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James Fitzgibbon's 1820 testimonial regarding Laura Secord

Type: Document

In June 1813, James FitzGibbon (1780-1863) was a lieutenant of the 49th (the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot in command of the British outpost at Beaver Dams. He received warning from Laura Secord (1775-1868) of an impending American surprise attack, and his instructions led to their ambush and surrender. FitzGibbon had a remarkable military career, which reached its high point when he was largely responsible for preventing Mackenzie's rebels from taking Toronto in 1837. This testimonial was reproduced in ‘From Brock to Currie’ (Toronto, 1935).

Site: National Defence

Laura Secord discovered by British Amerindian allies, 22 June 1813

Type: Image

Laura Secord (1775-1868) walked into a camp of Amerindians towards the end of her famous 30 kilometre trek on 22 June 1813. The group were allies of the British, and they led Secord to a detachment of British troops stationed at the DeCew house, on the Niagara Escarpment near present-day St. Catherines, Ontario. There, she was able to pass on her warning of an impending American attack. This print gives a rather romanticized view of the heroine. At the time of her exploit, Secord was 38, rather older than suggested here. Nevertheless, a contemporary eyewitness account describes her 'slender frame and delicate appearance'.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Women's Army Corps Overseas, September 1939 - June 1944

Type: Document

The first proposal to organize Canadian women for military service in the United Kingdom was in September 1939. In April 1944 approval was granted for the employment of the C.W.A.C. in rear areas of operational theatres. In between these dates there were many changes in the military that allowed for this approval.

Site: National Defence

The British Lay Siege to Louisbourg

Type: Document

In June 1758, a British fleet and army arrived off Île Royale, and the siege of Louisbourg began. It lasted five weeks, thanks to strong fortifications and the determination of the outnumbered defenders. French surrender was followed by deportation of the civilian population.

Site: National Defence

Queen Anne of Great Britain

Type: Image

Queen Anne reigned from 1702 to 1714. This statue of her stands at St. Paul’s cathedral, London. Following its capture in 1710, Port-Royal in Acadia was renamed Annapolis Royal in the Queen's honour.

Site: National Defence

'Amazons Battalion,' St. John, New Brunswick, 1901

Type: Image

During the South African War, the local militia regiment in St. John, New Brunswick, sponsored and trained a paramilitary group made up of young women. Members of the 'Amazons Battalion' are seen with their instructor, a lieutenant of the 62nd Regiment 'St. John Fusiliers'. (Private collection)

Site: National Defence

Madeleine

Type: Image

A worthy representative of 17th-century women in New France, who were neither fragile nor passive, Marie-Madeleine Jarret de Verchères (1678-1747) conducted an exemplary defence of Fort Verchères against an Iroquois attack in 1692, just as her mother had done two years earlier. Her sober account of 1699, often romanticized in late-19th century versions, made her a heroine of our history of everyday life. Like most women in the colony, she knew how to handle arms by the time she was 14 years old. Her contemporary, Bacqueville de la Potherie, said of her that no 'Canadian or officer [could] shoot more accurately'.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Women's Army Corps, 1941-1946

Type: Document

The evolution of the role of women in the military and the development of the Canadian Women's Army Corps are discussed.

Site: National Defence

Hospitals

Type: Document

Hospitals in New France were founded and maintained by religious orders of the Roman Catholic church. The cost of the institutions was borne by the state, in return for which officers, soldiers and sailors received free care, food and medicine.

Site: National Defence

Meals

Type: Document

British army rations during the 18th and 19th centuries were dull but adequate. Each day, a man got 1 pound (489 g) of bread or flour, 1 pound of beef (or ½ pound of salt pork), a little butter and cheese and a pint (0.568 l) of beer. Vegetables or other items had to be bought by the soldier.

Site: National Defence