The recent seminar in Victoria BC was well attended by Canadians, and a handful from the US. Speakers gave excellent presentations of a variety of topics and took almost as long to take questions from a very attentive audience. Perhaps more will be mentioned in a future blog, but I cannot leave without saying how thrilled I was to be invited to attend, to take out my membership and to have many great chats with new friends about matters touching on the Medal of Honor and the Victoria Cross.
By fluke, one of the members and I had actually even exchanged emails a few years back. Some had great interest in parts of Belgium and France where VC men from Canada earned their medals and many business cards were exchanged over the three days.
I almost fell off my chair when one fellow told me I was wrong about there being only two Medals of Honor on public display, one in Calgary and one at Saint John. He said there was one about 100 miles away at Nanaimo BC.
Well, it just happens that I was planning to go to Nanaimo about 2 weeks later, to give a talk about the Medal of Honor and also how to do research for relatives who served during the US Civil War.
Last week I gave my talk, probably mentioned about 25 Canadian MOH men in the process, and also told my audience that apparently a MOH and a Victoria Cross are on display in that very city and suggested they visit both medals.
I had very limited time which was unfortunate due to the incredible vast array of displays and artifacts in this little museum. It is most worthy of a visit...and lots of time. Bring your camera.
It is fitting that they are side by side. One was born in Canada and is buried in the US The other was born in the US and buried in Canada.
The MOH and the VC in above displays are not real. They are simply display items, though none the less, most attractive items as are the displays themselves.
Munro was born in Vancouver BC and was killed in WW11 during the battle at Guadalcanal. He is buried near Seattle Washington. Mullins was born at Portland Oregon but moved to Canada at about 2 years of age and went off to war from Saskatchewan, He earned his VC in the Great War at Passchendaele, an now lies at rest back in Saskachewan.
There are many incredible displays here and should be visited. One, shows probably close to 100 medals in use in the US, and of course is topped by the display of the army, navy and airforce versions of the Medals of Honor. Another display even has an original Congressional Gold Medal from I believe one of the men from the famous Devils Brigade.
After considerable efforts on many fronts, a new marker has now been erected at his grave just outside of Washington DC. Just days ago I received word that there will be an official ceremony to unveil this marker on 29 April. I expect there will be Canadian participation at the event so stay tuned for further info as it becomes available.
Noil is depicted in the above recruiting poster. His unreadable marker also appears above.
I have contacted the executive of my local MP about raising the issue and I was to hear back three weeks ago. I still wait.
(Bent is shown above as a Lieutenant. A VC is also shown as is the offending school in between both images.)
Over the years it has become a custom for the US President to visit Arlington on MOH Day, but for unknown reasons, it seems he was not there this year. Regardless The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers was presented with a wreath in their honour by about 2 dozen actual Medal of Honour recipients on the 25th.
The first image above shows most of these men all wearing the familiar blue suspension ribbon around their necks that suspending their Medals of Honor.
The wreath was presented by two of the heroes. Please note the ribbon identifying their Medal of Honor Society affixed.
See you then,