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Canada Remembers Times
Veterans’ Week Special Edition

5-11 November 2021 - Page 4

A high-flying Quebecois

Gilles Lamontagne during the Second World War.
Photo: The Memory Project

Gilles Lamontagne was a well-known politician. He was the mayor of Quebec City, a federal cabinet minister in Ottawa and crowned his political career as Lieutenant Governor of Quebec between 1984 and 1990.

Born in Montréal in 1919, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and became a bomber pilot. He served in England with the No. 425 Squadron, a unit made up almost exclusively of Francophone aviators. Nicknamed the “Alouettes” after a famous folk song, the squadron flew dangerous bombing missions over Europe. One night in March 1943, while returning from an attack on Germany, his plane was badly damaged. Lamontagne and his crew were forced to bail out over the Netherlands. He was captured by the Germans and sent to a prisoner of war (POW) camp, where he spent more than two years.

The days were long and the conditions were harsh. To help boost morale, Lamontagne taught some French to his fellow POWs. As the Second World War neared its end, the prisoners were made to march many kilometres a day as the Germans tried to keep them from being liberated by the advancing Allied forces. Unfortunately, many of them died of exhaustion during these long forced marches. However, Lamontagne survived this bitter ordeal and his experiences helped shape the impressive leadership he would later show in public life.

Ted Zuber—war artist

Korean War Veteran Ted Zuber.
Photo: Veterans Affairs Canada

For hundreds of years, war artists have been capturing the experiences of conflict. For the Korean War, Canada had Ted Zuber. He was born in Montreal in 1932 and enlisted in the Canadian Army while still a teenager. Zuber trained as a paratrooper and would arrive in Korea in 1952 with the Royal Canadian Regiment where he was a sniper. His unit would see much action on the front lines at hot spots like Hill 355 and “the Hook.” It was dangerous duty and Zuber suffered wounds that would trouble him for the rest of his life.

Although not an official war artist while serving in Korea, he had brought along his sketch book and was eventually inspired to create paintings about Canada’s wartime experiences there after he returned home. The Canadian War Museum learned of these efforts and amassed many of his works for their collection—making him the Canadian war artist for the Korean War.

In 1990, Zuber was asked to be an official war artist for the Gulf War. He later also went to Kosovo and Bosnia to paint a record of the Canadian Armed Forces peace support efforts there. Mr. Zuber passed away in 2018, leaving behind a rich legacy of art honouring the efforts of generations of Canadians who served in the cause of peace and freedom.

Everyone loves a good burger!

Soldiers enjoying a burger in Nijmegen.
Photo: Library and Archives Canada

During the Second World War, tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers spent the harsh winter of 1944-1945 near Nijmegen in the eastern Netherlands. After months of heavy action in Northwest Europe, they had a chance to rest a bit and prepare for the upcoming Allied campaign to finally defeat Germany.

The city of Nijmegen became quite Canadian, with our troops regularly rotating in from the front lines to stay with local civilians. The grateful Canadians in turn shared their food and other army supplies with their Dutch hosts. Nijmegen was home to the Canada Club, where our service members could get a meal or a drink, see a show or attend dances. Next door was the Blue Diamond Hamburger Stand, an eatery where soldiers enjoyed free burgers, baked beans, delicious desserts and coffee.

Turning remembrance thoughts into action

In the fall of 2020, Chris Murphy was asked to write an essay about remembering the sacrifices of Veterans. Instead of only writing, however, the University of Prince Edward Island student decided to take the assignment a few steps further.

He chose to do a hike for remembrance as a fundraiser for the Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Fund which supports Canadian Veterans and their families. Chris walked 100 kilometres over a two-day period to raise money for this important cause. His hike took almost 35 hours, but it was worth it. People noticed his efforts and donations started coming in. He ended up raising close to $1,000 through his social media accounts. What a great way to spread the message of remembrance!

Did you know?

Digger the dog with some souvenirs of his service.
Photo: Department of National Defence

Canadian Armed Forces members serving far from home often find ways to make these difficult situations more bearable. One way they do this is with animal companions, like Digger the dog.

Digger was the official mascot of the Canadian Armed Forces Maintenance Platoon when it served in the Golan Heights. This lovable pooch completed more than 20 tours of duty in the tense buffer zone between Israel and Syria. He held the honorary rank of sergeant and even had his picture taken with the Prime Minister of Canada when he visited the troops there in 2000.

Remembrance on the street

2021 National Capital Region banners.
Images: Canadian Heritage

If you were in downtown Ottawa in 2021, you may have noticed some eye-catching banners hanging along the side of the street. Developed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Veterans Affairs Canada, they pay tribute to Canada’s participation in the Gulf War, and in peace support efforts in Egypt and the Golan Heights. Canadians have had a long tradition of military service in that part of the world over the years and our country salutes these impressive efforts.

Crossword puzzle

Did you read the newspaper stories carefully? All the answers to the crossword clues are found in the newspaper.


  1. 2. Canadian __________________ served in combat roles for the first time during the Gulf War.
  2. 8. HMCS __________________ helped rescue an American warship during the Gulf War.
  3. 9. Twenty Canadians earned the __________________ of Military Valour in Afghanistan.
  4. 10. John Shiwak, an Inuit First World War soldier, was from this Labrador village.
  5. 12. Chief Warrant Officer Claude “Ollie” Cromwell served in this country after a 2015 earthquake.
  6. 15. War artist Ted Zuber fought in the __________________ War.
  7. 16. A new national monument for Canada’s mission to __________________ will be built in Ottawa.
  8. 17. In Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also known as __________________ Day.
  9. 18 The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry fought in the Battle of __________________ in April 1951.


  1. 1. One of Canada’s longest peacekeeping missions took place in the Golan __________________ .
  2. 3. Hundreds of Black Canadians served in the No. 2 __________________ Battalion during the First World War.
  3. 4. Canadian soldiers enjoyed the hospitality of this Dutch city in 1944-1945.
  4. 5. Many Canadians who fought in Hong Kong came from this prairie province.
  5. 6. A new memorial in Turkey commemorates the Newfoundland Regiment’s efforts in __________________.
  6. 7. Last name of former military doctor who became New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
  7. 11. Nickname of French Canadian bomber squadron that fought in the Second World War.
  8. 13. Last name of the woman who fought for LGBTQ2+ rights in the Canadian Armed Forces.
  9. 14. Last name of the Canadian diplomat who proposed sending peacekeepers to Egypt in 1956.
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