Great Canadian Heritage Howler #37
James Lorimer says... "A little French culture is good for everyone..."

James Lorimer says: Pardon my French... Look, all we know is French pictures and references in an English book release lots of bi-lingual cultural grants our way. I dunno. I wanted it big so the evaluators wouldn't miss it. Hey the minute I saw those big letters in French I said we gotta have it...

Oh, and I think that Bourassa's name is on it too. He was some kinda radical French nationalist, way back then. He's still very popular in some of the grant funding departments. We knew we couldn't go wrong by printing one of his tracts against the war. It played big to the streets in Quebec at the time. And in the hallways of Canadian Heritage today, heh, heh, heh, if you get my drift... Well it worked, didn't it?

The Picture: The title page of something in French, looks like... with Henri Bourassa's name. (He was against the Boer War and said so loudly at the time.)

The Error: Trouble is this article, which is a tract against the Boer War, and the title page, have nothing whatsoever to do with Henri Bourassa, his writings or speeches.

He didn't write the article. In fact it was written by Goldwin Smith a Professor in Toronto.

Henri Bourassa is merely listed as a translator of the work. So Henri had as much to do with this article as a xerox machine duping an article.

So while the article says plenty about Goldwin Smith's feelings, it says nothing about Henri Bourassa's. You will have to read something else to find out.

SHAME! Why publish something Anglophone Goldwin Smith wrote in Ontario, over a caption to illustrate Bourassa's thoughts. Looks like the editor grabbed the first thing she saw in French with Bourassa's name on it. The caption should have read "Goldwin Smith's anti-war sentiments echoed....

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #41
James Lorimer says, "So what if it's bass ackwards?"

James Lorimer says: Hey, what's wrong? It's a nice picture of a Red Cross nurse with wounded guys?

The Picture: A Red Cross Nurse and wounded guys.

The Errors: 1 - Everyone who knows the history of Faber's Put knows the man with the sling was wounded in the right, not the left arm.

2 - The man on crutches had a gimpy right, not left leg

3 - No Red Cross Nurse ever wore the Red Cross armband on his or her right arm.

4 - Buttons on tunics are on the right side, not left.

5. Canadians - all British troops - always tilted their wedge caps to the right, never to the left. Go look at Lorimer Heritage Howler Number 13. Clearly Lorimer didn't; nor proof the book.

6 - No Canadian or British soldiers ever pinned up the brim on the right side, like three of these men clearly seem to...

Only the German Schutztruppen of the Imperial German Colonial service pinned up the brim on the right side. So why is the editor putting Germans into this book?

Six - count 'em - clear alarms that something must be wrong, all - ALL SIX - missed by the Lorimer team of experts, a single one of which - as plain as a car driving on the wrong side of the road in a Toronto photo - should have alerted the Lorimer team.

Instead, Lorimer carelessly had this photo printed upside down because of lack of knowledge compounded by negligence in not hiring an archive manager of pictorials that had any knowledge on any level related to this project.

SHAME! The slackness of handling Canadian heritage materials continues. A silly throwaway title that says nothing about the men in the picture, or Canadians, compounded by a flip flopped picture that gives wrong information.

It's not the only picture Lorimer had flip flopped wrongly. Couldn't they have told from the newspaper that this one was wrong way around too? Oh we forgot, it's been clearly established that Lorimer was using a blind editor who couldn't read...

And Lorimer says nothing at all that these are Canadians wounded at the Battle of Faber's Put where some famous Canadians took part in a controversial battle.

Go to Faber's Put
Go to William Latimer
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #39
James Lorimer says...

Yawn... Yeah were bored too James, no caption... again...

James Lorimer says: Yawnnh...

The Picture: Badly exposed and badly framed picture of a crowd watching a bunch of guys somewhere.

The Error: Why publish a picture to take up space in a book when no one can figure out what it is, who it is, where it was taken, or what is going on.

Clearly nobody at Lorimer or the War Museum had a clue and so, rather than saying something wrong, say nothing at all and leave the readers and viewers, in the dark.

Look we had this picture left over, so why not use it. There's already too much unbroken text on that page.

In fact this uncaptioned photo shares the same page with the uncaptioned photo right, which we've identified as President Kurger leaving on a train. So this may be a photo of the men seeing Kruger off as well...

SHAME! Such slackness and laziness. And all paid for by Canadian heritage money that goes to favourites...

We know where it is and can say it's the worst photo of the numerous ones taken on that occasion, any one of which would have been an improvement. And a caption would help saying its the Canadians at Quebec just hours before boarding Sardinian waiting in the harbour down below.

One of those men is James Mason...

Go to Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO

Great Canadian Boer War Book Review - James Lorimer Heritage Howlers #1
Without a doubt, the biggest book publishing disaster in Canadian History

1 2 3
Page 12la Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
Go to Great Collections List
Use Internet
More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.

"The newspaper industry is in a bad spot. Actually, run a correction on that statement — newspapers are in a "time to panic" spot.

The business model is collapsing, ad dollars are disappearing, newsprint prices are at a 12-year high and the Internet is just giving news away for free.

On July 2, the Los Angeles Times announced it was cutting more than one-sixth of its newsroom staff; the Tampa Tribune said it would cut 20%." Time Magazine - July, 13, 2008

Everywhere readership of the regular press (books and newspapers) - the output of the stable of the Establishment regular journalists, editors, and columnists - is plummeting.

This professionally produced book by James Lorimer is a good example of the handiwork of professional scribes that has turned off the most educated and informed populace in history.

Regular press coverage of the wars in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. is no more accurate than this work by the best journalists and editors at one of Canada's top book publishing companies.







Shame on the Canadian War Museum

In the photo credits of this book it states that by far the largest number of photographs - over 30 - were provided by the Canadian War Museum, which of course, also provided the ID for the artifacts and supplied the captions of the items it gave to John Lorimer.

Most of these items were specifically photographed by the Museum's photographer of choice, famed Ottawa high society photog, Jana Chytilova, and her partner in crime, Lori McClellan,.specially hand picked by James for this landmark publishing assignment - it would be Canada's first pictorial book ever, on the Boer War. And be penned by Canada's top Boer War expert, Carman Miller; the text of course, is perfect. Wish the rest was... even close...

"Wow! Did I ever get payed well for this gigg...! It was a gas... lol jana"

Museum experts had to go into the vaults, haul out the medals, guns, shells, uniforms, menus, sheet music etc. that appear in this book. They then gave the Lorimer editor the name and title of the historic items they were providing.

Lori from Lorimer can be excused, to some degree, for the wholly erroneous historical materials, and numerous false titles on photos they published in good faith...

There has never been, in our recollection, anywhere, a book published with so many photographs so badly captioned - no labels, false labels, fanciful labels, outright ludicrous labels.

And outright falsified historical artifacts.

In the major photo of medals in the book - specially photographed by War Museum experts - which shows some of Canada's top military medals, two of the three pictured, have the wrong ribbon laced on them by War Museum curators.

This gives you some idea of the state of the archive collection looked after by the experts at the Canadian War Museum.

Remember the thirty odd ludicrousies we've exposed here are not all - we could easily have produced another dozen... But our sides were already splitting enough from laughing.

Or crying...

We've added some new howlers at the bottom of this page, just to show there's lots left.

We could go on... but won't... Buy the book and see for yourself. And funnel more grant money into James' pocket...

"Let the girls do it," smiles the Cheshire cat, James Lorimer, who gave two gals a chance to try their hand at their first military history book - we wonder in retropsect, whether it was their first book, period ? - probably as a - most unwise - cost cutting measure...

Early in 2003 we sent a detailed proposal to James Lorimer & Co. Ltd., Publishers, Toronto, Canada, suggesting a pictorial book on the Canadian Anglo-Boer War - none had ever been produced before - offering the use of the vast archival holdings of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum, to illustrate it. We received no reply...

To our amazement, some time later, James Lorimer approached the Museum and requested that we make available, for their upcoming publicly-funded, pictorial book on the Boer War, left, 49 of our collection's most rare and valuable items, which had taken years of sleuthing, time, effort, and private money, to put together.

To have our staff search our archives, retrieve the 49 desired objects, prepare them for photography, to shoot them, make high resolution printing masters of each of the 49 items, and to pay us for world publishing rights for them all, James Lorimer offered The Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum $100 (one hundred dollars) Canadian total, for everything.

Compare: In Canada, a plumber who makes a house call - without fixing anything - charges $100 just to come and evaluate...

Compare: The National Archives in Ottawa will charge you $30 just to provide you with a copy of one ordinary photo, made from degraded duped masters, of a ship that docked with immigrants at Halifax. For 49 images that would total $1470 Canadian. Then ask the Archives what it would cost to have it photograph something special for which it doesn't have a dupe photo, and ask what they would charge? Times 49...

Compare: A New York book publisher, who requested a 300 dpi jpeg of one of our images - not even a rare one, it was of an Edward VII bowl - for one time use, offered $150 US ($180 Canadian) and apologized for only being able to offer the low end of the industry standard of the fee for the use of one picture.

When we pointed out to James Lorimer that his offer was highly improper, he replied that the price was not negotiable, and that by making our materials available to him our collection would become publicized and far more valuable.

We declined James Lorimer's offer.

The company published its book without our materials or assistance. Below are some representative highlights of the book James Lorimer & Co. produced, with the considerable financial blessing of the Canadian taxpayer.

Please Note: Because the captioning on the pictures in this pictorial book was extremely sparse, to non-existent, our Boer War experts have taken the liberty to try to decipher, for our readers, to the best of their ability, what James Lorimer was trying to say, but was too shy to do so. We take no responsibility if errors of interpretation have crept in while they carried out this considerable public service.


Great Canadian Heritage Howler #1
James Lorimer's Gatling Gun

James Lorimer says: this is a Gatling Gun...

The Picture:  The editor shows a large colour picture of a big, Boer War era, breech-loading, single shot gun, that fires a heavy 12 pound shell, one at a time, through a massive barrel with a bore of some 4 inches across.

The Error:  This is wrong on so many levels it just boggles the mind. The Gatling Gun, as every high school student knows, of course, is a small, light-weight machine gun firing small bullets from a magazine, through a bundled group of many small “rifle-size" barrels that the operator rotates with a crank to fire.

No Gatling Gun was used in the Boer War - it was already old technology and had been replaced by the Maxim, water-cooled machine gun. Clearly the editor just dreamed up the Gatling gun angle, somewhere on a bar stool - possibly in Cancun, Mexico - and thought that the picture above might be a machine gun.

The gun above has not the slightest resemblance to any kind of machine gun ever made. James Lorimer could just as accurately have called this a pistol.

Above Gat Howard and the Gatling Gun he used during the Riel Rebellion, 15 years before the Boer War came along. Note the obvious similarities between the guns.

SHAME! Why was an editor picked for a war book who lacked even the most rudimentary - make that elementary - knowledge of firearms?

Could the labeling get worse? Sure it can!

Within the same picture one can clearly make out - with the naked eye - the museum label, which clearly states the gun as a “One of the 12 Pounder field guns saved at Leliefontein."

SHAME! Why was an editor picked who could not even be bothered to read the basic English label in the very materials they were carefully picking and publishing? And why was the publisher too lazy to exercise supervisory controls to prevent this kind of sloppy work from an editor who at least had the legitimate excuse that she was blind!

Could the labeling get worse? Sure it can!

The particular gun featured in the photo, is a Canadian heritage treasure, and one of the Canadian War Museum’s starring memorabilia items, the very gun saved by EWB Morrison when the Canadians won their three Victoria Crosses at Leliefontein, in Nov. 1900, an event never duplicated in Canadian history.

SHAME! Why was Canada's most famous gun not even identified as such, nor its Victoria Cross connection, in the only Canadian pictorial book of the Boer War published in the past 100 years. Why was this project given to an editor who was too lazy to learn this most elementary Canadian Boer War fact, and publish it?

Why did the Canadian War Museum experts provide the publisher with a falsely labelled gun picture and
not correct the mistake later?

And why did they not point out that it was
not only Canada's most famous gun,
but a Boer War gun at that...?

In 2003 James Lorimer & Co. Ltd, Publishers, Toronto, ON, Canada, produced the first pictorial book on the Boer War ever published in Canada. It was also the first Canadian book on the Boer War produced in many years. It also had huge amounts of public funding.

Sadly it proved to be a disaster of Great Canadian proportions.

Dispassionate observers remarked that rarely, in the annals of world publishing, has a volume been produced as sloppily, and as riddled with gross errors of fact, as is this one.

It was widely regarded as a laughable production. (Actually, Canadian humour is funded by the Federal Government, but by a different department.)

Said one reviewer: "ridiculously sloppy and incompetent."

Explains another, "In Canada, heritage funding for books is structured so that the lion's share can only be tapped by business men who are publishers, not by authors, talented writers, or subject experts; book publishing businessmen are the gate keepers of funding in a system in which, as a result, very little ever trickles through to the creative Canadians with real heritage skills, talent and knowledge. A classic case of the disastrous effect of this is a book called "Canada's Little War," which was absolutely riddled with errors - absolutely amazing mistakes, lots of them.

"Clearly no money was spent on subject experts to check out the materials used in this book, though the public purse was tapped - big time - by the publisher. This is a classic case of what happens when a businessman - not a talented person with a passion for the subject - knew where the heritage money was, and how to tap it, and simply goes through the motions to trigger the funds. Does this system produce good work? Look at the results! Does the publisher care? He got generous cultural funding to make it. Why would he possibly care beyond that?

"The creative community is the loser in all this, and the taxpayers of course; they think they are providing funds for talented people to promote Canadian heritage. But in reality most of it is skimmed off by cold-hearted, self-serving businessmen."

James Lorimer does not publish the name of an editor on the cover or title page of this book. One may well ask, was one used, or did the night cleaning staff put these images and captions together?

Clearly the book exhibits work that is incompetent in the extreme. From the language used, from the cultural attitudes the captions display, it is an inescapable certainty that James Lorimer used a woman editor on this military book of men at war, and one who had not the slightest background in the subject, and betrayed, repeatedly, not the foggiest notion of the material she was researching. Let alone display the slightest interest in any of it. The monumental gaffes that permeate this book awfully embarrass James Lorimer's abilities as a competent publisher of Canadian history.

Why was a history book on a war given to an editor who had not the slightest knowledge of Canadian history, of warfare, or military subjects. And one who, furthermore, consistently displays a total lack of basic reading skills in English, or training in how to use a dictionary or encyclopedia to vet her language and basic information?

And why was a pictorial book project given to someone who displayed not the slightest knowledge, or background, in the visual arts on any level? Who repeated every possible mistake that it is possible to make in pictorial publishing, and did it over and over, again and again!

Why were this war book's proofing copies not given to someone with Boer War expertise, or military knowledge, to review before going to print? Even an amateur with minimal knowledge could have pointed out the numerous and egregious errors of fact and presentation in this book.

And why did the publisher pay no attention to what his workers were doing to safeguard the integrity of the story, or the book, or to make sure the taxpayer's money was honourably spent?

"Look," says another observer, "the system's flawed; cultural funding goes into a businessman's pocket, and it never leaves it."

Does this explain why no competent Boer War expert was hired to vet the pictures and the captions on Canada's first ever pictorial book on the Boer War?

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #3
James Lorimer is Stoned at Sangam

James Lorimer says: this is a "Stone breastwork at Sangam"

The Picture: The picture showing rifles poking out from the rocks formed into a sheep’s kraal (or corral.) Stone kraals were used by the Boers to make secure enclosures to keep their stock safe at night from the attacks of wild animals. During the war these stone kraals served as ideal forts for Briton and Boer alike in which to hide or fight off attacks.

The Error: Don’t go looking for Sangam on a map; there is no such place.

Slipshod scholarship and scanty knowledge again is evident here. The editor – again clearly lacking knowledge of farming practices in Africa or India – misread the label on the back of the photo where very likely was written “Stone breastwork or Sangar." The editor – “This military stuff is all Greek to me!" – just corrected the labelling into what she thought it should say and translated it into “Stone breastwork at Sangam." Miscopying two out of four words is par for this book. The editor made up the word Sangam out of thin air...

She was totally ignorant that the caption, as originally written, was proper - that it was her knowledge that was lacking. A stone sangar was a stone enclosure, which the British Indian army first encountered on its campaigns on the North West frontier. They imported the Persian word to Africa where it is encountered constantly in Boer War diaries and books of all kinds.

SHAME! It is astonishing that an editor was assigned to this book who did not even possess a basic knowledge of the rudimentary terminology associated with the Boer War or British Imperial History. Or the interest or sense of professionalism to get a dictionary to check up on a curious word?

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #2
James Lorimer can't tell friend from foe!

James Lorimer says: this picture shows the Boers fighting the Canadians of Strathcona's Horse...

The Picture: The picture - we'll overlook the fatuous tone of "dramatized representation" - shows horsemen attacking foot soldiers. Presumably, according to James Lorimer, the Boers are mounted in the foreground, shooting at the Strathconas around the wagons and guns in the background.

The Error: How wrong can you be? The Strathconas were a mounted unit, not foot soldiers! Furthermore the soldiers shown - supposedly the Strathconas - are all wearing pith helmets, identifying them clearly as British not Canadian soldiers. There is no picture in existence of Boer horsemen attacking members of Canada's First Contingent - the only ones to wear pith helmets on campaign in Africa. Just where are the Strathconas?

In fact the Strathconas, who always wore brimmed stetson hats, had a uniform that is much closer to that worn by the Boer in the foreground. It is therefore quite probable that James Lorimer thought that the Strathconas were mounted in the foreground and were shooting at the Boers wearing their pith helmets in the background...!

Actually, if you must know, the Strathconas were home in Canada, safe and sound, when the action above - painted by FJ Waugh - occurred at Vlakfontein in May, 1901, with the Boers, foreground, attacking the British.

SHAME! Why is Canadian heritage funding wasted on a publisher who does not even bother to give basic lip service to the minimum standards of scholastic propriety.

Can you believe it? Lorimer specifically thanks the experts at the Canadian War Museum for providing this picture and caption for their book.

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #5
James Lorimer and "the neat old guy"

James Lorimer says: this is a Strathcona's Horse Officer

The Picture: It shows a drawing of a soldier, and a photo, dwarfed by two huge, ugly black blocks, presumably of the same "officer" in old age, when he reminisced about dashing after the Boers in South Africa.

The Error: The man in the photo is not the man in uniform, did not reminisce about riding after the Boers with the Regiment in South Africa - he was never there, and never wore a uniform. Clearly the editor did not know this, but thought the picture of "the old guy from the Boer War" was neat. Clearly the editor also did not know that he was Lord Strathcona, that he was the man who paid to outfit the regiment, and that it was named after him.

SHAME! Why weren't Canadians told the identity of Lord Strathcona, who, after Prime Minister Laurier was the most famous Canadian during the Boer War, who carried out the biggest private philanthropic act by a Canadian during the Boer War, outfitting a regiment to go to South Africa to represent Canada and Canadians, at a time that Ottawa had no army of its own to send, and was mightily reluctant to organize one.

SHAME! And why weren't Canadians told that the picture - yes and it was way too tiny besides - shows the horses drawn up on Parliament Hill before the Regiment went overseas. It was the most spectacular event ever seen on Parliament Hill, and one that most Canadians could connect with, since most have been on the Hill at some time in their lives. This opportunity was missed, as were so many others in this book, by an editor who did not have the faintest...

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #4
James Lorimer says this is a handgun...

James Lorimer says: this is a handgun

The Picture: A handgun.

The Error: Really!

SHAME! Who could ever have guessed? Really is it very helpful, in an educational pictorial book to label a gun a gun, a tree a tree, and a house a house! Who's doing the thinking on this project?

Actually, we shouldn't be that critical here. This is one of the very few captions the editor got right! Bravo!

Overheard at the Canadian War Museum photography session between female editor and female photographer...

Editor - "Oh! What is that thing?"

War Museum Expert - "It's a pistol dearie - a handgun. You put it in your hand and it goes off..."

Editor - "Ooooh, I've heard of things like that... They can go off by accident..."

War Museum Expert - "Well, depends on how you handle them. You've got to be carefull or they go off before you're ready."

Editor - "Ooooh! I've never seen anything so big!!!!"

War Museum Expert - "Believe me, I've seen lots..."

Editor - "Oh, may I touch it?"

War Museum Expert - "Be my guest."

Editor - "You're sure it won't go off if I handle it, will it?"

War Museum Expert - "Quite sure."

Editor - "Oh, it feels nice. But I don't think I've ever felt anything so hard before."

War Museum Expert - "Believe me, I have. More times than I care to remember..."

It's clear that the Canadian War Museum is no help with this Great Canadian Heritage item, so we will fill you in on what its experts should have known - beyond handgun - and told Lorimer.

Go to 1878 Colt Revolver
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #7
James Lorimer leaves us shell-shocked!

James Lorimer says: this is an inscription...

The Picture: A tiny picture of a corner of a small piece of brass...

The Error: Really! Why bother publishing something so small and so badly photographed that one cannot decipher a single letter or number, let alone an inscription, even with a magnifying glass! Why taunt the reader by saying something great is written there but we're not going to tell you what it is, or show it to you? So there!

The editor could have published a wide picture so that the reader can at least see a complete shell casing from the period. Or she could have gone in for a close-up for the inscription. She did neither, refusing to give us a proper wide view of a shell, nor offering us even a tiny bit of the inscription. All we get a a close-up photo of a soiled piece of brass, taken by a blind photographer who should have told the editor, "Hey this isn't working!" The caption should properly have been "This is a bad photograph of a silly little smudge!"

SHAME! We shall never know what the inscription says, or mercifully, the names of the blind workers who collaborated on this publishing atrocity.

This anonymous casing, and caption, again provided by the Canadian War Museum, we believe was actually a random shell from Afghanistan sitting in the hall. And the inscription said, "Osama we know where you are and some day we'll catch you."

For a song sung by Canadians on this very topic -

Go to Osama You're Not Ten Feet Tall
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #9
James Lorimer can't tell Jack Tar apart from Johnny Canuck

James Lorimer says: these toy soldiers are styled after the Canadian Contingent...

The Picture: The picture which the editor picked featured a contingent of Britain’s famous Naval Brigade of the Boer War, who won renown because, when the British were outgunned by Boer heavy artillery in the early months of the war, they dismounted the huge guns from British battleships, fashioned carriages for them, and pulled them, by hand, to battlefields all over South Africa.

The Error: How wrong can you be? Neither the men, the uniforms, or the gun shown in the picture have any connection whatsoever with the Canadians or the claim of the editor.

The men are all British sailors in the uniform of British tars from the 1890s, a dress not worn or related to anything put on by Canadians in South Africa, neither in style or colour.

They are also pulling one of the 4.7 inch guns dismounted from the Royal Navy Battleship Terrible and pulled across the veldt to attack the Boers. The Canadians never had anything like these guns in the field, had no sailors involved, and had nothing to do with the British Naval Brigade. There is no doubt that Canadians who saw it in action – marveled.

The British were professionals at war; they had been at it for decades, centuries. The Canadians were amateurs in their first outing to fight in an overseas war. Canada’s first Contingent – serving at the same time as the Naval Brigade above – wore British khaki uniforms and helmets, used British Lee-Metford rifles, and bayonets, used British guns - but not the one above - and followed British military drill. In fact, the first Canadian soldiers in South Africa - hundreds of officers and men - had all been thrilled to be allowed to lose their Canadian identity and to join British units and don British uniforms.

SHAME! If anyone emulated or patterned it was the Canadians, wildly copying the British in almost everything, except British cooking. That would have been too much...

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #8
James Lorimer is caught Meddling with Medals...
James Lorimer says: you should get honour for an ordinary service...

The Picture: Supposedly three Boer War medals given (1899-1902) to "honour the Canadian Contingent."

The Error: Well the editor failed on banquets, let's try her on medals! Not good. Two wrong out of three - a truly amazing record! Sad to report, only the left medal is Boer War, the Queen’s South Africa Medal.

The other two are bogus Boer War, as they date from 1935 and 1937. The middle one is the Coronation Medal of George VI from 1937!!!!!... Had the editor shown basic curiosity, and flipped it over, she would have read "Crowned 1937." But being blind that wouldn't have helped. It is also why she didn't know the medal - besides not being remotely Boer War - also has the wrong ribbon, if you can believe!

Here is what the medal should look like and what is written on the reverse that should have been a clue!!!

It just goes to show, one shouldn't do these captioning jobs at the bar!

The third medal, on the right., is the Jubilee Medal of George V and Queen Mary, from 1935, and - wait for it - it too has the wrong ribbon!

Left, is what it should really look like! It is true, though, in the editor's defence, that the ribbon does not come in a braille version...

These two medals were obviously picked because of their pretty ribbons! But apparently the editor, or the photographer, or both - well into their cups at this point - thought the medals would look nicer if they exchanged the ribbons, and so they did! No harm in that; what's the difference? No one will ever know!

In any case, neither has the remotest connection to honouring the Canadian Contingent from the Boer War.

Furthermore, even the QSA could hardly be said to be designed to “honour the Canadians," or for that matter, anyone else, but simply to “recognize" their participation in a historic event.

Everyone - not just Canadians - who signed up to fight in South Africa, got a QSA, just for showing up. Hero and malingerer, the noble officer, and the camp thief, all got the same medal. Some 500,000 were minted, one for every man or beast who ever set foot in South Africa.

Even dogs got them, like Jock, the regimental mascot, below, who got his for serving at the Modder River. It was a service medal; you served, you put in your time, you got the medal, right Jock! What kind of honour is that?

To be honoured means to be centered out for some special recognition, like for the VC, the DSO, or the DCM, which sets you apart from your mates. They are honours because they are rare.

SHAME! Why was an editor picked who had not even the most basic knowledge of the war medals Canada produced to give to its veterans? Or who could not tell one Canadian war from another, or one Canadian King from another? Or not bother to take the time to learn the basics? Or ask someone competent for help, like maybe the staff at the Canadian War Museum!

Sorry, we misspoke... The staff at the Canadian War Museum provided Lorimer with those badly tarted up medals to photograph for their book...

Go to Lorimer Heritage Howlers Page 2
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #35
James Lorimer says...
Nothing at all

James Lorimer says: Hmmm!

The Picture: Shown in the actual size it appeared in the book, complete with the usual Lorimer labelling...

The Error: Sorry can't help you there! We couldn't make out anything at all. Why don't you have a go, and let us know!

SHAME! We believe we've finally found out what happens to the face on the cutting room floor. They've all been pasted into an exquisite and tiny photomontage, not even 4 cms in width.

Perhaps this was planned as a postage stamp to honour the Canadian supporters of the troops overseas. Why didn't Lorimer tell us that?

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #10
James Lorimer says "Wow! Troops! I love a parade!"

James Lorimer says: well, somebody, somewhere we guess... doing whatever... Nevertheless, a bunch of nobodies!

The Picture: Oddly, one of the larger ones in the book, of soldiers, led by a band in a town square.

The Error: Failing to recognize a great picture and event and failing to pass on the information to the readers who will mistakenly buy this book figuring they will learn something. Not from this photo and caption...

SHAME! Why didn't Lorimer hire someone who could have recognized a rare picture of the Royal Canadian Regiment at the Farewell Reception given them at Cape Town City Hall as the regiment ends its year of service in South Africa and is off to the docks . The Heroes of Paardeberg are going home, sadly leaving behind many fallen comrades.

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #38
James Lorimer says, "I guess we shouldn't have bothered..."

James Lorimer says: Yawnnh...

The Picture: Sorry all we can make out is something about an Absent-Minded Beggar. Is he AQOL? Where? When? The rest in indecipherable, though we believe that may be a map of Canada's Gaspé Peninsula and that guy in the grotty little image may be hiding out there, with his girlfriend in that other grotty image that's exactly three lines of text high. Can't tell much beyond that...

The Error: Why publish a picture to take up space in a book when no one can figure out what it is, who it is, where it was taken, or what is going on.

Clearly nobody at Lorimer or the War Museum had a clue and so, rather than saying something wrong, they said nothing at all and have left the readers and viewers, in the dark. Which is where most of the visuals in this book were put together.

Look we had this picture left over, so why not use it. There's already too much unbroken text on that page.

SHAME! You won't learn from this picture what the lyrics or this song are, or whether they are patriotic or not. In fact you will be no wiser if the picture was put in the book or left on the cutting room floor. In this book it has all the meaning of a scrap of illegible paper...

Before Lorimer and his photographer defaced it, this was actually a wonderful silk handkerchief that, when shown in a proper size, wonderfully captures the lyrics and melody of a song that was sung at the time.

And it has interesting place names where Canadians were going to fight and die. But you won't learn any of that from this grungy little picture in this book.

Great Canadian Heritage Howler #42
James Lorimer says, "Look we needed a body shot."

James Lorimer says: Hey, body shots sell books...

The Picture: The dead at Spion Kop.

The Error: This photo was published on the cover, amid all kinds of Canada specific pictures. Then this.

No Canadian Contingent had anything to do with the worst British defeat of the Boer War. Hundreds of British were killed. The Canadians were hundreds of miles away, at the time, nowhere near any action, and hadn't even fired their rifles at an enemy yet...

What could possibly be the justification for using this tabloid picture in a book on Canadians in the Boer War?

In fact Spion Kop is not listed in the index of the book and there is not anything in the book that talks about Spion Kop.

SHAME! The any old body will do mentality continues along with "any old caption will do." It's a pattern of irresponsibility that this book is a testament to. It's a dishonest marketing tool to fool gullible book buyers into seeing this on the cover and saying "Well I never knew Canadians were involved in anything like that! I guess I should buy the book and find out..."

There's a sucker born every day and this dishonest cover picture is out to hook him...

To see the story Lorimer teased you about, but never delivered on, including the story of the Canadian officer who died there...

Go to The Massacre on Spion Kop

James Lorimer says: Well, this page of the book is all about Canadians gathering to leave for South Africa. So how about a nice "farewell at the train station" picture we can put in here? Can't you find a nice big train station shot showing the Canadian soldiers leaving Ottawa?

And in fact there are a number of famous views of Canada's Boer War soldiers boarding trains in Ottawa.

The Picture: So we find one of the very largest pictures in the book. Regrettably it is also, by far, the largest picture in the book, without a caption of any kind. Well who can quarrel? It's obviously people at a train station seeing people off...

The Error: Trouble is the train station is not in Canada. That doesn't look like Colonel Otter climbing aboard. In fact - horrors! - there's not a Canadian in sight...

Truth be told, the station is Machadodorp, in South Africa on the Pretoria to Delagoa Bay railway line. And climbing on is not a patriotic Canadian; far from it, it is arch-enemy number one, President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic, the very man the Canadians are trying to catch.... He is fleeing for safety...

Now by what wild stretch of fancy did this end up in the Canadian War Museum's Ottawa train station files? And on the page of the book which deals with the Canadian contingents departing...?

So small you can hardly make it out in the book is a tiny inset photo - bet you missed it before now... That's actually a photograph of Machadodorp, on which the drawing is based. It's only 1.5 x 3.5 cm in size, one of numerous ludicrously tiny images scattered throughout the book.

The time shown is actually a full year down the road from the time the Canadians are leaving... And anyway...

SHAME! Why didn't Lorimer hire someone who could tell the difference between Col. Otter and President Kruger?

We won't ask why the experts at the Canadian War Museum - which is in Ottawa - couldn't spot the difference between the Boer President and Col. Otter, or tell a Boer train station scene, from an Ottawa one?










Now we see the problem... The resemblance of President Kruger left is so stunningly akin to Canadian Colonel Otter right, that anyone would mix them up amid the hurly burly on the station platform...

But here is why Canadians should know about Machadodorp. A famous Canadian had a date with destiny there. In fact that Canadian is only a few kilometres away as Paul Kruger mounts the train...

Go to The Race for Kruger's Flag
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #40
James Lorimer says "Wow! Troops! I love a parade!" Part 2

Play the guessing game - no caption at all...
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #36
James Lorimer says... "Cmon, it's just Trawna. I live here..."

James Lorimer says: Aw, shucks just give us a Toronto shot here...

The Picture: Crowds of people and streetcars. Must be something goin on... Wonder what?

The Error: Astonishingly his crowd picture of Toronto was published on page two of Chapter 1, as a set up picture of turn-of-the-century Toronto.

Clearly Lorimer, the picture editor, and the War Museum experts had no clue about what is going on here, so they just gave it a throw away title, leaving the impression - besides their ignorance - that this is typical of Toronto at the time.

It is not. In fact this was one of the greatest days in Toronto's 200 years of history. But you won't get that from this book, which is, in fact, exactly where this information should have been published, more so than anywhere else.

SHAME! So much public money wasted on so little talent and care...

It is Pretoria Day, June 6, 1900. And the crowds are in a frenzy.

Here's why as we zoom you in to scenes you won't believe...

Go to Pretoria Day Toronto 1900
Great Canadian Heritage Howler #11
James Lorimer, the Clint Eastwood credo should have set alarms off...

James Lorimer says: The Canadian public was so enthusiastic about the Boer War the song writers wrote this song.

The Picture: Nicely evocative piece that seems to support the thesis. It's Boer War era, produced in 1900.

The Error: This is an American piece, written by Americans, for Americans. The Americans had just had their "splendid little war" with Spain the year before. The gun frenzy of American sailors and soldiers is wonderfully captured on the cover. They are both dressed as Americans from the Spanish-American War of 1898.

The sentiments expressed in the lyrics have nothing to do with Canada, Britain, or the Boer War, but are typically self-centred, jingoistic American.

SHAME! This American sheet music should never have been published as proof of the totally fallacious caption.

Want to see real Canadian sheet music?

Go to Canadian Sheet Music
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