsoever to show for it, on the ground, other than corpses of Afghan men, women, and children...

Sam Hughes, Canada's top general during much of World War I, fought in the Boer War, when, as a Colonel, he was the intelligence officer for British General Warren of Spion Kop infamy.

Right Canadian historian John Goldi stands on the steps at Faber's Put down which Sam Hughes, guns a-blazing, ran when woken up inside, at dawn, by gunshots of the Boers firing at him from behind the stone kraal below.

After the Battle of Faber's Put, Sam Hughes complained to the press about General Warren's poor preparations and defences of the camp that led to Canadian and British casualties.

For his indiscrete comments to the press, which undermined his superior, Sam was sacked and sent home to Canada by the British High Command.

General Hillier, a century later, made similar outspoken pronouncements - his reputation is that he talks a better war than he fights - that made his superior, the Minister of Defence, look and sound like a buffoon. He did it so often, the media howled until the Government was finally forced to act, and dismissed - you guessed it - the civilian Minister, not the Army General. The Government wanted to promote the war to please the American Republican war lobby so sacking the civilian Minister, instead of the insubordinate General, was the judicious way to go. PS: Bush and Cheney were extremely pleased.

Sam Hughes rose again from the ashes, a hero at home for bucking, like so many Canadians did, during the Boer War, the supercilious British officer corps that looked down on the Canadians. He had become an MP in 1892, and in the Robert Borden Government of 1911, Minister of Militia and Defence.

He championed Canadian civilian soldiers over professionals, but like powerful men everywhere, got embroiled in scandals he promoted fiascos like the Ross rifle and other schemes by cronies.

During World War I, when Borden created a new Ministry that would split off overseas forces fighting in Europe from Hughes' control as the Minister of Militia and Defence, Sam rebelled, howled, and insulted the Prime Minster himself.

Borden sacked him in November 1916, and Sam, toppled from glory, spent his remaining years as a brooding back-bencher.










































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c Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996 & 2000