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More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.

Lord Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914) - 6

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The Most Popular Canadian General

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinback, Bobs - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 44 cm
Found - Montreal, PQ
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinback, Bobs - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 23 cm
Found - Dundas, ON

Easily the most common Canadian pinback to be found, from a century ago, is the Lord Roberts, Bobs Chewing Tobacco, right. Bobs was the affectionate nickname by which he was known to the British public and his men.

Bobs was just as wildly popular in Canada as he was in Britain.

In fact the largest pinback, of any on this page, is the 44 mm Brown's Furniture pin made by the Medallion, Photo & Novelty Co. of Toronto left. The Montreal Star had its own manufactured as well below.

He was the only European General ever to win a military success that ended a war in the wild and unruly Afghan province of Kandahar; and he will remain the only one in History...








And why not!

His success can be attributed to the fact that he lived his entire life on the Indian subcontinent among non-white Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim tribesmen of all kinds. He lived their life, and understood them, and respected them as fellow human beings inhabiting the same planet. In fact he included one as a main element in his family crest.

A Losing Recipe for a General
Canada's Top General Rick Hillier, downcast to be the first Canadian general ever to lose a war. Is it any wonder? He had never been to Afghanistan before he urged Canadian Forces to go there because "Our job is to be able to kill people" notably "the detestable murderers and scumbags" in Afghanistan. He was referring to the non-white Muslims there.

Unlike Canada's top general Rick Hillier, who blindly urged war in Afghanistan when he had never lived there, knew nothing of the people, language, and culture. And certainly had no clue, at all, of its history.

His only interest, as he famously and crassly put it, at a press conference, was "to be able to kill people" targetting the "detestable murderers and scumbags" as he called his non-white Muslim adversaries there.

It is not a formula for a successful general and goes a long way to explain exactly why the Canadian military campaign - unlike Lord Roberts' storied success in exactly the same place, against the same people - is failing so spectacularly in Kandahar, and terrorism is spiking out of sight with every passing month that the Canadian Forces are taking his lead in Afghanistan.

Right the Globe & Mail, Canada's National Newspaper compilation of what is really going on, in spite of what Canada's generals are saying about the success of their shooting campaign..

It shows that the longer Canada has been there, the more money it spends, the more heavy weaponry it brings to the task, the more the generals shoot the place up, the more it inflames the local passions, resulting in more terrorist acts (freedom fighter incidents) which are spectacularly skyrocketing out of sight.

- Current Top Canadian General Walt Natynczuk

Why "military intelligence" is a staple for late night comics...

In the first six months of 2008, insurgent attacks have almost doubled what they were for all of 2007, making reasonable people ask - Why are Canadian generals talking and thinking like George Bush? You know the guy who said Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, and ties to Al Qaeda... and used these totally discredited claims to kill hundreds of thousands of Muslim women, children, and men, just to get access to the world's second biggest oil reserves for his business cronies.

Attacks on the white Christian occupiers are spiking especially in the southern region of Afghanistan where the Canadians are doing their general's bidding, of "Our job is to be able to kill people."

Not rocket science; any public school student could have predicted this. But not Canadian generals sitting in their air-conditioned offices on the Rideau.

Could we suggest Canada needs a new game - exit - plan and a smarter set of generals? Both on the ground and in the media...

With his fabled March from Kabul to Kandahar, in August 1880, in exactly the region Canadians are responsible for, Lord Roberts scattered the same local Talib tribesmen to the four winds allowing Britain full diplomatic control in a region no one - whether locals or foreigners, before or since - has been able to tame for long. The March, followed by the Battle of Kandahar, ended the Second Afghan War, within weeks.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinback, Bobs - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 23 cm
Found - Dundas, ON

Bobs and most of his army retired to India, and by choice, he left the feudal state to slumber on without interference, to the beat of its own drum. As a white Christian European soldier, he held that he had no business reordering the domestic political arrangements or the cultural and social mores of a medieval conglomeration of wild tribesmen, in this remote region, however much he disagreed with their way of life.

Bobs was one bright guy; Canadian generals and their white Christian allies not so much.

Queen Victoria honoured him by granting him a glorious title which has resonated in military history: Lord Roberts of Kandahar. And well it should.

Bobs fought and killed only combatant men; he did not kill women and children. He was proud to maintain, that in his Afghan campaign not one Afghan woman was violated by any of his thousands of conquering troops.

What a stark contrast the behaviour of the Canadian Forces - not to mention other Coalition partners - who time and again have killed numerous Afghan women and children, and innocent bystanders, as shrugged off collateral damage in their ruthless military tactics to win Hearts and Minds!!! A repeat of Vietnam all over again...

It is hard to conceive of honours you can award to a general on whose watch over 1,000 Taliban prisoners, that it had taken Canadians years of effort and billions of dollars to catch, staged one of the biggest jail breaks in history... (See below)

Bobs retired in 1897, after having spent over 40 years as a successful soldier and political administrator in India, only to be brought back to head up the Boer War front in South Africa, when that campaign faltered under General Buller.

In South Africa he became Commander-in-Chief of several Canadian Contingents, who became just as enamoured of Bobs as their British Tommy brothers-in-arms.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Lord Roberts of Kandahar, 1900
Orig. cabinet card - Size - 10.5 x 16.5 cm
Found - Archdale, NC

Unlike modern generals, he was a General with Class, and a gentleman man of action, not loud talk. (Educated people shudder every time they listen to generals hold forth at press conferences.)

Unlike Canada's administrative generals - who perform better in front of the mike, than in front of the enemy - Bobs had repeatedly put his own life on the line, many times, in hand-to-hand combat with the Queen's enemies. And had a Victoria Cross for Valour in combat to prove it. Not a chest of service medals of places he had visited in his career.

Which is probably precisely why he - unlike Canadian generals - never sneered at his adversaries from other cultures though their hands were as bloody as any in history, but fought them as a gentleman ought, on the field of battle, and then treated the vanquished with honour and respect.

Reading his autobiography "41 Years in India," one is constantly struck by the sensitivity and affection in his voice when he spoke of the nonwhite, and non-Christian peoples he encountered, and often fought, in his profession of Soldier of the Queen.

No wonder his book was a publishing phenomenon of the age.

How different modern generals are. When Canadians recently underwent soul searching about the future role of its generals in the scheme of things, the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces famously barked to the press, his job was to "be able to kill people," specifically enemies, which he called "scumbags" in Afghanistan.

His language, which had no Canadian precedent, was remarkably similar to the language of American generals' press conferences...

This is not a general Bobs would have understood. In hundreds of pages of autobiography, covering one of the most turbulent period of British colonial history, he never once, talks of his profession in the terminology adopted by recent Canadian and American generals. He knew comments like that, though common among barroom brawlers, had no place in the vocabulary of a soldier gentleman who represented his Class, his Profession, his Country, and his Queen.

Bobs was a general who had Principles, and Grace, not, like our peacetime generals, merely thirst for blood sports. Unlike them, he had seen real warfare, on mighty battlefields, and had lost many friends and colleagues - even a son (below) - in war, to think - or talk - of killing as his profession.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Lord Roberts VC, "Bobs", 1900
Orig. Vanity Fair lithograph - Image size - 8" x 14"
Found - Pocono Lake, PA
Signed Spy, Pub. Vanity Fair, June 21, 1900, "Bobs"

In his day generals fought in the face of the enemy, sharing the same dangers as low paid privates and corporals, not sending them out to face the enemy - and die for their country! - alone, as they gave them radio directions from the safety of the Green Zone, or from command complexes at the Pentagon, or above the Rideau, half a world away...

No wonder his pinbacks vastly outnumbered those of everyone else... and in Canada, at that...

There appears to be no parallel rush, any time soon, by Canadians eager for a pinback of their modern generals.

Vanity Fair produced thousands of large cartoon prints, which people framed and hung up in offices, libraries, law offices, and homes, during the period 1868 to 1914. They publicized, with not a little affection, cartoons of all the people of consequence from around the world in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras (lawyers, explorers, writers, inventors, artists, politicians, celebrities, etc.)

By far the most popular print ever produced was that which featured "Bobs," Lord Roberts of Kandahar.

We shall not see his like again. Certainly not in Canada or the United States, where shrill Bushite generals pattern themselves on the mock heroics of John Wayne, himself a notable shirker of war service, like George Bush, Bill Clinton and all the daughters of both families.

Americans are notorious for electing Presidents from both parties - Clinton and Bush - who were notorious military shirkers, while they rejected - again from both parties - real war heroes who laid their lives on the line for America, in Kerry and McCain, who were the real thing. While McCain spent 7 years in prison in Vietnam, Bush and Clinton were partying it up big time, stateside, with gals of one kind or another. But hey, it got them elected, while McCain will forever remain a great American loser for believing what he learned in school. Come to think of it, some genocidal Indian killing generals went straight to the White House on a mound of Indian corpses: Jackson, Harrison.

Listening to numerous press conferences, held by American generals about Baghdad and Afghanistan, one is reminded, constantly, that there is no real tradition of an Officer as a Gentleman in the US, going back through "Gook Body Count" Westmoreland, "Nuke the Chinks" MacArthur, "Pistol Packin'" Patton, who'd as soon slug his own men as the enemy, to a whole range of Indian killing colonels and generals like Chivington, Custer, Harrison, Jackson, Phil "The only good Indians is a dead one" Sheridan, and Theodore "Well nine out of ten anyway" Roosevelt, not to mention General "Marching Thro' Georgia" Sherman. Brutes mostly...

Canadian top General Rick Hillier models himself proudly on this line of past and present US generals - and their President - who talk of killing, Rat in the Hole, Dead or Alive, in public no less, as easily as genocidal generals of an earlier day talked openly of exterminating the Indian vermin of the West. General Hillier's snorting about "our job is to kill... detestable murderers and scumbags" in Afghanistan fits in well with this crowd.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Biscuit Barrel, Lord Roberts, 1900
Orig. biscuit barrel - Size - 13 cm x 15 cm h
Found - Leicestershire, UK

But then hey, genocide has always been the quintessential American sport.

Go to Massacre USA
Go to The Only Good Indian

In Iraq and Afghanistan, US men and women in uniform, taking their cue from their leaders, produce brutality, rape, murder, and Abu Ghraib, and then are left dumbfounded when they are made sacrificial lambs for carrying out, in the field, the very thing they see their leaders promoting on TV press conferences! The official American mind set continues to boggle the mind of civilized peoples around the world..

Gentlemen officers like Lee, Ike, and Carter, are anomalies...

Bobs remains in a class by himself.

And so is the most fabulous biscuit barrel we have ever seen, right, featuring Lord Roberts, looking not at all out of place surrounded by flowers and petals, and other pretty things.

Says current US Joint Chiefs Chairman, the very Christian General Peter Pace: "No soldier, let alone general, of mine is going to be caught dead in such highly suspect immoral circumstances... Wait a minute. What I meant to say was, that any soldier who is inclined to surround him or herself with gay little flowers would be better off dead than in my army."

In his army he considers being gay a worse crime than bombing, strafing, and killing off an entire civilization of nonwhite Muslim Iraqi and Afghan men, women, and children for no other reason than they're non-Christians and in the way of American business interests.

That he seems to say, is what a Christian general's duty is; not harbouring flower children in the Armed Forces of the United States.

It was not the kind of Christianity Bobs would have agreed with at all.

Nor with the credo of the modern "American-style" military officer who routinely, now, allows for collateral damage - cynical political spin for deliberately killing women and children - as a cost of doing business against Third World non-Christian guerillas who refuse to stand and fight.

Bobs - The End of an Era

When Bobs retired for the second time, in 1900, he closed the door on the Last Gentleman's War.

His successor, Lord Kitchener, to quell a growing guerilla campaign, by Boers defending their homeland from a foreign invader, started making women and children his primary targets because he couldn't get at their men folk - the insurgents.

He put the entire army to work, burning their homes, possessions, and crops, and killing their livestock (no small feat this, it involved millions of horses, cows and sheep), and then locked them up in crowded, unhygienic concentration camps were some 28,000 - mostly women and children - died, more than all the fighting men on all sides combined (compared to 4,000 Boer commandos). Kitchener reasoned the ruthlessness would finally break the men in the field.

Put another way, the British effectively killed seven Boer women and children for every insurgent fighting man they could get their hands on. This genocidal ratio is probably a good indicator of the body count of the US British coalition in Iraq.

The strategy worked; Boer generals ended their guerilla campaign and sued for peace, rather than see thousands more of their women and children die...

And generals have adopted the technique ever since. In stark contrast to what one hears in the media these days, about the dastardly Muslim extremists, they are really inept, beyond belief, at genocide against Christians and Jews.

It is a matter of record, that the four worst incidents of racist mass murder, on record, deliberately targeted women and children, and are proudly European and Christian in origin: the nights the Anglo-Americans bombed Dresden (Feb 1945 - 35,000-300,000 killed), and Hamburg (July 1943 - 45,000 killed)*** and the US atomic incineration of Hiroshima (Aug 6, 1945 - 140,000 killed), and Nagasaki (Aug 9, 1945 - 74,000 killed).

***Bomber Harris who orchestrated these Holocausts against German women and children got his experience in Iraq in the 1920s and 30s, when he used time-delayed bombs and poison gas to quell unruly Iraqi tribesmen, a page from the Royal Air Force that Saddam Hussein would copy fifty years later. The Christian was lionized; the Muslim was hanged.

To hear the media rant on constantly, one would think Iraq or Iran was the guilty party involved in some way with these World War II atrocities... Or 911!!! Talk about the groundwork being prepared for nuclear attack number three...

The rationale, or spin, has/is always blaming the victim, of course, today the Muslim freedom fighters, for hiding behind the women's skirts, every time the American-Israeli coalition targets a missile at a home, or car, or group at the beach, and wipes out another Muslim family.

It is not a proud moment in History to be European, or Judaeo-Christian. But then, is there ever...?

The more sophisticated modern generals become, the more they brag about the pinpoint accuracy of the weapons they deploy, the more Muslim women and children are dying in modern warfare in the Middle East.

The conclusion is inescapable: women and children are themselves primary targets because family is the only weak spot where one can pressure guerrillas to give up. And for a time, for those ultra-Christians, the Americans and the British, it really worked... (Sidebar right)

Published figures show that a huge proportion, of the 1,200 victims the Israeli generals killed in the recent Lebanon War, were Muslim women and children.

The most high-tech military force in the world said it was accidental...

Compare this level of incompetence with the thousands of wildly inaccurate missiles - by which, everyone agrees, a hit is accidental - launched by the Lebanese into Israel that managed to kill only 43 civilians, 18 of whom were Arabs. So who's better at accidents?

Barked super warmonger - "I just love targeted assassinations" - Alan Dershowitz, at an Arab panelist on CNN's Larry King, "We can perhaps forgive you for killing our children; but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children."

Talk about a new low in blaming the victim...

Well at least he recognized it was being done, with supreme efficiency, and though his relish is disturbing - at best - at least (quoting Golda Meir) he owned up to it...

A lot of blood on your hands Alan... And a lot of spin... But what is more disturbing is that, we know, you sleep well at night...

Unlike scores of thousands of Muslims in the Middle East, who go to bed worried that their family will be obliterated by another accidental bomb or missile during the night...

They know that it's only a matter of time till Israel drops the Big One. The Americans - as everyone knows - have already given the go ahead, just like they approved the Israeli obliteration of Lebanon in the recent war, sending Condy back and forth on a peace mission they knew was bogus from the start, making her go through the motions just to buy time to give the Israelis time to annihilate as many Lebanese as possible till world pressure would force a halt.

Amazing! What all lies behind a single pinback...

The accusing eyes of Lord Roberts of Kandahar.

The Ultimate Loss - Freddy Roberts VC, Colenso, Dec. 15, 1900

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A huge and absolutely fabulous Canadian commemorative lithograph featuring the ultimate fear of everyone who has family where the Dogs of War are loosed.

Unless they're generals...

Generals being killed in action is a distant thing of the past; there are those who say it has emboldened them, especially when they talk to the media.

During the Boer War - unlike today where the most vocal generals advocating war are never face to face with the enemy - no general then was immune from death on the battlefield because they were in the front lines with their troops. Many of their top aides were killed standing beside them.

Because they walked the walk, as much, if not more so, than they talked the talk, numerous British Victorian generals and colonels died in battle.

In fact in the opening months of the Boer War three top British generals (Penn Symons, Wauchope, Woodgate) were killed in combat, and many colonels.

Now name a single Canadian or American general - or colonel - who has been killed in combat in many years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan...

In fact in modern times it is mostly corporals, sergeants, and warrant officers who are sent out to lead the sorties to face the enemy.

Look at CNNs website, of the 4,000 plus American fallen, which makes it plain who is asked to die for their country. No one from colonels on up...

Lithograph, Like Father Like Son - 1900
Orig. litho - Size - 48 x 63 cm
Found - Whycocomagh, NS

Modern generals go out only when CNN is around, and Kyra "Pee Pee" Phillips is game enough to hike out for a looksee... And then only surrounded by walls of armour, with multiple choppers flying overhead, and after hundreds of troopers have cleared the surrounding counties of anything that smells like a terrorist...

Bobs was different, demanding no special celebrity treatment, and like other Victorian generals shared the risks of ordinary soldiers, himself leading from the front and facing enemy bullets and guns on all his storied Marches: to Kabul, to Kandahar, to Bloemfontein and Pretoria.

The most pathetic story of the Boer War was Bobs (the top general) losing his only son in battle. He wished it could have been him instead; in the Boer War it very well might have been.

Bobs and Freddy became the first father and son to each win the Victoria Cross.

The tragic event resonated in Canada where Bobs was immensely popular but also because Canada's Minister of Defence, Frederick Borden, right also lost his only son Harold left in combat.

Efforts were made to give Harold a Victoria Cross too. But came to naught. He had simply died as a soldier, like a brother officer beside him, when a Boer sniper caught them both as they stood up to scout Boer positions with binoculars.

This poster came from a small town in Nova Scotia where Harold was born and his father and family lie buried.

Go to Harold Borden

Bobs lost children, early in life, during his years in India.

But his biggest loss, by far, was the death of Freddy, his only son, at the Battle of Colenso, on Dec. 15, 1900, a British defeat presided over by his predecessor General Buller, in the early months of the Boer War.

On the morning of that day Bobs was informed that he got his fondest wish, to be Commander-in-Chief in South Africa; in the afternoon that his son had died in heroic circumstances.

Colonel Long, below, was an old school artilleryman, who had, in spades, the personal courage commonly found in Victorian officers - they made it a point of pride to fight the enemy up close - but rarely found in modern soldiers who prefer long distance killing, à la Enola Gay, cruise missiles, artillery and tanks that shoot across counties at an enemy they keep their distance from.

Col. Long would have smirked at modern soldiers, and their seeming lack of courage, in preferring to fight long distance battles by remote control, reducing people to targets, while personally safe themselves. (The Enola Gay syndrome where a pilot safe from all harm can flip a switch at 26,000 feet and instantly incinerate 140,000 women and children, and confess to never losing any sleep over it. Col. Long would also never even have conceived of targeting women and children which the modern cruise missile crowd, and long range artillerymen firing into towns and cities, consider business as usual and loose no sleep over it. After all they're hit by accident, right?)

At Colenso, as two mighty armies watched in astonishment, Col. Long, personally, drove his artillery trains right into the face of hundreds of Boer riflemen sitting in trenches. Then, they loosed a torrent of rifle and artillery shells that mowed down scores of British horses and men. (One gunner's body was later found to contain 64 wounds.)

To rescue the guns - not the men - General Buller asked for volunteers, who knew it was death to ride into that maelstrom of fire, that had thrown back the entire British attack.

Freddy Roberts, a galloper, or dispatch rider, volunteered, and with several others attempted the impossible and was fatally wounded in the groin..

Seven Victoria Crosses were won that day, around the guns at Colenso - the second highest total ever awarded for a single action. Bobs and Freddy would become the first father and son to be awarded VCs.

But Bobs had lost his son.

, showing the fine style that won him an international Gold Medal, for On-camera Host, at the Houston International Film and Television Festival, Canadian historian and filmmaker John Goldi, stands on the sacred spot - once strewn with scores of dead and dying horses and men - by the blocks marking where Colonel Long unlimbered each of his guns.

Freddy was shot down beside the bush where the yellow speck is, in the middle distance above, a spot visited by Bobs some months later... and left looking down the gully from which Freddy rode in to rescue the gun that stood by this sunlit block also shown in the back of the photo right.

Finally Lord Roberts would have disagreed with Canada's bloodthirsty General Rick Hillier. The last thing - not the first thing - you want to do is kill people.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Autograph, Lord Roberts - 1900
Orig. autograph - Image Size - 10 x 13 cm
Found - Hastings, UK

A rare signature, indeed, of Lord Roberts from his military headquarters in Pretoria, after vanquishing the Boers, preparing to turn over the mopping up to Lord Kitchener. From one of the most stunning autograph books in existence, that of Emily Hay, Boer War nurse.

Go to Emily Hay

Somebody forgot to tell Rick Hillier that armies are basically there to prevent wars, not fight them.

You want to use your armies to maintain the peace. A show of arms works wonders most of the time. And is why Canada's peacekeeping role in the world has been so universally praised.

Just as its failing attempts at making war have been universally derided by the vast concourse of non-white, non-Christian peoples of the world, whom God placed in the greatest number on the planet. (Even Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence, complained in an unguarded moment.)

Another successful general, the Duke of Wellington, who - unlike modern administrative generals - had put his own life on the line countless times, on real battlefields, as his aides all around him were shot down, would not promote killing as something he sought as a soldier. He observed, "Nothing except a battle lost, can be half so melancholy as a battle won."

It is not a perspective Rick Hillier or Walt Natynczuk will ever have...

So as Canadian generals have been feverishly providing fodder to late night comics about the oxymoron "military intelligence," it might be useful to recall another famous maxim, which has patently been ignored in Canada:

War is too important to be left to generals. (And so are peacetime domestic politics, as Media General Lewis Mackenzie's home town told him, by soundly trashing his attempt to become their federal Member of Parliament. That's the trouble with being in your face in the media all the time; people can hear the warmongering things you say...)

Sadly the ultra-conservative government has been pleased to let the boys play war games, to their heart's content, in the Afghan sandlot, at a horrific expense to the Canadian taxpayers, young Canadian lives squandered, and wreaking incalculable havoc on the lives of ordinary Afghan women, children, and men...

Isn't it long overdue that the government pulls back the chains on the Dogs of War, and bring the Canadian Forces home, as the vast majority of Canadians have wanted from the beginning...

And just blow off George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsveld and their warmongering business cronies...

So the Star and Globe can finally bring diManno and Blatchford home, and allow them to write about something they know, like the locker room jock strap follies where Rosie sounds more authoritative, and the continuing home adventures of Christie trying to get her most reluctant pet dog to sleep with her. No wonder he's peeved; he's heard she's been embed with the boys in Kandahar.

Interested parties were concerned that while so many commemorative items - dozens literally - have been produced to honour the accomplishments of Lord Roberts, there seemed to be none that celebrated the achievements of Canada's top general.

Hoping to balance the record we have managed to discover several.

These are now apparently available at your friendly neighbourhood military PX.

From above left down:

- a MUFF (Military Urinal for Females)

- a FART (Fast Afterburner Releasing Technology)

- a POOP (Pisspot Or Other Purpose)

For instructions on their use:

Show me your MUFF


Another plus is that producing these is costing the Canadian taxpayer nothing.

It seems that any Taliban prisoners the Canadians re-catch are being switched, from making license plates for donkey carts, to licking and sticking pictures of the general on these patriotic pisspots.

Payback for having embarrassed the good general with their stupendous prison break and making him, and the Canadian Forces, who were mostly behind the wire, at Tim Horton's, when it happened, the laughing stock of the Western and non-Western World.

It's also a big part of Canada's long-term infrastructure rebuilding program for Afghanistan.

Designed to bring it up to the level of Newfoundland, where the general and the idea for this economic initiative apparently hail from.

Sadly these are available only in white in spite of the military's wish to have them available in khaki.

But a civil servant pointed out that offering them in brown would appear to be appeasing the Taliban when the whole thrust of the Coalition initiative in Afghanistan is that white people are bringing civilization there, and that the white colour of Canadian MUFF, FART, and POOP would serve to remind Afghans of that. This would also fall in line with the stipulation in the Manley Report which insisted that all future initiatives In Afghanistan be clearly branded as Canadian, which, especially in the Canadian Forces, means mostly white and Christian.

The military chiefs saw the immutable logic in that and decided to pass on the khaki, er, ah... we mean the white... whatever...

Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A rare and fabulous original recruiting poster used during World War I to appeal to the conscience of farm boys who may have been holding back when the military required hundreds of thousands of bodies to fight in what would become known as the Great War and later World War I.

In 1914 Bobs was 82 and had the best known face in the British Empire.

No name was required to go along with the Field Marshal's baton, the Victoria Cross, the Victor's wreath of laurel leaves, and the face that had suffered the ultimate loss in war. Lovingly enveloped by a flag that stood in for the nation - an Empire - that affectionately cherished his accomplishments and his legacy.

But now it was clearly someone else's turn, wasn't it?

Not according to Bobs.

He was no modern paycheck general who puts in his 30 years, draws on his huge government pension, and then double-dips, using the advantages and high profile he got in the public service, to jump off into more money-making career opportunities for himself.

Bobs was a real soldier down to his very soul; his father had been a general before him. Public service was in his very blood - not private gain or advantage.

Modern generals greedily gloat for business opportunities in the private sector that will bring in the millions they could never get from what their country could afford to pay them.

Bobs was not that kind; selfishness and self -promotion were beyond him.

He felt he stood for the Nation, like the King, the Queen, or the Governor-General. He would never dream of becoming a paid hack for some law firm, or business enterprise, which was looking to acquire a celebrity figurehead, regardless of his lack of skills, so they could brag, "You know Brad Pitt's on my board."

Bobs was not for sale to any man, law firm, or corporation.

His country and his countrymen came first and last.

At 82 Bobs visited the Western Front to help boost the war effort there.

It killed him. He caught pneumonia in the cold rainy weather and died in France. For King and Country to the very last...

We would never see his like again.

Certainly not in Canada, where within a couple of years Canada's top general, Sam Hughes, would be sacked in disgrace for embarrassing his government.

And he would not be the last...

Go to Disgraced Generals

WWI Recruiting Poster - Lord Roberts 1914

Orig. linen poster - Size - 54 x 78 cm
Found - New York, NY

The best of the war posters, like this one, were linen-backed , to make them much more resistant to being torn while being posted or carried from place to place.

Go to Canadian WWI Poster
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A rare and fabulous bust of General Haig often referred to as "Butcher Haig" who was commander of the British Forces on the Western Front, from 1915 to 1918, in World War I.

He probably better than anyone embodies how generals of the old school were transformed into modern officers.

Haig was a major in the Boer War as Chief of Staff to the Cavalry Chief General John French. So both were brought up as Victorian officers who did not shirk from physically confronting the enemy on a daily basis and tempting death as had Penn Symons, Wauchope, and Woodgate.

They were among the fortunate - not opportunistic - survivors.

Within a dozen years French and Haig were caught up in World War I.

French the Boer War cavalry chief was now head of the British Forces on the Western Front, but proved to be such an abject failure, he was removed, and replaced with, you guessed it, his deputy Haig.

He, of course remembered Freddy Roberts, not only because of his death, but because of his quaint position in the army as a galloper, the eyes, ear, and mouth mode of communications used by Victorian generals to communicate with each other during battles.

Freddy was a dispatch rider in the days before line or radio communications

The line telephone was in full swing on the Western Front in World War I. No need for gallopers, just call up the line for an update. No need for generals to go near the dangerous front lines, just phone a Forward Observation Post.

It tended to make generals distant from the Front Lines where the dying was taking place.

To generals the Dead became a depersonalized statistic - sort of like a casualty phone call at 3 a:m, that you can't really put a face or personality to - instead of a personal horror of seeing real dead men such as those Haig had encountered daily in South Africa.

It tended to make one cavalier... with the lives of those in your charge.

And Haig did that like no general in history...

On July 1, 1916, by telephone, from far behind the lines, "The Butcher of the Somme," ordered charge after useless charge, against German machine guns, establishing a one day record of dead that was never beaten. Out of 58,000 casualties, 20,000 were killed. After a week of charges he had 500,000 casualties. While he didn't risk as much as a scratch...

Think "Butcher Haig" every time you read the dozens of names on the First World War cenotaphs in every small Canadian town. His tactics are largely responsible for killing some 750,000 British men, leaving 160,000 British women widows, and 300,000 children without fathers.

And that is the real legacy of many generals...

Plaster Bust, General Haig - 1916

Orig. plaster - Size - 47 cm
Found - Dundas, ON

This is the largest plaster bust we have ever seen. It has its original bronze painted patination with the age burn of a hundred years. It was probably in a Canadian government office during the war when Haig was held up as a hero. His reputation has deteriorated radically ever since, as has that of most generals, once one pauses to examine what they really accomplished besides piles of dead.

Which may account for the fact that in a collection of Edwardian pinbacks we found 12 different pieces of Bobs, and none of Haig, though these were produced. But then why would common people wear a pin of the general who sent untold numbers of sons, brothers, husbands, fiancees... to an early death...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Pinback, Sir Wilfrid Laurier - 1912
Orig. pinback - Size - 32 cm
Found - St. Jacobs, ON

The Accusing Eyes of Laurier - In times of war, sometimes, great men rise to the fore who are not motivated by bloodlust. Such a man was Prime Minister Laurier, who, - like genuine Canadians of his day - saw no valid reason for going to war against poor Boer farmers half way around the world. They were clearly no threat to Canada or Canadians. Like most French-Canadians, he opposed Canadian participation in a jingoistic killing adventure by a big (British) military power against a weaker nation of farmers just because its moneyed interests wanted control over Boer (gold) resources.

Laurier finally had to knuckle under to the overwhelming demands of the British Canadian population, and the special interests allied to the Anglophone financial and imperial classes, to allow Canadian brigades to be raised, some by private individuals, all to be paid by the British. Since Canada had no real standing army of its own, most Canadian Boer War contingents were really mercenaries in the pay of the imperial military power expanding its control overseas.

In 2008 no such noble men are to be found in the Liberal - let alone the Conservative - Party of Canada. Though, this time, the vast majority of all the people of Canada - led again by the strong anti-war sentiment of French-Canadians - oppose Canadian participation in the killing war in Afghanistan, they are overruled by the financial and political lobbyists who are overwhelmingly allied to American special interests in promoting another war against poor people half way around the world. This time to control access to the world's richest oil reserves.

But this time the special interest lobbyists are more brazen and have not only gotten the politicians to send the regular Canadian Forces themselves, but are having the Canadian taxpayer foot the entire bill for doing America's bidding. Still hired guns, like in the Boer War, but this time an improved model: mercenaries working for American interests who pay themselves to be of service.

It is indicative of the pathetic decline of democracy in Canada, that the power of special interests in Canada is so great that Liberal and Conservative politicians, both, are falling all over themselves in their eagerness to be of service to the rich and powerful American proxies while blatantly acting against the wishes of the vast majority of the people who elected them.

But the Conservatives are getting tired of being reminded of all this which is why they're striking back, with a vengeance.

They've announced that they will get rid of the extremely popular Wilfrid Laurier five dollar bill which prominently features the anti-war Liberal's portrait. They can't beat the Taliban so they'll do the next best thing, beat the Liberal pinkos - those Taliban sympathizers - by squashing their patron saint like a bug.

Word is the note will be replaced by a coin with a portrait that has not yet been chosen. But a top contender - who has already agreed to "serve if chosen" - is George Bush.

The smart money though is on right wing extremist Rush Limbaugh, who was recently caught in an airport security check with a stash of Viagra pills - aren't those supposed to be taken in moderation? But then who wouldn't need a lot of help when your gal pal is the dreary former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan? It could certainly explain why he was nabbed, struggling to get through a turnstile... (So it may very well be the coin is now not big enough to accomodate his image...)

Though Limbaugh is apparently not up on some things like he once was, he's certainly up to snuff on reactionary viewpoints as one can be, short of wearing a Nazi uniform.

As everyone was reminded by Canada's top general, Rick Hillier, when he barked, "Our job is to be able to kill people."

Go to Haig & French

Haig was certainly the best at it in the 20th century; for Canadians, Hillier the best in the last 50 years.

Consider his record:

More than 80 young Canadian Forces personnel have died in war on his watch, and only the Afghans know how many Muslim men, women and children fell victims to Hillier's War. Whatever the number it is certainly a record for a Canadian general.

Complaining Canadians have only themselves to blame. After all, he promised; he delivered...

And now he's off, safe and sound, on another career path, cheerily saying that the Canadian Forces have never been better off and the situation he leaves in Kandahar is better than it's been.

Others say he's merely padding his resumé to attract good job offers. That he has, in fact, abandoned young Canadian Forces boys and girls to cope, in Harm's Way, the best they can, with the mess he was most instrumental in creating and promoting. (General Hillier's contract ended on July 1st.)

Expert analysts say, that in each of the last three years there have been significant increases in:

- civilian deaths. The UN says in the first six months of 2008 they have jumped 60% (to 698) over all of 2007. Now averaging 4 per day.
- roadside bomb attacks
- suicide attacks
- Coalition troop deaths have increased 15% every year since 2005

CNN reports that June was the deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan. And for both June and July Coalition deaths in Afghanistan surpassed, for the first time, Coalition deaths in Iraq.

And the worst deterioration has been in General Hillier's own Canadian sector, in Kandahar province, where Canadian politicians have been increasingly yowling for help with more manpower from their reluctant partners, and where the Karzai government announced recently that the Taliban now control more territory than the Canadians and they do.

Which led directly to one of the biggest jailbreaks in history when over 1,000 Taliban escaped from a prison in the Canadian area. Canucks had spent billions of dollars and three years to catch these "terrorists."

Now because of poor Canadian security, lousy intelligence - everyone but the Canadians knew the prison break was coming long before - and haphazard or nonexistent contingency planning - Canadians actually watched the escapees camping after they got out and did nothing - hundreds were now free to bomb and shoot Canadians all over again...

Breaking News - the 88th Canadian soldier has just been killed in Afghanistan... Not a general; it was a corporal... again. Killed by an explosive device.

Probably set by one of General Hillier's escapees...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

The Accusing Eyes of Bobs - 1900
Orig. pinback - Size - 23 cm
Found - Dundas, ON

(It all certainly begs the question - should the people considering the resumé General Hillier is hawking around judge it mostly as a work of fiction? Perhaps he should be submitting it, not to law firms and corporations, but to the Giller Prize for Literary Fiction Committee, and seriously consider a future in that creative field since he himself admits he has no legal background that would benefit a law firm. Though he has repeatedly demonstrated a real flair for creative fiction. He could certainly give Margaret Atwood a run for her money...)

The same evening, not far from where the corporal died, a Coalition air strike killed an old man and a woman.

Bobs would have been appalled... And you call yourselves Christians, and civilized?

Sorry bout that Bobs... Merely collateral damage.

Hard work, you know, winning Hearts and Minds in 2008...

Update: A week after Canada's new top general, Walt Natynczuk, made an intensive on the ground investigation in Afghanistan and announced that the rise in insurgent activity there was merely "an insignificant notch," he has, back in his air-conditioned office in Ottawa, suddenly totally reversed himself, saying that, indeed, things are quite conversely, deteriorating badly there. Huh!

Admitedly he's got us stumped... So which is fiction, the Afghanistan research document? Or the sober analysis carried out in Ottawa? Makes your head spin, all within a week? Like when we used to smoke pot in the 60s... and not thinking too straight, sometimes...

Actually I think we have a question for Walt... Did anyone check his luggage after he visited the poppy fields?

Whatever, it looks like he's going to give Hillier a strong run for his money in the fiction competition. Maybe in honour of his predecessor's ability in the same department the military should institute its own literary awards, calling them the Hillier BUMPH Awards for Fiction since it appears the military is going to be loading up the competition with worthy candidates for some time to come. (BUMPH Awards- Basically Untrue Military Publicity Handouts Award)

Hey, we know he's only doing it in good fun, mocking the media types...

Luckily no lives are depending on whether what he says makes any sense, then or now... there or here...

He'll be gone in three years, anyhow, and then we'll let someone else take a kick at the kitty... we mean the Taliban... The only thing for certain: they'll be there long after he's gone...

Not like Bobs.

At the age Canada's top generals retire to Golden Handshake Heaven and lucrative law firm boardroom sinecures, Bobs still had 30 more years of conscientious and selfless public service to perform for his country, his Queen, and his King.

No wonder he's Canada's most popular general ever.

Bobs, we miss your kind today... Canadians and Afghans both...

Right Bobs on his 82nd birthday, a few months before he died after serving his country as a general (and above) for 36 years.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Bobs - The Year He Beat the Taliban

A fine litho of Bobs as he looked the year of his epic March from Kabul to Kandahar.

He was already a favourite of his troops who affectionately called him "Bobs."

Bobs was also the smartest general ever to fight in Afghanistan.

He knew what he wanted, to capture clear military objectives, in key regions, which he speedily took, not try to conquer the whole damn country!

And he did it with only 10,000 troops...

He was smart also - anticipating Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points, two generations later - in recognizing that Afghanistan should be left to Afghans.

He believed white Christian Europeans had no business in nation-building in this Muslim state, or imposing their will - however benevolent - on its domestic politics.

Hard as it may be to swallow, for some, this nineteenth century general believed in local democracy (self-determination), not imposing a murderous outside military tyranny to enforce a phony stability there.

He was smart enough to know that the 50,000 white European troops of CWILLKILL (the Coalition of the Willing to do the Killing) isn't enough. That the 100,000 the Russians had, wasn't enough; they only managed to kill 1 million Afghans before they had to abandon a failed mission.

The mass killings of Afghans by the Russians, the killings of thousands of civilians due to CWILLKILL operations would have completely devastated Bobs.

General Roberts - 1880
Orig. Vanity Fair litho - Image size - 21 x 36 cm
Found - Reading, UK

Signed Spy, Pub. Vanity Fair, April 10, 1880, "Bobs"

Bobs took extreme care to avoid civilian casualties. He sent out warnings in places he was about to attack, or shell, so there were probably none. He reported with pride that not even a single woman was raped by his men... Bobs, having grown up, and having spent most of his life, in the Indo-Pakistani region, knew all about Hearts and Minds long before Vietnam came along. He was no culturally ignorant foreign import, like all the warring generals there now.

And, unlike them, Bobs valued tribal peoples - he put a Gurkha tribesman on his family crest - and controlled his battlefields, his death-dealing guns, and rifles, with his horse, his gallopers, and his binoculars.

Unlike CWILLKILL, which routinely fires shells into villages 30 kms away, targets missiles hundreds of miles into homes, and drops bombs from thousands of feet in the air on anyone wearing a turban or burqa (get it? Taliban in disguise). CWILLKILL can't even gauge how many people they kill, or what kind, just that they're doing it every day of the week. And civilians - women, and children - pay the price for this killing spree by remote control by white Christian men with no apparent conscience to restrain them.

And the quarrelling is incessant - among the allies for goodness sake - as Afghan Muslim governors from Karzai on down complain routinely, loudly, and angrily, about the outrageous civilian casualties from white Christian CWILLKILL missiles and guns - wedding parties, babies, school children, relatives of territorial governors etc. - which CWILLKILL publicity handouts always just dismiss as "insurgents."

Bobs knew it will take hundreds of thousands of white Christian soldiers, occupying the country in perpetuity, to fulfill General Hillier's objective of "Our job is to be able to kill people" and to be able to do that with more efficiency than the Russians were able to muster for killing only a million people. Which is why Media General Mackenzie stridently calls for Canada and CWILLKILL to increase the number of troops required to do the job Hillier promoted so vigorously. As obviously a motivated white Christian warrior type he's certainly up for the bloodbath that it all entails. (No wonder people in his home town didn't want him as their Member of Parliament.)

But Bobs wouldn't have taken part in any of the bloodletting that is being promoted by the current crop of generals..

His argument would be simple...

Generals don't do that - only Nazis do...

And look how History dealt with them...

Go to Canadian Victorian Pinbacks
Battle at Modder River - "Methuen, like Wellington at Waterloo, was seen everywhere that day on the battlefield. He believed that he could do more good on the battlefield raising the morale of the men, than he could from a safe, distant point directing the overall battle with field glasses. As Conan Doyle wrote: '... his own personal gallantry and unflinching resolution set the most stimulating example to his troops. No general could have done more to put heart into his men.'(87) On the left of the railway, Methuen personally led one of the rushes to reinforce the captured donga. This position proved significant. Under Methuen's guidance, a small party of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, safe in the donga, along with the artillery, provided covering fire for a detachment of the KOYLI which successfully seized the Boer trench on the south bank of the river. This gave the British their first foothold on the Modder. Methuen then returned to the other end of the battlefield to assist Colville."
- South African Military History Society Journal
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous portrait of another brave general who led from the front, Lord Methuen.

It was he who ordered the attack at Magersfontein that cost General Wauchope, and many of his staff officers, their lives.

But it would be wrong to say that Methuen was a general who only talked the talk.

He clearly walked the walk, into danger. His Chief of Staff Col. Northcott was killed while riding Methuen's horse at Modder River.

Methuen was the longest serving general in South Africa.

In October 1899, he led the first campaign against the Boers in the western Cape Colony, rolling up victories at Belmont, Graspan, and Modder River, though suffering the subsequent spectacular defeat at Magersfontein.

He was still chasing the Boers in the Western Transvaal in March 1902. And he was not shirking from personal danger.

At Tweebosch he was badly wounded and fell into enemy hands. Part of the price Victorian generals paid for leading from the front. He became the only British general to be captured by the Boers in the War. Boer doctors saved his life.

Though there was race hate aplenty in the Press, in Parliament, among the rank and file, Boer War generals rose above the sectarian meanness. They would never, publicly refer to their enemies as "detestable murderers and scumbags" as Canada's top general famously referred to his non-white Muslim opponents. (But then he is not a career general but a contract general.)

Victorian generals were a different breed of men, classy people who placed public service ahead of self promotion, the public good ahead of private advantage, and kept their mean and nasty convictions - if they had any - under close wraps.

Like Lord Roberts, Lord Methuen felt he embodied a public trust that was a life calling - not merely a 30 year job, or less - and one that he was not about to sully with nasty public pronouncements or private undertakings that were merely for personal gain of some sort. (Lord Roberts served as general and above for 36 years, Lord Methuen for 44 years, both till they died. General Hillier served under 10 before switching jobs.)

Today's generals are all paid civil servants.

They punch the clock, send in their expense claims, retire when the contract is up, draw their pension, and then go hawk their resumé to wherever they can get the most money from businesses looking for high profile celebrities with whom they can wow potential customers, or to go out to lunch with.

Little wonder then, that when Victorian generals died men - lots of men, hardened men - openly cried; today they merely shrug.

Celebrities of the Army, Lord Methuen, 1900
Orig. plate - Image Size - 26 x 35 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Another fabulous page from the finest Boer War autograph book in existence, that of nursing sister Emily Hay.

The most modest signature of all, at the top is that of Lord Methuen l.g. for Lieutenant-General, written when he was in mid campaign.

He is in fitting company on this page, among others who risked their lives by personally engaging the enemy in action.

The brash signature is deservedly that of Sgt. Nurse who won the Victoria Cross by braving a horrific Boer rifle fire trying to recover guns at Colenso at the same time Freddy Roberts was killed winning his.

Below is another VC winner, from the same incident, Major Baptie, a doctor who rode into fire twice to bring back wounded at Colenso.

Kendal Franks was a prominent Victorian doctor. He operated on General Penn Symons at Talana, and it was only because of his skill as a surgeon that the gravely wounded general did not expire at once.

He later married Freddy Roberts' sister, becoming Lord Roberts' son-in-law.

A gene pool of brave Victorian military folks who walked the walk, instead of just talking the talk...

And, instead, put their lives at risk for their fellow man...

Autograph Book, Emily Hay 1900
Orig. autograph - Image Size - 10 x 13 cm
Found - Hastings, UK


The fabulous signature of General French, signed when he was Lt. Gen. Commanding the Cavalry Division in South Africa, in Emily Hay's autograph book.

French stayed till the end of the Boer conflict, when the "Last Gentleman's War" had degenerated into executing Boer fighting men, and the "collateral damage" among women, and children relatives of the guerrillas, was close to 26,000 dead.

This was more than the 4,000 Boer, and 21,000 British, fighting men who died in the conflict.

Clearly the end of the Boer War desensitized French and Haig and made it far easier for them to accept orchestrating the mass slaughter of human beings as a valid military tactic in the war to come.

Leading from the Front - Brave Victorian Generals Who Walked the Walk, Not Talked the Talk

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous lithograph of General Edward Woodgate another brave Boer War general who led from the front, sharing the danger of death with the foot soldiers with whom he marched. He even carried a rifle to blend in.

Another misguided night march up Spion Kop below led by General Woodgate found the British, at dawn, surrounded by Boers on tactically higher ground. Many hundreds of British Tommies were massacred there, on January 24, 1900, in another spectacular British defeat.

On top, tour guide John Sneyman shows the memorial that marks the spot where Woodgate was shot by rifle fire from the dark green knoll in the background.

Hundreds of his men, piled many deep, are buried in the mass grave behind that marks one of the British trench lines during that fatal day.


Celebrities of the Army, Maj.-General Woodgate, 1900

Orig. plate - Image Size - 26 x 35 cm
Found - Paris, ON

"Celebrities of the Army" was produced as single sheets of individual generals enclosed in a protective folder. On the back was printed an extensive biography of each general.

It was also issued in book form offering 72 of the top commanders of the British Army in 1900. They were bound so that two pages of generals alternated with two pages of text - the rear of each litho. The book was oversize so the prints are huge. Two Canadian commanders are included: Col. WD Otter, the Commander of Canada's First Contingent, and Col. Lessard, whose Royal Canadian Dragoons won three of Canada's four Boer War Victoria Crosses..

Right the far end of the same trench. Soldiers are buried many deep.

Left an adjoining trench and mass grave containing the remains of a Canadian, Lt. Osborne from Brantford, Ontario, a graduate of Royal Military College, in Kingston, ON, who fought with the Scottish Rifles.

American observers, who watched the burials the day after the battle, were sure over 1,000 British bodies were interred, though British official figures claim lower numbers.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous lithograph of Maj.-General Penn Symons, the first British general to die in the Boer War at Talana Hill, the first battle of the Boer War, in October, 1899.

Winston Churchill, who knew him intimately, considered him the finest embodiment of the ideal British Victorian officer and gentleman. And that meant one who led from the front where the danger was greatest.

Below Museum Curator Pam McFadden explains how Boer rifle fire from the top of Talana Hill background was so withering that the British attack faltered as Tommies hugged the ground. Penn-Symons charged forward on his horse, to rally his demoralized men, when he was shot where the cairn is behind her.

The development of the telephone (World War I) and the radio (World War II) meant generals could now order attacks from safety, far behind the lines, without exposing themselves to the same risks their soldiers faced. Generals could now command by remote control.

A sacred bond - facing death together - that once linked generals and the rank and file, was broken. Then, when generals died men cried; today they shrug.

The personal fear factor, that once helped to restrain impetuous generals, was gone, with horrific consequences for the men in the ranks, in the Great War to come.

Celebrities of the Army, Maj.-General Penn Symons, 1900
Orig. plate - Image Size - 26 x 35 cm
Found - Paris, ON
Go to The Afghanistan Medal

In 2008 a related development had predictable consequences in Afghanistan when the Canadian press reported a dust-up among Canadian soldiers with those who faced death by going out to face the enemy wanting a medal that separated their quality of service from those who only served behind the wire and could do a daily jaunt over to Tim Horton's.

In the Boer War - in Victorian times generally, through to the Korean War - soldiers wore medals they got for gallantry in fighting during miltiary campaigns, with additional bars for battles where they put their lives on the line.

Notoriously famous for talking the talk, Canada's top general Rick Hillier left - born after Korea, Canada's last war - has far more medals on his tunic than any of the fighting Boer War generals featured on this page. But there is a big difference.

Since the Korean War most Canadian medals worn are for service in peace time, rendered in a location which did not call for acts of valour, but nose-to-the-grindstone work habits. So service medals are similar to those teachers or policemen get for putting in years of service, or like the pins tourist put on their hats from the places they visit. (Yes and sometimes tourists do get killed in places like Mexico.)

No wonder those who are told to go and get shot at on a daily basis, in Afghanistan, would like their high risk occupation recognized, in the way Victorian medals once honoured soldiers who put their lives on the line. (The Paths of Glory Lead But to the Grave of Penn Symons right)

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous portrait of a very brave man, General Andrew Wauchope, commander of the Highland Brigade, who suspected he and his men were facing death in a misguided effort to take Magersfontein Hill below. He vainly tried to dissuade Lord Methuen from ordering him to march.

Below Canadian historian John Goldi, standing on the very spot Andrew Wauchope was killed, explains the plan whereby he was ordered to march, at night, to launch a surprise attack against the Boers, who were reputed to be on top of Magersfontein Hill..

Trouble was the Boers outfoxed the British and had their trenches far out from the bottom of the hill and caught the surprised Tommies with an ambush of their own while the attackers were still leisurely marching, packed together like sardines.

Among the first to fall in the massacre that ensued was General Wauchope whose last words were "Boys, don't blame me for this." His officer corps was decimated.

Celebrities of the Army, Maj.-General Wauchope, 1900
Orig. plate - Image Size - 26 x 35 cm
Found - Toronto, ON