Archive for Canada

A Birchall in Heavy Bombers for the RCAF

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

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

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

The blurb for the award is as follows…

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

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

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1943 Lancaster Bomber Crew Insignia

Posted in Insignia with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group came together from an antique show down south. The obvious age of the group, including the 1940’s frame and the age spots on the notes taped to the back makes me believe this was created by a veteran either during the war or immediately afterwards.

I consulted two different collectors of wings to check the authenticity. Of course they both came back pointing out “obvious reproductions”, neither of them agreeing at all on which ones were wrong. So I am going to go with “these are all good and you are all idiots”.

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A Great War Trio to a Canadian

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Groups with tags , , , , on August 12, 2013 by The Dude

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1868-1921This trio, impressed to 77847 Private W. Blackie 7/Cand.Inf., consists of the 1914-1915 Star, the 1914-1918 War Medal and the Victory Medal for WW1.

The 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion fought continuously from 1915 until it was returned to Canada in 1917. It’s battle honours include Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Hill 70. Private William Blackie received a 1914-1915 Star indicating that he was in the initial draft that landed in France in February 1915. He enlisted on the 23rd of November 1914 and attested in Victoria , British Columbia into the 30th Battalion.

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A Group to a Canadian 1st Army Veteran

Posted in Groups with tags , , , on August 5, 2013 by The Dude

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1868-1921Unfortunately because of the Canadian Governments cheapness, none of the WW2 service medals are impressed. So, when they get separated from their history then all you can do is guess at their provenance, as in this case. This rack of 5 consists of the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, The Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Service Bar and finally the 1939-1945 War Medal. Since the F&G Star is there it’s apparent that the owner landed on the continent in 1944-1945. And we can see he volunteered for service in the war zone. But whether he was a cook or a combat infantryman, that’s all lost. Good on him anyway.

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Canadian Army WW2 Button

Posted in Accessories with tags , on May 23, 2013 by The Dude

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1868-1921Yeah, I know. I don’t collect Canadian stuff beyond a couple of medals but I don’t want to be the guy that tosses out a button that has survived 70 years.

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Canadian CEF WW1 Maple Leaf Collar Badge

Posted in Cap Badges, Collar Dogs and Shoulder Titles with tags , on May 23, 2013 by The Dude

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1868-1921This collar badge is the WW1 Universal Pattern Maple leaf pattern. It was used throughout the war and stamped out in the millions. If you live in Canada, as I do, then these end up blowing into your collection just like the real maple leaves fill your garden in the fall.

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Canadian CEF Shoulder Titles

Posted in Cap Badges, Collar Dogs and Shoulder Titles with tags , on May 23, 2013 by The Dude

Canadian_Red_Ensign_1868-1921This is a Canadian shoulder title from the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force) from World War 1. These curved titles are rarer than the flat ones.

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