Page 69c2 Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
Go to Great Collections List
Use Internet
More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.

Great Canadian Portrait Gallery 3 - Military Heritage - 1860 - 2010

1 2 3 4 5 6
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure
Family Photo, Flt. Sgt Joseph Coulclough Barfoot 1918-1944
Orig. photo - Size - 10 x 13 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Canada's biggest armies in history - those of World War I and II - were made up entirely of hundreds of thousands of civilian volunteers like Joe, of whom some 44,000 died in WWII, and 66,000 in WWI.

Volunteers like Joe swamped the few professional soldiers with the civilian morality they brought with them from civvy street.

They didn't talk, or act, like the hard case pros like General Hillier. This infused the ranks of the Canadian military with an elevated sense of morality and class, throughout the 20th century, which it has lamentably lost in the 21st.

"Oh Canada, We Stand on Guard for Thee..."

Canada, having been hewn out of the wilderness, torn from the hands of the original Aboriginal owners, and defended from the rapacious clutches of a war mongering American neighbour, has a long military tradition.

And a wide variety of portraits of its military men which we feature below.

What few know is that Canada's military tradition is firmly rooted, entirely, not in its military establishment, but in the civilian population.

Virtually every military portrait of a Canadian in this gallery is that of a part-time soldier, a civilian, who donned a uniform only to serve his country at a time of need, then went back to civvy street to pursue meaningful productive, and socially ennobling employment. Unlike the personalities in the American, French, and British portraits we feature.

Almost none of the Canadians were professional, full-time soldiers, that is, those who routinely join up because of a love of blood sports and who fight for glory, pay, medals, and bragging rights...

Like Canada's "American Wannabe" General Hillier, who never wanted anything else in life. Says he "I always wanted to be a soldier;" "We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people" specifically "detestable murderers and scumbags." (He was referring to Muslims in Afghanistan.) He is an anomaly in Canada's military history.

A far finer representative of the fresh-faced and polite Canadian civilian boys who have defended Canada for over 400 years is Air Cadet Joe Barfoot of Toronto, who signed up in answer to the call in World War II, served as a navigator on a Canso flying boat doing anti-submarine patrols over the Pacific, and died with most of his mates when their aircraft crashed in the harbour at Ucluelet, British Columbia, in 1944. He had only been married a few months, when it all ended...

Go to where Joe once played

No loudmouth braggart, he; there are no medals on his tunic.

Joe wore his service to Canada in his heart...

Go to Lest We Forget Joe

And Canada is a better country because men like him lived...

Below in roughly chronological order, is the evolving portraiture of military men, that could be found in Canadian homes from around 1860, when Britain was first giving serious thought to turning Canada's defence over to the locals.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Steel Engraving, General George Brinton McClellan - 1863
Orig. engraving - Image Size - 42 x 55 cm
Found - London, ON
Steel Engraving, Canada West, 1863 - Large portraits were still mostly black and white, printed from images engraved, with graving tools, on to steel plates. They were then hand printed using black printer's ink.

Over the past 200 years, thousands of Canadian boys, unhappy that Canada could not satisfy their blood lust, volunteered to go fight in the US Army. They didn't care who the targets were: Mexicans (Mexican War 1846), other Americans (US Civil War 1861-65), Indians (Indian Wars (1865-1891), Spaniards and Phillipinos (Spanish-American War 1898), Vietnamese (Vietnam War 1965-1975), Muslims (Iraq Wars, Afghanistan War.) Next: more Muslims (Iran, Pakistan.)

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these Canadian boys died, fighting someone - anyone - for America. Their bodies lie in American cemeteries; their names are sprinkled on American war memorials.

Those who survived - from the massive bloodletting of the American Civil War of 1861-1865 - brought back souvenirs. From the Indian Wars they brought back scalps, or tobacco pouches made from Indian women's breasts, or warriors' testicles. But these were hard to display back home, and a practice being frowned on more and more.

Go to White Antelope's Privates

So they had to make do with large pictures of the generals under whom they had lived the high point in their lives. This print, still cased in its original frame and glass, is of short-lived Union commander George Brinton McClellan, dismissed by an exasperated President Lincoln because he refused to fight.

How many times, in a Canadian parlour, did it overhear tales of the bloody charges its owner survived, till he too passed on...?

Go to McClellan Print
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Colonel Athanase de Charette at Loigny (1832-1911) - Lionel Royer - 1870
Orig. litho - Image Size - 11 x 18 cm
Found - London, ON
Black & White Lithograph, Quebec, Canada, 1870 - A small lithograph portrait of a Victorian Canadian military hero, probably from Quebec, showing an exquisite Victorian gesso frame, in which the print has been for 140 years.

During 1868-1870 several hundred French-Canadian boys also went to fight in foreign armies when they saw that the Catholic Church was under attack from un-Godly elements, like Garibaldi and his Thousand, who were pushing for democracy against regimes - like the Papal States - that turned out to be harbouring countless pedophiliac priests and bishops.

Their hero was French Colonel Athanase de Charette, who led the Papal Zouaves to try to keep the Italian Republicans under Garibaldi from taking over the Pope's vast territorial holdings to add to Italy, during the drive to unify Italy under one democratically bound King in the 1860s.

Many French-Canadians went to fight in de Charette's army in Italy, including Canada's top sculptor of the Victorian Age, Philippe Hébert right.

Perhaps Philippe himself owned this; it was framed in Montreal in the 1870s.

Go to Colonel de Charette

Go to Philippe Hébert
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

CDV, Emperor Maximillian & Carlotta - c 1869
Orig. CDV - Size - 6 x 10 cm (shown double life-size)
Found - Grimsby, ON
Carte-de-visite, 1865 - Small carte-de-visite photographs that started with personal calling card portraits soon branched out to include celebrities.

Some Canadians like Col George Mason Green (1836-1912) and Narcisse Faucher de Saint-Maurice served under Maximilian, the brother of Emperor Franz-Joseph of Austria-Hungary, when he occupied Mexico and set himself up as Emperor there in the 1860s. Emperor Maximillian was captured by Mexican freedom fighters who executed him, and ousted the Austrians from Mexico.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil on Board, Sergeant, Coldstream Guards - c 1870
Orig. oil - Image Size - 45 x 59 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Oil on Board, c 1875 - Oil portraits of British soldiers in Canada were common as the British army and navy were the backbone of the armed forces that protected Canada from American invasions.

A fabulous portrait of a forgotten soldier whose family thought highly enough of him to have paid to have this large oil made to commemorate his service to the British Empire of Queen Victoria. Possibly he is one of the hundreds of thousands of British soldiers who either served in Canada or settled there during the 19th century.

Britain ultimately spun off Canada as an independent Dominion in 1867 to reduce the enormous cost of garrisoning Canada as a protection against American aggression, and to pass on the responsibility and the cost to Canadians.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil Painting, Lt. George E Laidlaw 1885
Orig. oil on canvas - Size - 16" x 24"
Found - Bowmanville, ON
Unsigned, pencil dated c 1890
Oil on Canvas, 1885 - Oil portraits of Canadian militia officers became popular among the upper classes in Victorian Canada as the locals mimicked the practice of the British regulars.

George Laidlaw was a typical patriotic Canadian from a well-to-do family who joined the militia to protect Canada from the rapacious Americans.

He had fought the Americans at Ridgway and then honed his military skills at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario in the early 1880s, at a time that Canada's only enemy in the world, was the United States.

He soon signed up to join General Middleton's North West Field Force to put down the Riel Rebellion in the Canadian west.

Like many portraits from this period, this was an anonymous painting until our research uncovered his identity and saved this fabulous portrait from the dung heap of history.

Go to The Mystery Militiaman
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil on Wood Panel, US General Phil Sheridan, c 1877
Orig. oil on wood - Image Size - 49 x 47 cm oa
Found - Toronto, ON
Oil on Wood Panel, c1877 - Folk art portraiture of American generals can be found because Canada, with no standing army of its own, and no blood-lettings like the US enjoyed, had only a succession of British administrative generals.

This fabulously rare folk art portrait is of famous US Civil War General Phil Sheridan, the renowned Indian fighter in the 1860s and 70s, and Commander-in-Chief of the US Army from 1883 till 1888, when he died.

It was probably painted by an admirer who may very well have campaigned for him during the Civil War or in the Indian wars.

For Canadians who liked their generals bloody, not boring, Phil was the perfect choice, making his reputation fighting in the US Civil War

(600,000 killed - more than in all of America's other wars combined), and the Indian Wars (thousands of Indian men, women, and children, deliberately exterminated.)

Phil is credited with coining the phrase "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." He is a special favourite of modern Canadian General Rick Hillier, who, desperate to escape the labeling of Canadian generals as mostly administrative peacekeepers, trumpeted

"We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people" specifically "the detestable murderers and scumbags" which he famously called the Muslims in Afghanistan.

He ended up getting lots of his men killed instead, and became the first Canadian general in history to lose a war, as the Americans first displaced his ineffectual forces from the Kandahar region, and then Canadians demanded they come home entirely by 2011, even though their supposed job was far from done.

In the end Hillier's "detestable murderers and scumbags" will be an integral part of the new "post-NATO invasion" government of Afghanistan...

Just as they were before the NATO white European Christians arrived to remove the Taliban from the face of the earth, and had to settle, for killing lots of ordinary Afghan men, women, and children instead.

But this fabulous piece of folk art is not named.

Find out how we tracked down the identity of this general.

Go to the Mystery General
flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure
Charcoal Portrait, Canadian Militiaman, 36th Regt., Shelburne, ON - c 1885
Orig. charcoal - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Palgrave, ON
Charcoal Drawing, c 1885 - Charcoal portraits of family members became extremely common in the 1880s, and sometimes a militiaman was pictured.

A spectacular charcoal portrait of a nineteenth century Canadian militiaman from the 36th Peel Regiment from Shelburne, Ontario.

During the 1860s the Canadian militiaman were increasingly called to deal with American invasions (Fenian 1866, 1870) and domestic disturbances (Red River 1870, Riel 1885).

The portrait dates from around 1885 and shows the standard militia uniform of the time. The white pith helmet, which the British adopted in 1878, started to be used by the Canadian militia in the 1880s.

This portrait echoes a time when Canadians looked with hostility at Americans who sent armed men to invade other countries, and their penchant for daring to teach the locals by force of arms to knuckle under to the American way of doing things.

Showing that there's no rule you can't ignore your own history, and become a total hypocrite, in 2006-2011, Canadians had grown up, shaken off their own past, and invaded Afghanistan, with their old enemies, the Americans, shooting up the locals in another foreign country, to convince them by force of arms to do it the Canadian - sorry we mean American - way.

And - history does tend to repeat on me - the Afghan locals, like the Canadian militiamen of 1866 and 1870, were beating the hell out of the foreign invaders, causing them to sue for peace and desperately seeking an honourable exit strategy from what was, all along, a stupid and ill-considered military adventure concocted by American Bushite ignoramuses and their sickophants.

There is, of course, a notable difference - one should never carry historic parallels too far; American invaders in the 1860s in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Manitoba, were not killing Canadian women and children.

Which cannot - at all - be said about Canadian soldiers shooting, bombing, and shelling, in Afghanistan.

The Canadian military policy in Afghanistan has always been, "Shoot first, and ask questions later, to see if the woman or child was carrying a terrorist thought in their heads or under their burka."

Go to 36th Regiment

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Cabinet Card - Pvt. Hubert Duchene, QOCH - 1899
Orig. photo - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Stoneham, PQ
Cabinet Card, c 1899 - Cabinet card photos of Canadian militiamen taken in studios were becoming common by the 1870s.

A fabulous and extremely rare cabinet card of a Canadian Victorian soldier who signs himself only as Hubert. Sadly most cabinet cards are unsigned. Who could Hubert be?

We know the picture was taken by the AR Roy "Elite Studio," which had business locations at Quebec City and Levis, Quebec. So Hubert must have been a local boy.

Hubert had a most affectionate relationship with his sister, to whom he sent the two cabinet cards, including this one, picturing himself proudly "as I look in the Q.O.C.H."

The QOCH was the 10th Queen's Own Canadian Hussars, a militia unit formed Nov. 13, 1856, and disbanded Aug. 15, 1913, at Quebec.

Go to The Mystery Militiaman

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Cabinet Card (detail), Arthur Henry Rhodes - c 1890
Orig. cabinet card - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Alexandria Bay, NY

Cabinet Card Photo, 1885 - Cabinet card portraits which traditionally had been shot in the studio now branched out into printing quality portraits from images that were photographed outdoors.

Sporting a bamboo lance is Canadian Arthur Rhodes, from Zelma, Saskatchewan, who served in a British lancer unit. Canadians who wanted to do full-time soldiering in the 19th century, could only do it by joining British units.

In fact during Victorian times hundreds of Canadians were officers in the British armies in India and Africa. During the Boer War more Canadian officers were serving in the regular British army than in the Canadian contingents that were sent. Many fell fighting among their British colleagues in British units.

Go to the Lamented Lt. Osborne

Charging Fuzzy Wuzzies armed with spears, knives, and bows, was very romantic in 19th century India and Africa. Lancers practiced "pig sticking" at the full charge. For close in work they would switch to the sword.

Lancer units were sent to the Boer War and marched with Lord Methuen on Kimberley. The 16th Lancers were with Lord Roberts on the march to Bloemfontein.

Go to Mounted Troopers
Go to the Lancers
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil on Canvas, General Leonard Wood - by John Singer Sargent 1903
Orig. oil on canvas - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - London, ON

Copied from the original when owned by the Corcoran Gallery c 1905
Oil on Canvas, 1885 - Oil paintings of American military heroes were souvenirs for some Canadians who fought for them.

General Leonard Wood was a Spanish-American War US general who organized the Rough Riders with Theodore Roosevelt and commanded the brigade at the famed charge up San Juan Hill in 1898.

9 Canadians fought with the Rough Riders and this painting, an oil reproduced around 1905, probably belonged to one of them.

Go to Spanish-American War

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Silk Stevengraph, General Buller - 1900
Orig. stevengraph - Window Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Boulder, CO
Silk Stevengraph, 1900 - Stevengraph portrait silks, though small, became all the rage at the end of the Victorian period.

General Buller, had great affection for Canadians, dating from when he had served in Canada as a young officer in the Red River Rebellion. He became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Canadians in South Africa in 1899.

This stevengraph came with one of Lord Roberts, as well as a dinner menu signed by Buller. Obviously they once belonged to an officer who served under both generals, attended the farewell dinner, and kept these mementos of two soldiers under whom he had served with pride.

Go to General Buller
Go to Stevengraphs

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Chromolithograph Vanity Fair Print - Bobs - 1900
Orig. chromolithograph - Image size - 19 x 31 cm
Found - Pocono Lake, PA
Signed Spy, Pub. Vanity Fair, June 21, 1900, "Bobs"
Vanity Fair Chromolithograph, 1900 - The most famous set of historic chromolithographs ever made were those produced by Vanity Fair, in England, featuring the important men, and a few women, who made the world go round, from 1868 to 1914.

Original chromolithographs offered the finest array of colours ever made available in making prints.

The original oil painting, from which a chromolithograph was made, was repainted with wax crayons on to super flat litho stones, and the prints hand-printed and pressed off those.

Lord Roberts was the commander of the thousands of Canadian troops who fought in 1900 during the Boer War in his fabled March to Pretoria.

Of the thousands of personalities featured by Vanity Fair this was the most popular print ever issued. It hung in countless Canadian homes.

He was the most popular - and the most successful - general in Canadian history, an officer and a gentleman his entire life, he was a far cry from home-grown modern Canadian generals who make up for their battlefield failures with loudmouth and boorish comments that embarrass Canadians around the world.

The close-up of Bobs' eye shows the actual original paint that was used in the chromolithography process, giving you many more gradations of colour than are possible in today's photomechanical colour reproduction processes.


Go to Canadian Vanity Fair Prints

Go to Bobs
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Charcoal, Canadian Trooper (Lt. John McCrae) - c 1898
Orig. charcoal sketch - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Rochester, NY
Original frame & glass, backed with cedar shakes, contained newspaper dated May 14 (1900). Sketch possibly signed "John McCrae 98."
Charcoal, 1898 - Charcoal portraits became more ambitious at the end of the Victorian period, replacing earlier simple frontal studio bustal sketches .

A Canadian artillery trooper whom we believe is none other than Lt. John McCrae of Guelph, Ontario, sketched while he was on summer maneuvers at Niagara Camp in 1898.

A year later he would lead a battery of artillerymen to fight in the Boer War.

A dozen years later he would be a doctor on the Western Front, and became Canada's most famous poet by penning "In Flanders Fields" the most sensitive pro-war poem ever written.

The poem was used to rally the home front to conclude, with phenomenal butchery, the most disastrous war in history. John would have been pleased. He was feeling especially anti-German and decidedly vengeful as he wrote his poem near the grave of a close friend that had just been killed.

From the grave, he beseeched Canadians, the dead were begging us to "Take up our quarrel with the foe" - he meant increase the blood-letting against the the evil Germans - and only then would he and the other war dead be content. And remember "If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep."

Generations of school teachers mindlessly had Canadian schoolchildren memorize this poem as some kind of anti-war, pro-peace polemic, when it is both historically and literarily exactly the opposite.

But then teachers are very much like journalists, and ministers, part of the dutiful propagandizing pablum passed for publicizing by the of the established classes.

This is the same though process that has transformed the horrific racist anti-Muslim wars of the 21st century as somehow extending Freedom and Democracy into an oil-rich part of the world.

Go to John McCrae

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Fire Screen Tapestry - Major General Baden Powell - 1900
Orig. tapestry - Size - 48 x 54 cm
Found - London, UK
Fire Screen Weaving, 1900 - During wars generals became popular heroes and soon their portraits graced every conceivable item.

Robert Baden-Powell was famous in the British Empire for successfully holding out for several months against a Boer siege in a totally useless and remote little British town. So he became a popular military hero.

What a refreshing military hero.

My how things change. In Vietnam the US military heroes were those who brought the body count of men, women and children, up to one million.

In Afghanistan the Canadians count their victories by killing the most Taliban to please their top general Rick Hillier who said "Our job is to be able to kill people" specifically the "detestable murderers and scumbags." He meant the non-Christian Muslims.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Photomechanical Repro, Col. FL Lessard - (Celebrities of the Army) - 1900
Orig. 1900 reproduction - Image Size - 18 x 26 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

Reproduction Print, 1900 - The British Celebrities of the Army prints offered Canadians the only available portraits of their Boer War commanders.

Making photomechanical reproductions from photographically intermediate production masters, on high speed printing presses was starting to take over from hand operated presses.

The most famous pictorial set of military generals ever produced came out during the Boer War to lionize some 75 of the British Empire's top generals. In fact they were produced the same year as Bobs' Vanity Fair litho.

Col. Lessard commanded a Canadian Mounted Rifles unit in 1900, during Bobs' fabled March to Pretoria.

These prints were sold as singles, and in book form, all provided with generous borders designed to make them easy to frame and hang, in homes, shops, and hotels. Thousands were.

The colours were nice, just don't look too closely. No match for a real chromolithograph. But it was just too expensive to keep producing the quality which chromolithography provided, when making photomechanical repros was faster, cheaper, and produced acceptable results.

Photomechanical reproduction was starting to take over the manufacturing of colour pictures.

Go to The Celebrities of the Army
Go to All About Originals & Dupes
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Egg Tempera, Trooper, Canadian Mounted Rifles - 1900
Original tempera painting - Image Size - 51 x 61 cm
Found - Winnipeg, MB
On stretcher, original frame & glass, cedar shake back
Egg Tempera, 1900 - This original tempera painting of a Canadian volunteer is finest example of military portraiture produced during the Boer War.

No other portrait in any other war has ever surfaced that can rival this glorious exuberance of Canadian pride in their civilian military men.

A Winnipeg family proudly had a talented artist create this huge and glorious portrait of a family member who volunteered to serve his Queen and Country. If he failed to return - perish the thought - it would be a wonderful memorial of a fine Canadian civilian soldier who did his duty.

Go to the Mystery Trooper


Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Cabinet Card, Lt. James Cooper Mason - 1899
Orig. cab card - Size - 13 x 19 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

Prov - Mason Coll
Cabinet Card Studio Photo, 1900 - During the Boer War, soldiers leaving for the fields of combat thought a mandatory stop at a photo studio to get a portrait made of them in their combat clothes, would preserve the moment forever.

Lt. James Cooper Mason stopped at the famed Livernois Studio in Quebec just hours before boarding the Sardinian for South Africa in October, 1899.

Go to Warrior Departs
Go to the Sardinian Departs


Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Studio Photo, Lt. James Cooper Mason - 1901
Orig. Mason photo - Size - 9 x 16 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON
Prov - Mason Coll
Studio Photo, c 1901 - Officers who had been proud to get photographed in their working combat duds, before going to war, returned to memorialize the high point in their lives with a fancy portrait in their "reds."

James Mason's large and high quality studio portrait was taken to memorialize how he looked after he returned from his epic tour of duty in South Africa. He wears the DSO which he won for distinguished leadership during the Battle of Paardeberg, when he was badly wounded.

His Kodak camera, with which he took many candid photos of the Canadians at war, sits on his knee.

This is the man and the camera that took the historic first real combat photo on an active battlefield - Paardeberg, Feb. 18, 1900 - establishing a new benchmark in the history of war photography that would not be matched for decades to come.

Go to the Combat Camera


flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A very rare pinback of the only Canadian Boer War celbrity we've been able to find on non-paper memorabilia items.

The commander of the first ever contingent sent by Canada to fight in an overseas war, can also be found on pin trays, tin boxes, and flags. But these are rare items too.

Pinback - Colonel Otter - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 23 mm
Found - Port Perry, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Studio Photo, Trooper GS Palmer, Strathcona's Horse - 1900
Orig. photo - Image Size - 13 x 19 cm
Found - Brecon, Wales, UK
Studio Photo, 1900 - Studio portraits as warriors were probably the first portrait photos of the Boer War volunteers ever had taken.

A farm boy from Moosomin, Saskatchewan, George Palmer stopped at an Ottawa studio to have his picture taken in his new duds - probably not a week old for this civilian. Then a quick note on the back emblazoned with all the details of his new found status with a fabulous destination.


Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Candid Photo, Lt. Temple & Lt. Mason (r), RCR, Belmont, South Africa - 1899

Orig. Mason photo - Size - 13 x 13 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON
Prov - Mason Coll

Candid Photo, 1899 - For the first time candid shots of soldiers from the war front were resulting in portrait photos taken by the men themselves with small portable cameras like the folding Kodaks.

The Boer War was the most photographed war in history with countless officers and men carrying the new portable cameras on the campaign in South Africa. Thousands of candid, spur-of-the-moment portraits of men at war were shot and either given to friends or glued into a new invention, the photo album.

James Mason had this photo taken just as he and his colleague were setting out for sentry duty at Belmont, South Africa. The photo was glued on to a heavy cardboard backing so it could be handled more easily and be protected.

Go to the Belmont Photos


Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Cabinet Card Candid Photo - Pvt. Hubert Duchene, 2 CMR, South Africa - 1902
Orig. photo - Size - 11 x 17 cm
Found - Stoneham, PQ
Cabinet Card Candid Photo, c 1899 - Cabinet card portraits now branched out into printing quality portraits from images that were photographed with the new portable folding Kodak cameras in the war zone.

Victorian military cabinet cards of French-Canadian soldiers are very rare to find. Especially ones from the Boer War battle zones.

Here is Hubert Duchene, whom we met as a young militiaman in a studio portrait above. Now a couple of years later he had joined the 2 CMR to fight the Boers in South Africa.

It is another card which this proud Canadian sent to his sister Kate.

Go to Hubert Duchene

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinbacks, 1900 - Pinback portraits of British generals became the rage.

Brown's Furniture & Clothing of Toronto had the large one made to capitalize on the huge fame enjoyed by Bobs among Canadians.

Go to Pinbacks

Pinbacks, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 45 & 23 mm
Found - Montreal, PQ
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Candid Photo, 1900 - This Canadian photo portrait of men shooting on the front lines of an active battlefield established a new benchmark in the world history of photographing men at war.

The photo was taken by one of Canada's most famous soldiers of the Boer War, Lt. James Cooper Mason, DSO, one of only five men in Canada's First Contingent to win the Distinguished Service Order, second only to the Victoria Cross, for bravery in the face of the enemy.

This photo also, for the first time, clearly establishes, absolutely, a superb moment in the history of war photography.

And a Canadian soldier was responsible for it.

Though this photo has been known to some, its landmark status in the history of war photography has been totally unknown and unpublicized - till now.

Its historic significance was completely overlooked by Pat Hodgson (1974) in her definitive "Early War Photographs" which assembled the best war photographs from the 19th century.

Though she had failed to find even a single certifiable combat photograph, she somehow missed the importance of James Mason's historic achievement with this portrait photograph of two Canadians and a corpse on the front lines of the Battle of Paardeberg, taken on Bloody Sunday, Feb. 18, 1900.

Go to the Photo

Photo, Bloody Sunday, Battle of Paardeberg, Feb. 18, 1900 - Lt. James Cooper Mason, RCR - 1900
Orig. Mason photo - Image Size - 8.5 x 8.5 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON
Prov - Mason Coll

The World's First Combat Photograph - The Firing Line with the Photographer Under Fire

Another candid photo of James Mason, taken only hours before he snapped the historic, ground-breaking combat photo above.

He is wearing the clothes he was wearing when he took it, and the sword he waved as he led his men in the charge that would see him wounded and bring Canada its worst day of casualties of the entire Boer War.

The Boer War had more camera coverage than any other conflict in history and produced more intimate photo portraits of men at war than ever before.

But it was left to James Mason, an extremely brave amateur soldier, a banker from civvy street, to take the first, and only certifiable, unfaked, combat photograph, in the history of war photography.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Parian Bust, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. parian bust - Size - 21 cm
Found - Repentigny, PQ
Parian Bust, 1900 - Small portrait parian busts were the preferred way to honour military men in many homes.

A fabulous parian bust of Lord Roberts, originally milk white, was hand painted - as many busts were - by someone in Repentigny, Quebec.

Go to Busts of the Generals

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Printed Flag, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. flag - Size - 70 x 73 cm
Found - Harrogate, UK
Portrait Flag, 1900 - Portraits of generals started to appear on patriotic flags that Canadians waved during parades.

Lord Roberts surrounded by some of the famous battles he fought in South Africa in 1900, and some he didn't.

Go to Portrait Flags

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Paperweight, Bugler Dunne, the Hero of Colenso - Dec. 1899
Orig. glass - Size - 10 cm
Found - Winnipeg, MB
Paperweight, 1900 - Portraits of Canada's military heroes - during the Victorian wars almost all of these were British - have been added to countless kinds of memorabilia.

Bugler Dunne of Colenso was a special Canadian favourite, the plucky bugle boy who was wounded and lost his bugle while charging with his regiment during the horrific losses the British suffered at the Battle of Colenso in 1899.

Canadians were thrilled to hear that Queen Victoria visited him in hospital and presented him with a new bugle.

Go to Bugler Dunne

Canada had its own bugle boys.

Go to Canada's Bugle Boys
Go to Canada's Boys at War

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Stein, Lord Roberts - Brantford, Ont - 1900
Orig. stein - Size - 31 cm
Found - Aberfoyle, ON
Mfg - TJ Fair & Co. Ltd., Sole Manufacturers Brantford,
Ontario, Canada
Ceramic Portrait Jug, 1900 - Portraits of favourite Canadian generals were emblazoned on all manner of ceramic ware.

The most spectacular and largest Boer War portrait jug ever produced anywhere, was Canadian, made in Brantford, Ontario, featuring Lord Roberts, Canada's most admired general.

Go to the Brantford Jug

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Ceramic Plate, Lord Roberts & his Generals - 1900
Orig. plate - Size - 26 cm
Found - Kingston, ON
Portrait Plate, 1900 - Portraits of generals blossomed on plates of all sizes and shapes during the Boer War. Bobs and all the British generals were heroes to Canadians, who had no home-grown generals of their own, only part-time officers with regular jobs on civvy street.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Souvenir China, Soldier's Monument, Charlottetown, PEI - 1900
Orig. creamer - Size - 6.5 cm
Found - St. John's, NF
Portrait Creamer, 1900 - Portraits of Canadians on ceramic memorabilia are non-existent.

An extreme rarity, this tiny creamer with the portraits of two Boer War soldiers from Prince Edward Island, is the only ceramic item we've ever found that features Canadians.

Go to Bugler Dunne

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pin Tray, Col. William Otter - 1900
Orig. metal - Size - 7 x 10 cm
Found - Pottageville, ON
Tin Pin Tray, 1900 - Canadian military portraits on memorabilia are beyond rare and impossible to find.

Colonel William Otter, called Canada's first professional soldier, was the commander of Canada's first ever battle contingent to fight in an overseas war, and was thoroughly disliked by his men, all civilian volunteers.

He ultimately became the first Canadian-born commander of the Canadian army, after a long succession of British generals.

Go to Tin Portraits
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Tin Patriotic Boer War Generals Tin - Col. William Otter - 1900
Orig. tin - Size - 20 x 20 x 18 cm
Found - Cheltenham, ON
Prov - Gordon & Barbara Rank Coll
Tin Box, 1900 - Canadian portraits on Boer War memorabilia are beyond rare and virtually impossible to find.

Canadian Colonel Otter is in storied company with three of Britain's top generals on the other sides of this ultra rare tin.

Go to Historic Tins
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Studio Portrait (detail), Major Arthur Gat Howard (KIA) - 1900
Orig. photo - Image size - 5.5" x 8"
Found - Vancouver, BC
Photo by Lancefield's Studio, 61 Sparks St. Ottawa
Studio Photo, 1900 - Larger studio photos were cherished especially when they were the last photos taken of those who died in action.

Gat Howard was the reverse of the "military brain drain," an American who came to Canada to demonstrate how effectively the new Gatling machine gun could kill people, and so getting his nickname.

Coming from a country with a fearsome reputation of blood letting - they had just killed 600,000 people in the Civil War, and were in the midst of a campaign to exterminate Indian men, women, and children - Gat was a total anomaly among the Canadian civilian militiamen who had no background or inclination in this direction whatsoever.

During the North West Rebellion this machine gun salesman impressed his Canadian bosses by shooting fearlessly at Indian men, women, and children at the Battles of Cut Knife and later Batoche.

His achievements were specifically noted on the fabulous prints that were produced at the time.

Go to Battle of Cut Knife

Gat settled in Canada and became an armaments huckster for people who make money by building the machinery of war to kill people. During the Boer War he signed up with his machine gun and earned a fearsome reputation among the Boers. When they captured him it was the end of Gatling Gun Howard...

Go to Battle of Cut Knife

Collectors pay a premium for KIA (killed in action) photos like this.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Folk Art, Lord Roberts of Kandahar - c 1910
Orig. assembly - Image Size - 74 x 89 cm, wt - 13 kg
Found - St. Jacobs, ON
Memory Folk Art, c 1910 - Folk portraits of military leaders - like the one of General Sheridan above - are impossible to find in Canada, making this as rare as it gets.

This fabulous, heavy and huge portrait of Lord Roberts was put together over hundreds of hours of work by a fanatic Canadian admirer in Damascus, a whistle stop in Ontario.

Go to Bobs' Folk Art Portrait

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pastel, Staff Sgt. John (Jack) Baker, c 1910
Orig. pastel - Size - 16 x 20"
Found - Cookstown, ON
Prov - Baker Estate Coll
Pastel, c 1910 - Pastel portraits were rare to find but signified the growing pride of Canadians in their military men, especially after the Boer War.

This pastel is one of the very finest military portraits ever produced in Canada.

After the Boer War (1899-1902) the 6,000 volunteers from civvy street that the Canadian Government had mobilized for the war in South Africa, returned to their civilian jobs.

The largest army Canada had, on the eve of World War I, was part-time civilian militiamen like John Baker who spent most of their day on productive jobs on civvy street.

One of the rarest images from this period is this large pastel of John Baker (1884-1917) of Cookstown, Ontario. He was a militiaman but was enormously proud of his status in the 36th Peel Regiment.

Certainly the rarest of Canadian military mementoes is this original pastel and the complete uniform which he wears in this picture stored in our museum collections vault.

Go to John Baker

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Portrait Silk, Lord Kitchener - 1914
Orig. silk - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Portrait Silk, 1914 - Giant silks were issued to satisfy the clamour among Canadians for portraits of top British generals during World War I.

This is an enormous silk, not the usual small tobacco silks that were also produced.

At least Kitchener paid the price for helping to unleash World War I. He went down with HMS Hampshire who struck a mine off the north of Scotland in 1916.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil on Canvas, Lord Kitchener - c 1915
Orig. oil - Image Size - 41 x 51
Found - Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
Oil on Canvas - Original oils of top generals could be found in some homes.

Some Canadians were not content to have mass produced portraits of revered leaders in their homes and had originals painted from commercially available reproductions. This artist obviously copied the large portrait silk.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Locket Photos, Frederick William Pocock, Canadian Scout (KIA) - 1902
Orig. memorial locket - Size - open 4.5 x 6 cm
Found - Bridgnorth, UK
Locket Photos, 1902 - Memorial photos in lockets became popular items in Victorian times, to wear in remembrance of loved ones.

Frederick Pocock was a member of the much feared Canadian Scouts, founded by Gat Howard in South Africa in December 1900.

Pocock was killed a year after Gat Howard had met his own end in February 1901.

Now Fred's wife, who probably wore this for years until shed died, has passed on. As have all the other people who once knew him and cared for him and his memory.

Now it's been rescued from the trash heap of history by the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum.

Go to Gat's Death

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Harold Lothrop Borden Shooting Medal - 1900
Orig. copper - Size - 47 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Copper Portrait Medal, 1900 - Portrait medals were commonly issued for royals on special occasions.This absolute rarity, a memorial medal, issued as a shooting trophy by the Canadian Minister of Defence and Militia, Frederick Borden for his son Harold, killed in the opening months of his service in South Africa.
Go to Harold Borden

This fabulous medal once belonged to one of Canada's top Victorian markswomen.

Go to Capt. R Dillon

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Charcoal, Oval Framed Portrait, William McKee - 1900
Orig. charcoal - Size - 36 x 50 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Oval Framed Charcoal, 1900 - The oval framed photo, that was widespread in World War I with photos started to appear during the Boer War, but with charcoal portraits.

William Alexander McKee from Charlottetown, PEI, who went as a Sergeant to South Africa in January 1902 with the 10th Field Hospital. He later signed up for World War I

Go to the Mysterious Soldier

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Plaster Bust, General Haig - 1916
Orig. plaster - Size - 47 cm
Found - Dundas, ON
Plaster Bust, 1916 - Huge portrait plaster busts of generals were displayed in public buildings, government, and military offices during World War I.

General Haig who was the chief architect of the Allied slaughter during World War I. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces, he bore the responsibility for most of the 66,000 Canadians who died in the most useless war in history.

Go to Butcher Haig

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Propeller Framed Studio Photo - Airman Bowes, RFC - 1917
Orig. photo - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Hamilton, ON
Studio Photo in Propeller Frame - Propeller frames appeared for the first time in the first war to feature combat by aircraft.

Air Cadet Bowes, signified by the white flashing in his cap - like Sgt. Joe Barfoot top - poses in a studio with a swagger stick. He will become a flying officer.

His proud mom "Mrs. Bowes, 25 Brige (sic) St." had this photo cased in this highly unusual frame which alerts us that a new form of warfare had been introduced with the aircraft, and reminding us that 20 years later, during World War II, the air force would be the decisive and deciding arm of warfare.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Painted Photo Oval, Hector Charles Clarke - 1914
Orig. photo - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

Painted Photo, 1914 - Original painted photos in 16 x 20" oval frames are a hallmark of World War I soldier portraits. Hundreds of thousands were made, encasing photos taken before the boys left for the wars from which millions never returned...

A rare and fabulously unusual named portrait of a First World War soldier, Hector Charles Clarke, all suited up, complete with rifle and kit, ready to give the Hun his due. Most soldier portraits are just bust shots of men staring at the camera. Very few are named. Hey, the family all knew who they were...

On the back it says "Missing at 18 in the 1914-18 war." One of millions never found, just churned up into the mud of France and Belgium.

The photographer had written on the back "Clarke, 125 Sutton St Tuebrook." So Hector and his sister Frances lived near central Liverpool, before the war.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Painted Photo Oval, Frances May (Clarke) Hoather - 1914
Orig. photo - Image Size - 41 x 51 cm
Found - Kitchener, ON

Painted Photo, 1914 - Original painted photo in oval frame.

A stunningly beautiful painted photo portrait of Frances, who was probably Hector's grieving sister. Or perhaps his mother...

These portraits hung together in family parlours for the best part of a century, before they ended up in a rural antique store.

A brother and sister, torn apart, by the mad dogs of war set loose by a generation of stupid politicians with no talent for peace or governing.

After the war the pictures came to Canada, perhaps with Frances, to the Kitchener, Ontario, area.

Go to the Clarke Kids
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
Autographed Colour Photo, 1915 - Large autographed colour photos of Canadian generals date from World War I.

After the Boer War Canadians set about in earnest to build their own regular army, and to take over command from British generals. Sam Hughes is the first Canadian general to be featured with a huge colour portrait, complete with his personal autograph.

He is a worthy predecessor to today's Canadian loudmouth media generals.

Hughes bragged, loudly, that for his pluck at the Battle of Faber's Put he deserved the Victoria Cross.

He also publicly complained loudly about the ineptness of the British general under whom he served, and was sent back to Canada as punishment for undermining his British boss during war time.

Years later, Hughes became Canada's Minister of Militia and Defence in World War I. He promoted the inept Ross Rifle which got a lot of Canadian boys killed, and then in a repeat, rebuked his boss the Prime Minister of Canada with ill judged comments.

Hughes was fired again, this time by his Canadian boss - the Prime Minister - for shooting off his big mouth.

But note how, in 2008, loudmouth Canadian General Hillier, who, à la Hughes, repeatedly undermined and publicly embarrassed his civilian boss, the Minister of Defence, was kept on while the elected Minister was fired instead. The PM's business pals were pulling the strings here.

So much has Canadian democracy deteriorated, that the unelected Man on Horseback had finally ridden his steed successfully up and into the doors of Parliament Hill and Canada became the last banana republic in the Western Hemisphere.

Go to Sam Hughes
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Memorabilia Portrait, General Rick Hillier - 2006
Orig. piss pots - Size - life size
Found - Turtleford, SK
Modern General Memorabilia, 2008 - Finally portraits of generals are featured on more utilitarian items.

Canadians, being peace-loving people - especially compared to Americans who have a truly bloody domestic, not to mention foreign, history - have never had a love affair with generals. Not since Bobs' day, a century ago, after whom the military memorabilia of generals pretty well stopped.

When General Hillier was fired by the government, in 2008, for exactly the same reason as General Sam Hughes had been, almost a century ago - loudmouth talking that embarrassed and undermined the Government of the Day, its policies, and ministers - the military was desperate to perpetuate his memory among the rank and vile.

A military commission, set up to find a way that was sure to publicize their hero to every single member of the Forces, on a daily basis, came up with FART and MUFF. It took 2 years and 2.3 million dollars, but most people think the DND branding job is worth the wait, and the money.

Top is General Hillier's FART - Fast Afterburner Releasing Technology.

Bot is MUFF - Military Urinal For Females.

These unique modern military portrait mementoes, wonderfully summarize the views of the average Canadian to Canada's most famous modern general - you know, the one who was sent packing back into Kandahar base by the Taliban, having had his unit to be rescued by Americans, before he was sent packing, prematurely, into retirement by an exasperated Government.

Go to more FART & MUFF
Web Portrait, Toronto Star - In the 21st century a few pixels on a web site is all you get, for a day or two, if you die for your country.

Three of the over 140 young Canadians whose lives were squandered in the wastes of Afghanistan by the corporate elite that wanted a race war against the Muslims.

All dead before their time. None of them will be able to "Click here to enter" as the cheerful ad invites, like the rich political elites who sent them to die in Afghanistan while they stay behind to enjoy life at a "Golf and Spa Getaway to Florida."

And none of the trio will be eligible to "Win one of two trips to Florida."

Of all the military portraits these are the most tragic.

The boys were sent on a loser's errand to fight a war they could never, ever, hope to win. And a cause that was dumb beyond belief, to begin with, and truly worthy of George Bush. And anyone with brains, and an education, knew it from the beginning.

There was never a clear war aim of any kind, nor an exit strategy for Canada, other than "Go till we kill all the Taliban and clear them out of Afghanistan."

For the first time in history the Canadian government sent soldiers to fight and kill people overseas without the approval, or the wishes, of the Canadian people.

It was demonstrably the first blatantly corporate orchestrated war in Canadian history. Prosecuted in spite of the wishes of the overwhelming majority of voters. (In 2010 polls report 80% want the Canadian Forces out of Afghanistan.)

Dumb,,, - right Canadian Prime Minister "Stephen Harper now says that the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan can never be beaten. Never."

Which was his only war aim all along. In spite of the fact that it was so obviously dumb, even to the village idiot from the beginning. The Taliban are the people of Afghanistan... They will be in the government of Afghanistan long after the invading white Christian NATO armies are gone, back to where they should never have left, but for the cackling cabal of cajoling, and conniving corporate cronies.

... And Dumber... General Vance right is no brighter, in an especially revelatory piece of "military intelligence." Somehow, in the mad recesses of his mind he has creatively twisted his logic into saying - we can't really think he believes it - that importing white European Christian gunmen, shooting, bombing, and shelling Muslim men, women, and children, to death in Afghanistan - all of which his forces have done, repeatedly - will bring a "peaceful and stable life" to the local populations there.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Web Page Photo, Afghan War - 2009
Orig. web page - Size 600 pix
Found - Toronto, ON
This web portrait page shows, at once, the total idiocy of Canada's participation in the Afghan War, and who pays the cost...

In every previous war Canadian boys died for Canada, and for the people of Canada, who supported their going...

Scores of thousands saw them off at train stations and wished them God speed...

And Nobody Waved Goodbye - This is the first group of soldiers, ever, in Canadian history, to depart for the theatre of war in silence, and alone... No mayor's speeches; no banquets; no parades; no jubilant, cheering crowds...

For the very first time in Canadian history, nobody showed up with flags and cheers to see Canadian military men going off to war, not even the corporate bagmen who sent them... The reason is simple.

This is the first group of military men and women, ever, to fight and die for a plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face corporate arranged war in Canadian history. The government sent them without parliamentary approval, or the approval of the people of Canada. In fact the majority of Canadians from the beginning, opposed the Bushite organized adventure all along, like they opposed the Bushite war against the Muslims in Iraq. Which is why the government deliberately avoided getting parliamentary approval before sending them off.

An extremely sad milestone in Canadian history, which shows the degree that democracy has disappeared from political life in Canada in the 21st century.

In the end the Canadian Forces were dragged home by the local revolt of the vast majority of the Canadian populace, against the strong wishes of the Prime Minister himself, and the political and corporate bagmen who operate the levers of the Canadian "democracy."

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure Then & Now

In 1899 the English people of Canada were solidly behind the government of Canada when it sent the first Canadian military contingent ever to ever fight in an overseas war - and the people showed it.

In 2006, there was no repeat whatsoever of that scene when the government sent troops to Afghanistan.

It reflected the stark reality that they were being sent by the governing business and political classes to curry favour, for economic reasons, with George Bush's America.

The Canadian people did not show up to wave like they did in the Boer War left, and World Wars I and II.

Indeed, why should they show approval for a military adventure they almost universally opposed? So the troops were sneaked out of the country, quietly, through the back door, more like a force of mercenaries - which they were, for the governing classes - instead of as a democratic expression of the popular will of the country, which they were not...

Newspaper, The Globe, October, 1899
Orig. newspaper - Image Size - 61 x 85 cm
Found - Kingston, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Plate, Paardeberg Drift - Feb 18, 1900
Orig. plate - Size - 23 cm
Found - Kingston, ON

Countless Canadians bought this plate to celebrate a battlefield victory that its sons helped bring about under the leadership of Lord Roberts the most popular, and successful general, in Canadian history.

Sorry no victory plates in Afghanistan. Canada's most popular general among the media, Rick Hillier, managed to become the first Canadian general in history to lose a war.

Which any public school student of Afghan history could have foretold eight years ago when Canadian generals pushed politicians into being allowed to take a whack at the Muslims there.

As General Hillier loudly demanded that the Canadian Forces' job was to kill people, and he demanded his chance.

After all he said the enemy were only "detestable murderers and scumbags."

Killing was what they deserved. So what's a little torture to him? If it never bothered Michael Ignatieff, the cold fish that the Liberals currently prop up as their leader, who famously opined that if it was good enough for George Bush and the Americans then it was fine with him too...

The general hardly needs to feel ashamed; he's in good company.

With Rosie... and Christie...

And the Liberal Party of Canada, which, in Joe Barfoot's generation won for Canada its one and only Nobel Peace Prize, for Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson, himself a military veteran.

The world - people of all races, colours, and creeds - saw him as a decent humanitarian who sought international crisis resolution through mediation.

Lester and Joe, and other decent Canadians have been swept under the rug by the current crowd operating the levers of power in Canada and who prefer the George Bush, Clint Eastwood gunplay solution when dealing with the 1.5 billion non-white Muslim peoples of the world.

No commemorative plates, no Nobel Peace Prize, for any of them.

And Nobody Waved Good-bye - The majority of Canadians have steadfastly opposed the deployment of the shooting troops to fight Muslims, just because the anti-Muslim political and business elites that run Canada, wanted it done for personal or tribal gain.

Hey It Pays Big Bucks - And this despite the best efforts of the publishing classes - and their stable of sickophant scribes - whose job it is to bring the electorate into line behind what their business cronies want support for.

(A kid's street chant in Muslim countries apparently is, "Amanpour, Amanpour, You are such a media whore." We're told, that chanted in Arabic, it still rhymes. The defenders of Christiane, CNN's chief propagandist, say it's just jealousy, that she makes $2,000,000 (two million) a year to fervently represent the pro-Israeli interest cliques against the groups demanding Islamic political and humanitarian rights.

Famed Palestinian freedom fighter, Yasser Arafat, once famously, abruptly, walked away from her, on-camera, because of her bellicose, anti-Muslim hectoring that he found offensive, and racist, especially from one who claims to be an even-handed journalist. Her brand of even-handedness is what earns her her huge kickback in salary.)

And the failure to rally the public behind this war is despite the best efforts of their pollsters, who have twisted every which a way, with the questions they ask their respondents, in trying to wring out a majority for war on paper, that would please their high-paying political clients.

The Big Pay-off NOT - The result is that in Canada the media and the pollsters have failed, big-time, to bring the citizens of Canada into line behind their government's policy to join the government leaders of few, white European Christian NATO countries to carry out a war against non-white Muslims in Afghanistan.

Canadians on Main Street do not like race wars... However popular they are on Parliament Hill.

Very much like most of the people of Europe, the vast majority of whom also opposed the war their own political and business elites engineered in direct opposition to the popular will, in Britain, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

Whatever else Canada will do in the 21st century will never erase the worst stain in Canadian history on her previous record as the near-perfect exemplar of a non-racist state in world affairs.

Many human rights activists point out that Canada, of all the NATO countries, had a far above average rate of turning Muslim prisoners over to Afghan government agents, who, everyone - including Rosie and Christie - knew, would torture them, many unto death.

But the gals - we can hardly call them ladies - too thought it was a good idea, as their columns in Canada's leading newspapers, repeatedly make clear. They agree with General Hillier that it's just deserts for the "detestable murderers and scumbags."

Knowingly delivering people for torture is a human rights abuse and a war crime.

Rosie and Christie - tourist, expense account journalists on Afghanistan - can be forgiven for their woeful lack of knowledge and ignorance about international affairs.

Their knowledge background from their normal beats are jock sports, local crime, and personal confession columns: Rosie and all her "Dear John letters, sent and received" and Christie who apparently can't even get her dog to sleep with her anymore...

It has all contributed to what is, by far, the lowest moment in Canada's international history.

This is so far beneath what Joe Barfoot go back to top would have done or had a hand in doing.

How abysmally low the quality of Canadian military, political, and media leadership has sunk since the days of his public service...

Fortuitously, Canadians have long arranged it so most of the villains are kept quarantined together in Ottawa, most on Parliament Hill, so that honest, decent, and hard-working citizens can keep an eye on them, and hopefully keep their self-serving excesses to themselves and their cronies to a minimum...