Archive for Canada

War Gas Smelling Kit

Posted in Gas Masks with tags , , , , on September 19, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_CanadaAfter the experience of WW1 gas use, there was a huge effort in equipping and educating military and civilians on protection from so-called “war gas”. Aside from the near universal provision of gas masks, there were also these gas samplers issued so that during training the trainee could get a first hand experience of what the gases actually smelled like. Interestingly each of the four bottles contained a sample of the actual chemical. Some sources say that the sample was simply a similar harmless chemical that mimicked the smell. But from the training guides it is clear that these did, in fact, contain mustard gas, phosgene, etc. A cautious sniff? Yeah bugger that.

This example was manufactured in Canada for the Department of Munitions & Supply by the Gelatin Products Company of Windsor, Ontario.

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WW1 Canadian Hate Belt

Posted in Belts & Belt Buckles, Insignia with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_AustraliaFlag_of_New_ZealandFlag_of_CanadaFlag_of_the_United_StatesFlag_of_FranceFlag_of_the_German_EmpireNice simple pickup last weekend at the local antique fair. This is a souvenir belt put together from a Prussian infantry belt and the tunic buttons from a wide range of Allied and German units. This example has a predominance of Canadian buttons so I am guessing that it was Canadian in origin. The rest are French, Australian, New Zealand, German and one single U.S. General Service button. You see these in all sorts of configurations, some on Allied belts, some with cap badges and other oddments. The legend is that these were put together from souvenirs taken from dead bodies but that sounds overly complex to me and likely nonsense. More likely most of the buttons were swapped at rear area camps between bored soldiers making up a souvenir. The U.S. button suggests a late war job, 1917-19. The Empire buttons make sense as often these units found themselves together in the line. The Canadian Regiments are from different divisions so that’s why I think this is a rear area put together. Still, a great belt, in fine condition and worth it just for the buttons and belt IMHO.

Canadian Made Sten Gun Magazine

Posted in Magazines with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomFlag_of_CanadaThe MP28/II that I have is missing its magazine and until I find one, well the Sten magazine fits just fine as the mag wells are identical. I had another one in the gun but it was a parkerized version and just too tidy considering how tired the MP was. Here was a cheap buy from the weekend, a tired KC marked (Kelvinator of Canada) example.

Enfield 303 British Stripper Clips & Battlepack

Posted in Ammunition with tags , , , , on November 24, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_CanadaI have a Canadian made Enfield No4 MkI* rifle here. These are the stripper clips and ammunition for this rifle. Additionally you can see a battle pack of 48 rounds produced by the Dominion Industries Company, part of Canadian Industries Ltd. The ammunition in the battlepack is all VIIz ball, made in 1943. The clips show both brass rounds and steel, made in 1944 and 1945 by the same company.

Canadian Press Photo – Panzerschreck

Posted in Paper with tags , , on February 21, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_CanadaPretty straightforward, a Canadian press photo of two Canadian soldiers inspecting a discarded Panzerschreck found in abandoned German positions in Europe, 1945.

Private R. Neel and Sergeant R.B. Swain of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada examining a German bazooka anti-tank weapon found in an abandoned trench in Hochwald, Germany, 5 March 1945. Bell, Ken., Photographer

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Enfield Number 4 Mark 1*

Posted in Firearms with tags , , on January 2, 2016 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a Canadian made Enfield Mark 4 Number 1*, manufactured in 1943 by The Long Branch Arsenal in Toronto, Canada. This rifle, in .303 caliber was the main battle rifle of all the British and Empire forces during most of WW2. This rifle came to me as a bit of a ruin, with a wrecked stock, although the hardware was good and the rifle was all matching. I found an unissued stock (albeit S for short) in England and married the two together along with original Canadian made breech cover and sling. The pig sticker bayonet was characteristic of the Number 4 and replaced the blade bayonet of the Number 3 rifle.

The group in the photo immediately above are men from the Canadian 48th Highlanders in Regalbuto, Sicily, 1943. The man in the white striped helmet is their Padre.

A Birchall in Heavy Bombers for the RCAF

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on March 1, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_CanadaThis medal is a GVI Canadian Efficiency Decoration awarded to Wing Commander Kenneth Birchall (C1592). Ken was born in Ottawa on the 17th of March 1916. He attended the technical school in Ottawa and went on to become a Pilot-Sergeant in the RCAF, later enlisting in 1939 in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Ottawa Journal records his promotion to Flying Officer (Temporary)  in January 1940. He went on to complete two tours in bombers over France and Germany and then returned to Canada. He served as the Chief Instructor at No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School at Mossbank in Manitoba. In the 14 June 1945 London Gazette he was gazetted for the Air Force Cross (AFRO 1127/45 dated 6 July 1945).  Ken had completed 1,502 hours flying as of date of award. The award was presented 1 April 1949.

The blurb for the award is as follows…

“Wing Commander Birchall, during the period of his employment as chief instructor at No.2 Bombing and Gunnery School, has produced outstanding results in training efficiency. Through devotion to duty and untiring effort he contributed in great measure to raising and maintaining the efficiency and morale of this station at a very high level. His service has been outstanding for the past five years and during that period he has made a valuable contribution to the prosecution of the war.”

Aside from the missing AFC, Ken would also be entitled to the Victory Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the Air Crew Europe Star, the Defence Medal and the CVSM with Overseas Bar.

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