Canadians remembered for freeing Dover

Canada has a special place in the hearts of residents of Dover, England.

It’s been 70 years since the shelling of Dover ended during World War II – thanks to Canadians.

On Sept. 30, 1944, the Toronto Star headline read: Dover’s 4-Year Ordeal Ended by Canadians.

Canadian army commander, Lieut.-Gen. Crerar was sent a note of thanks by the people of Dover after the capture of Cap Gris Nez meant the German shelling of the town had ended.

Other towns along the shore joined in the celebrations and thanks.

“In Folkestown, townspeople danced in the streets and also attended a thanksgiving service in the centuries-old parish church,” a newspaper article states.

And earlier this month, on Sept. 14, the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin Dover held a commemoration and thanksgiving service on the 70th anniversary of the capturing of the guns.

Here’s a program from this year’s service at Dover, courtesy of a blog reader, which I’m so pleased to be able to show you.

dover

 

The operation at Cap Gris Nez near Calais was costly.

Lieut-Corp. John Elton Fuller, of Brantford, was killed when his Highland Light Infantry of Canada unit stormed the area.

He helped to silence the big guns that fired on Dover for years.

His body was laid to rest in a military cemetery at St. Englebert.

For more about Fuller, you can visit the Virtual War Memorial  online. Here is the link:

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2214136?John%20Elton%20Fuller

There are plaques which commemorate the Canadian efforts, including one that has armoured plating from one of the German long-range guns used at Calais.

“The 84 rounds recorded formed part of the 2226 shells fired from these batteries at the harbour and town of Dover during the period 1940 to 1944. The gun was captured by Canadian forces in 1944, and it was they who presented the plating,” it reads.

Of course we all remember the war song, The White Cliffs of Dover, and townspeople hid in caves there during the shelling.

Can you imagine the joy of residents there when they realized the shells would no longer fly and they could freely go about their day?

From the same blog reader, comes a copy of a transcript in a diary from Oct. 1-2, 1944.

It reads: “I went for a walk after waiting to get the morning news at 9. It told of the capture of Calais… Something that filled my heart with joy. It should beget a lasting gratitude of Canada in English hearts and homes for generations to come. I took the little dogs for a walk to the far gate – a beautiful morning, cold & fresh – invigorating.”

And true to their word, the townsfolk do continue to remember.

Such an important part of Canadian history, yet how many know the story of the Canadians and the capture of the guns?

There are 100 events in Oxford for 100th anniversary of Great War

Oxford County has organized 100 events to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I. It’s a monumental endeavor in so many ways.

Organizers are also hoping the public can add to the county’s new website, called Oxford Remembers, with photos, letters or stories.

Here’s the site.

http://www.oxfordremembers.ca/

You should also take a look at the great story Sean Irvine did on four brothers from Ingersoll who served their country. Two of the four died in battle and the other two were injured.

There is an event tonight at the Ingersoll cemetery to honour them.

Here’s Sean’s story:

http://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=448943

Facing fears for a friend

A group of friends is trying to help a man with brain cancer.

Their approach is unique. Yes, they hope to raise funds for their friend Tyler Warren, but they also want to show him support as he undergoes chemo for Grade 4 glioblastoma.

They are asking people to do something that terrifies them. Whether it’s walking on the CN Tower Skywalk or playing with a spider, whatever scares you, they are asking you to face.

They want people to take a video of what they are doing and upload it to:

http://www.gofundme.com/fearlessfortyler

The funds needed would cover Tyler’s medical bills and daily costs as he is no longer able to work.

It has been a little more than a month since Tyler learned the news of the brain cancer so he is in the early stages of treatment.

There’s also a Facebook page called Fearless For Tyler.

What do you think of this approach?

Basement flooding in London

After heavy rains in London Wednesday night and overnight Thursday, there are basements that have flooded.

The city of London is asking you to call them if you have had flooding.

We did have some water come into the basement so I have placed a call.

Be prepared to wait on the line as it is quite busy.

The man I talked to indicated I would be getting a follow-up call. He was just taking down the information as quickly as he could because the calls are one right after the other.

Here is the number if you wish to contact the city: 519-661-4570

Have you had any issues on your property with this latest storm?

Thank you Robin Williams and Carpe Diem

With a spark of mischievousness and an innocence that never left him, Robin Williams gave hope and laughter to many. It’s so sad that in the end he had none of that hope left for himself.

How do you know someone has attained the status of gifted? When even children can recognize the genius and gravitate to it.

When I told my kids about Williams they were upset. My 10-year-old left the room and went away by himself.

He loved Williams’ movies. We watched Mrs. Doubtfire over and over. We also liked Old Dogs, also starring John Travolta, and Hook.

I enjoyed Williams’ when I was a kid as well in the TV hit  Mork and Mindy. I played Mindy once in a school production.

My favourite drama of all time is Dead Poets Society.  The lesson in that film is one I take with me every day. Carpe Diem.

We were lucky to have Williams among us.

Favorite Robin Williams’ movie or show?

 

The Big Cheese

Originally posted on Tourism Oxford:

Wagons move slowly when carrying cheese. The wheels of the wagon creak and slide on the stones in the road from the weight of such a cargo. Children will run along at its side amused by this unusual movement of cheese. Six horses must work diligently, careful not to let the wagon over turn. The driver will dispel with a call of whoa or faster, but horses take no warning, nor do children. Cheese is heavy.

This cheese was a cheese like no other and this outing was an anticipated event. Weighing in at 7,300 lbs when it tipped the scales at the James Harris Cheese Factory in 1866, its destination was New York and the World’s Fair. This cheese, though, would not stop there but continue on to England and perhaps impress royalty. There, Oxford County was already becoming known for its cheese and the big cheese was eagerly…

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