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Part of an infantry company, three or four platoons making up a company. Usually commanded by a lieutenant and consisting of up to 35 men.
Politics and Leadership
In early Canada, politics and leadership, especially military command, were embodied in the authority of the colonial governor general who was both the civic and military head. The governor general was always a senior military officer until the 1830s when the function of military commander became increasingly distinct. This was notably the case during the 1837-1838 rebellions when the Commander of the Forces, Sir John Colborne, had complete military control.
The governor general’s office became protocolary, much as it is today, with the advent of responsible government in the late 1840s and Confederation from 1867. Politics and overall national leadership were led by prime ministers while military leadership went to the general commanding the small Canadian forces. These were invariably British officers until the First World War when, in 1917, the highly talented Sir Arthur Currie took command of the Canadian Corps on the Western Front. Thereafter, Canadians commanded the Canadian forces.
Papal army of international, Catholic volunteers, called by Pope Pius IX to defend Rome and its territories during the Italian unification wars of the 1860s. The papal call for help was read from every pulpit in the Catholic world including French Canada with the result that, in spite of stringent recruiting standards and financial stress, over five hundred Canadians served as Pontifical Zouaves between 1868 and the fall of Rome in 1870. It was, until the South African War, the largest military contingent of Canadians to serve overseas. In Rome, the Canadians were incorporated into the Corps of Pontifical Zouaves that had been organized by French officers since 1860 to embody the mostly French-speaking foreign volunteers. The unit operated in French and had a then very fashionable Zouave-style uniform of grey trimmed with red (grey-blue trimmed with black for officers). The Canadians were deployed to chase bandits and guerrillas in the hills, at which they proved quite adept, suffering few deaths (most of which were due to sickness). Following their repatriation, the veterans formed their own association and para-military groups of Zouaves sprang up in many parishes in French Canada, acting as church guards and providing security escorts in church processions and other formal religious events.
The Canadian Zouaves became open to all in 1900 and were organized into the "Régiment des Zouaves Pontificaux Canadiens", which had over twenty companies and at least 1,500 volunteers. They formed a parallel militia and, in many towns, were more popular and numerous than the local unit of the Canadian Militia, an organization perceived by many in French Canada to favour Anglophones, Protestants and French-Canadian bourgeois with political ambitions. In the Zouaves, a military-minded French-Canadian could communicate and perform drill in his own language with no hassles (which compensated for not having "drill pay"), be promoted without prejudice, serve his faith in an age when religion was important in the social cohesion of his national community, be exposed to bits of French Army tradition and wear a distinct uniform that was not British, even if he had to buy it. And, for its legitimacy, the regiment enjoyed the patronage of the Catholic cardinal of Canada and the approval of the Pope himself. Bemused Canadian Militia authorities of the day never quite understood, nor really cared, what the Zouaves represented but did issue obsolete arms to some units, such as the Snider-Enfield rifles issued to the Trois-Rivières company. Suggestions to raise French-Canadian Zouave regiments within the Canadian Militia were all rejected. With the rapid and great changes in French-Canadian society from the 1960s, which included demise from the Church, and the evolution of the Canadian Forces toward bilingualism and a multicultural environment, the Zouaves, who still had over 1,500 volunteers in five battalions in 1968, became irrelevant and had disappeared by the 1980s. Remarkably, the Canadian Pontifical Zouaves wore exactly the same uniform as in the 1860s until 1968 when the baggy trousers were replaced by normal trousers.
See also: Zouaves
A flower that grows wild in northern France and Belgium, the red poppy has become the symbol of remembrance for war dead in Canada and around the world. This symbols originates from Canadian Major John McCrae’s famous and deeply moving poem "In Flanders Field", where "…the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row" and "If ye break the faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow, In Flanders fields." Published in December 1915, McCrae’s poem quickly spread worldwide and is possibly the best know war poem ever.
Wearing a poppy in remembrance was first done in late 1918 by an American lady, Moina Michael, who was inspired by McCrae’s poem and wore a poppy in memory of the millions who had fallen, while working at a New York City YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Organization) canteen. The practice quickly caught on. In 1920, handmade paper poppies started to be sold in France for the benefit of destitute children living in war areas and, in November 1921, the paper poppies appeared in Canada. They have been with us ever since, worn on November 11 in remembrance to all veterans, and especially to those Canadians who, to quote McCrae’s poem, "Short days ago…lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now…lie, in Flanders fields" and all over the world, wherever Canadians fought.
A place, point, fort, etc. for which a soldier is responsible or at which he is stationed. Also, to move soldiers or units from one place or organization to another.