The ILTIS Project
Thanks to our kind donors our ILTIS project has reached 35 kph ($350.00) on its way to a top speed of 120 kph ($1,200.00). Can you help us reach top speed? Donations to the 15th Fd Regt Museum & Archives Society can be mailed to the Armoury or sent via E-transfers to email@example.com
Yorke Update 1940/41
New photos reveal regimental (Battery?) sweatshirts. Was there a kit shop operating on Yorke Island? Check out the latest photos here.
Yearbook Update - 1940
More photos from the Bombardier Blackburn album have been uploaded. Is this series about a furlough to a dance at Sayward or an Empire Day activity at Alert Bay? It starts with an inspection at the wharf and then everyone is loaded onto one of the examination vessels. Check out the other photos here. There's still a lot more!
Yearbook Update 1940
The Museum has just received a photo album from Alexis Smith, daughter of Bombardier Jimmy Blackburn. There's some great photos of life on Yorke Island in 1940. Check them out here. Keep watching this space for more photos tomorrow.
A recent email to our museum:
Dear Madam / Sir,
You don’t know me, I found your address on the internet and I don't know if I'm addressing the right person.
I am at the board and member of the Research Team of the foundation ‘Faces to Graves’ in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.
In Groesbeek we have the biggest Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands, this cemetery contains the graves of Canadian soldiers who died in the Northern Netherlands and Germany during the closing stages of the war.
The foundation Faces To Graves aims to give all these military heroes a ‘face’ by compiling, illustrating and publishing their life stories in a digital monument. We have to pay tribute to those young soldiers who lost their lives so far away from home fighting for our freedom.
Especially now most of their comrades are not able to do this any longer.
We would like to recognize every single one of them by a photo and the story of his life, so they will never be forgotten.
Therefore we are searching for photos and information about the soldiers who are buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in The Netherlands.
A young soldier William Harold Birchall is buried at our Cemetery in Groesbeek.
He served with the 15th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery.
William Harold was born on 16 October 1917 in Cochrane, Alberta to Heywood & Maud Birchall.
He was killed in action on 26th February 1945 near Louisendorf at the start of Operation Blockbuster.
I cannot find much information about the 15th Field Regiment during WWII on the internet, I only found a very brief history on http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/ol-lo/vol-tom-3/par1/art/doc/15far-15rdc.pdf
Could you perhaps help me with information or do you know where I could get information about this 15th Field Regiment?
We have 8 more soldiers who served at the 15th Field Regiment and are buried in Groesbeek.
I hope you are willing to help us.
Looking forward to your reply.
Yorke Island Update
Unfortunately, our application for funding under the Unique Heritage Infrastructure stream of the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program was not successful. The applications for this particular grant exceeded the amount available five fold. I suppose that we were part of the 80% that were not successful.
Our volunteer partnership with BC Parks continue and we will continue to work with 85Vics to conserve the artefacts on the island for future generations. I'm currently working on breaking down the large project into smaller items that we can tackle as funding and manpower come available.
The Regiment (COVID permitting) is considering a visit to the island in the Fall. Could coastal artillery fortification maintenance fit into their training syllabus?
Yearbook Update 2021
15th Field and 5th (BC) deployed to Wainwright in February for live fire exercise. The weather was somewhat chillier than the west coast and brings back memories of those cold weekends in Shilo during the 70s and 80s. Good shooting and great pictures. Drop me a line if you see yourself in any of the photos. Check out the rest of the photos here.
The 85th Heavy Battery War Diary for March 1940 is now online. It describes activities on Yorke Island during the month including the firing of bring to rounds, the death of their mascot George, fire protection concerns, Can Scottish detachment issues (including a shortage of kilts!) and the issue of broken windows caused by the firing of rounds. Drop me a line if you find additional gems of information. The format is different than previous uploads as I simply added all the jpegs to a single pdf file. Hopefully I got them all in order!
Lest we forget
Bombardier John Markham McLane DCM was attested into the Vancouver Volunteer Reserve, Boorman's Battery on 8 October 1915. He served overseas with the 3rd Canadian Division Ammunition Column where he was recognized for his act of gallantry. His citation reads:
During a bombardment by aircraft at night the wagon lines were heavily bombed a number of casualties being caused to personnel and horses. This driver organized rescue parties and sent for ambulances. For more than an hour the place was bombed the work of rescue being made more dangerous by the explosion of a dump. His coolness and organizing ability inspired those with him and saved many lives.
Bombardier McLane's nominal roll entry is recorded here and his obituary has been posted to the 1950 Yearbook here.