Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ramsey Muir Withers

"Literally, the battalion headquarters was only about 400 metres away - and I got down there and into the command post to report in, and people were looking at me with kind of stony faces and said, “Your friend’s gone.” "
rcsigs,  The Memory ProjectWikipediaThe Canadian Encyclopedia

Saturday, October 24, 2015

William Arthur Steel

William Arthur Steel, radio pioneer (b 3 Nov 1890; d at Ottawa 28 Nov 1968).

William Arthur Steel, radio pioneer (b 3 Nov 1890; d at Ottawa 28 Nov 1968). Steel was chief wireless officer in the Canadian Corps in France at the end of WWI and chief radio engineer of the Canadian Army Signals Corps throughout the 1920s, when he organized the Northwest Territories radio system and, together with A.G.L.MCNAUGHTON, invented the Cathode Ray Direction Finder, an early form of RADAR. He organized the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL'sradio laboratory 1931-32 and was commissioner in charge of engineering operations of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission 1933-36. He retired from the army with the rank of lt-col in 1936 and had a brief excursion in politics, in W.D. HERRIDGE'SNew Democracy Party. He thereafter worked in Ottawa as a consulting engineer in radio and radar, notably aircraft navigation aids and the construction of the DEW Line radar system.

The Canadian EncyclopediaWikipediaBeechwood Cemetery

The Memory Project Press Kit

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Memory Project, Fred George Lackey

I was in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. I took most of my basic training in Kingston at Vimy Barracks and then I went overseas from there. Landed in Greenock, Scotland, the Clyde, and then I went from there down to a place called Cove. It’s near Farnborough Airport; and that’s where the signal corps did all their training. And then I went to Ashtead, which is near Leatherhead. We were billeted there in private homes. I went out and worked for the Southern Railroad for nine months, repairing lines that were being blown down by the Germans. So we put them back up. We stayed in boarding cars down in a place called Woking. I came back from there and started getting training, I guess, for D-Day. We landed at a place called Sword Beach; it was with the 50th British [Northumbrian Infantry] Division. It’s right near Juno Beach, probably beside it. That’s where we landed about 6:30 at night. We had a nice landing; there was a lot of activity going on, but we expected that. Some German cables had been put in the ground along the beach, different [cables] each to do with their war effort; and we were to see if we could find them. Well, we finally ended up, we got a couple of French, well, they worked for the French telephone people. They showed us where it was; and we went in and cut the thing, and that was it. I worked from there all up and down the coast for a bit, then we went up to Falaise, just worked our way all the way up the coast in France and into Belgium, and then into Holland. I was just at the Reichswald Forest when the war ended. I had spent some time up in Groningen, which is in Holland. But we worked repairing lines and stuff that were destroyed. We were repairing lines, both the private and the ones the army put in ourselves. We put our lines in ourselves a lot of places. We would go and repair them, here, there and all over, I guess that’s the way you’d put it. I met her [Ida, his wife-to-be] at the 99 Club and eventually we got engaged and decided to get married on December the fifth [1945]. And that was about it. We had a nice honeymoon up in Amsterdam.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Heros Remembered - Fred Leblanc

Fred LeBlanc was born on September 5, 1935 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Having trouble finding a job, he decided to join the Royal Canadian Signal Corps. He remembers convincing his mother to sign the permission slip because he was only 17and a half. After three months of training Mr. LeBlanc had to leave for brain surgery. He believes he was lucky it happened while he was in training because he probably would not have survived if it had happened during civilian life. In 1953 he went to Kingston,Ontario his first time away from home. Mr. LeBlanc was trained as a as a teletype operator and eventually became a cryptographer. With young children and a wife back home Mr. LeBlanc was posted to Congo for a seven month tour.

1. History of the Congo

2. What the Congo was
3. Victims of a Congolese Attack