From One of the Lads
The Following Letter from Lance-Corporal A.l. Satchell, was written to his mother Mrs. Emma Satchell, 52 Maple Street. He left with the 91st Battalion and is now with the 12th Reserve Battalion. His sisters are Mrs. A.W. Osborne, Fifth Avenue, Mrs. Wall, 60 Chestnut Street and Mrs. H. Osborne, 52 Maple Street.
St. Thomas Journal Sept 15, 1916
Life Before the Front
About the Author
When daylight came, we saw the magnitude of the operation. There were ships as far as one could see. At H-Hour, massive attacks on the beach defences were begun by naval units while bombers attacked from air. The biggest naval guns were directed at targets inland and they were still firing inland more than six weeks after D-Day. The shells coming through the sky sounded like trains as they passed over overhead.
The rocket ships provided the most spectacular sights. The rockets went off in groups of ten or so, with only seconds between groups. It was a fiery show as hundreds of rockets were shot from the banks of pipes on the decks of the rocket ships.
Lt. Colonel Robert S. Chamberlain, MC, C St. J, CD - A lifetime of service with the Perth Regiment with whom he served during WW II winning the Military Cross in Italy; the Elgin Regiment as Honorary Commanding Officer for 15 years, and with the Elgin Military Museum (seen above with Lt. Col. Ed King (centre) and Lord Elgin (right) in the Museum in the early 1980s).
Despite the first major snowfall of the season, the Christmas Open House at the Elgin Military Museum was a very pleasant gathering with stalwarts braving the storm to come even from London and Port Burwell. If you stayed to the end, you will understand the Tuckered Tommy! who found his way from the 1942 Room to this spot under the Christmas Tree. It was great to catch up with everyone and see what they are up to. Kudos to HMCS Ojibwa volunteer Carl Bagshaw who is one of the coordinators of Christmas Care in St. Thomas this year.
Christmas begins at EMM with the arrival of festive flowers from Fellows Fernlea Flowers. Longtime friends of the museum, they carry on the tradition of support started by the late Regimental Sergeant Major Joe Fellows, one of the founding members of the Museum.
Duty to the Dead
Honouring the last request of a comrade by writing to their family is a solemn commitment and one of the most difficult tasks those in service may have to perform.
Pte Hayes struggles to fulfill his promise knowing the pain that will ensue. He lightens the load with images of a peaceful passing in the full knowledge of the harsh realities of life and death at the front during the Great War; realities that he will carry with him until he too takes that last journey.
New on The Services tab: Services for the Services. Check out the 'sports' on the event programme.
Boys in “C” Squadron Hit
Just prior to the invasion, “C” Squadron of the Elgins was stationed at Gosport on the southern coast of England. The men had been warned of air raids and told to dig slit trenches, as learned in previous training. But they had not done so. The second night the squadron was there, the German Air Force carried out a heavy raid on Portsmouth and Gosport and several bombs were dropped nearby. Don McLachlin, Charlie Raven and I went to get into our slit trench but found it was already occupied. The next morning there was dirt flying in all directions as the men dug deep into old Mother Earth.
“E” Squadron Is Rigged Up in Gala Dress
Incident at Cleve; First Experience With the Buzz-Bombs
Commanding “E” Squadron, Elgin Regiment
Done; Hardships, Fun, Hard
Work and a Great Deal to See
Landed in Normandy in July, 1944, Then Until the End of Hostilities Helped in Chase Against Germans; Kept 14th Division Supplied with Reinforcements and Tanks
By Major W.B. Brodie
Commanding “D” Division, Elgin Regiment
Men and True, Moved Fast, Far Along the Italian Front
Was in the Initial Assault on Gustav and Hitler Lines; Worked Part of Time as Unit Under British Command. Kept Constantly on Move During Winter of 1943-44
By Major E.G. King
Commanding “A” Squadron, Elgin Regiment
During the Italian campaign, doing the east coast the first winter and then starting from below Cassino and finishing up in the foothills of the Northern Apennines. And, if I were asked to name one of the busiest men in the Squadron during our Italian interlude I think I would nominate Trooper Doug Keith, the postal clerk. The amount of mail that passed through his hands was large and usually about 90 per cent of it had to be re-addressed, which meant a lot of work for one man – but Doug did a good job of it.
Elgins Left Old Syracuse
In Big Hurry on the Night
of Their Sicilian Landing
Commanding “A” Squadron, Elgin Regiment
The Elgins – or some of the Elgins – first got into action in Sicily. There are incidents – highlights and lowlights – connected with that campaign that I am sure few of the boys will ever forget. Time has a tendency to make them amusing but there weren’t so funny when they occurred. We left the British Isles on June 25, 1943 and finally reached Algiers – and still we didn’t know where we were going. Then the invasion was on and we were taken down near the island of Pantellaria. Every morning, for three mornings, we’d wake up and see some island out in front of us.
We seemed to be going around in circles. The next thing we knew we were in Malta, and sat there for a day. Then on the night of July 15 we started for Syracuse and were going to land. We knew where we were going then.
The Elgin Military Museum has a vast collection of letters, articles, poems and pictures of veterans and others who served their community over a period of two hundred years.. This blog is our way of sharing them with you.
Bridge Too Far
Confidential Book Box
Elgin Military Museum
Late Arrivals Club
Military Medical Care
Royal Canadian Navy