The final chapter of the Arne Knudsen story. Thanks to Arne , Mike Meehan, Brian Holt and Rob Garrett, we have managed to preserve another piece of 15th Field Artillery Regiment's history. Check out all the chapters here.
Have you got a story that you would like us to preserve? We have the capability through on-line videoconferencing to set up a meeting with all of the veterans of a particular operation or exercise and record their stories for future generations. Send me an email at email@example.com and we'll start setting up a storyboard!
Sergeant Arne Knudsen answers some questions about his experiences in Italy. He explains how he was shot by a sniper, how he captured a drunk German soldier and was surprised when a German jumped into his slit trench. He also reveals the reception that Zombies received when they arrived at a front-line unit. Check out all the Arne Knudsen videos here.
During the Second World War Battery Sergeant Major Sidney James Boyte, MM of the 58th Battery, 15th (Vancouver) Coast Regiment, RCA NPAM wore the Military Medal and bar. These were awarded for his service with thee 72nd Battalion in the First World War. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry during the Operations against the enemy’s trench SOUTH EAST of SOUCHEZ from April 9th, to 13th 1917. This man was a member of a bombing squad and took command after his N.C.O. had become a casualty. He led his squad, under terrific fire, and at a critical point, when subjected to cross machine gun fire, he dashed ahead, crying out to his men to come along, and by his courageous example rallied those in his vicinity and reached his objective, where he was badly wounded. This man was previously recommended for immediate reward for splendid work in an operation the enemy S.E. of Souchez, in which this Battalion took part on March 1st last.
All the Officers, and all but 14 other ranks of this man’s company were casualties. It is considered that he is fully deserving of an immediate award.
Check out the Military Medal page here.
The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Nick Watts participates in the City of Surrey Remembrance Day. The conductor of the Surrey City Orchestra is also a member of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment Band - Gunner Wayne Ablitt.
Check out the video here.
Another Vancouver Artilleryman was awarded the Military Medal. Sergeant Herbert George Blazier, MM enlisted with the Vancouver Volunteer Reserve on 9 July 1915 and was serving with the 22nd Battery, 6th Howitzer Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery when he was awarded. His citation reads:
At Pozieres. For gallantry and devotion to duty. On the 15th, inst whilst directing the digging of a gun pit for forward gun. The enemy opened up an intense shrapnel barrage, Sgt. Blazier endeavoured to get his men under cover two of whom were wounded. Sgt Blazier, after seeing his men to safety, returned under a heavy fire, accompanied by A/Bomb Mann and brought in one of the wounded men, the others having been killed Sgt Blazier was seriously wounded just before reaching cover.
Sergeant Arne Knudsen is captured after taking a wrong turn in Italy! Fortunately, he is able to escape and is then arrested by the New Zealanders. The Danish accent sounds German to them. Follow along with Arne's other tales from Italy in World War 2. Find all the videos here.
Episode 5 of the Arne Knudsen story is now online. Arne recounts his wartime experience that includes setting sail from England to an undisclosed location, arriving in Algiers for training on the new Tank Destroyers. He then arrives in Sicily and on the first day has a Coastal Artillery Battery surrender to his two Anti-Tank gun detachment! The story ends with Arne watching events unfold in Ortona. Check out the videos here.
The final two units have been installed! Bombardier (retired) Doug Loney has done a great job in his home carpentry shop. The units are very sturdy and provide us valuable storage space for our current book collection. The next major task is to inventory the books so that we can provide an online reference of books available to borrow for members of the Regiment and Association. A withdrawal book has been placed on top of the bookcase as you walk into the conference room. Simply fill in your name, date and email address. An interim bookcase numbering system and a partial list of books has been provided.
Stu McDonald recently came across the name of Gunner Joseph Zenon Leon Aime Alain who had died 25 June 1942. Further research reveals that Gunner Alain was a member of the 3rd Searchlight Battery, RCA attached to 15th (Vancouver) Coast Brigade, RCA and passed away in a tragic swimming incident off Stanley Park. Gunner Alain's obituary can be found here and the Court of Inquiry has been posted here.
Lest we forget.
Mark your Calendar!
Friday, 4 December 2020
1800 for 1900 PT
Dinner nights in the Mess (“mess” or “regimental” dinners) are held by artillery units for the purpose of enjoying comradeship, promoting ésprit-de-corps while entertaining and honouring guests. COVID-19 has forced certain changes to our ability to hold these dinners but we can certainly improvise and overcome! Our Virtual Dinner on ZOOM will attempt to replicate the Mess atmosphere.
The dinner is open to all ranks of the Regiment, the Association and your guests. The dress is formal, black tie or business suit.
The cost is $0.00 however, each attendee is responsible for the purchase of their own meal through a local restaurant of their choice to be delivered for the 1900 start. Wine and port is also your responsibility.
The VAA will be searching restaurants in the Lower Mainland and will provide suggestions over the coming days.
Attendees are to RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoom coordinates will be provided prior to dinner to all registered attendees. Upon logging in you will be greeted by the PMC of the dinner and directed to a virtual room to mingle with other guests. There will be several rooms set up so that the rooms will not be too crowded. If you have the latest ZOOM updates you will be able to control your own movement between rooms. The rooms will be collapsed at the quarter call and then re-opened. They will again be collapsed for Grace.
The virtual dinner will be conducted with the rooms set up as if they were tables for 10 or 12 in order to allow for a suitable atmosphere for conversation. They will again be collapsed for the toasts.
As the head table "leaves" the table after the toast, the rooms will be re-opened to allow for everyone to mingle at will.
This dinner is a great opportunity to "break bread" virtually with many friends and compatriots that we have not seen for a lengthy period. There is a possibility that we can bring in even greater numbers than our usual large dinners!
I look forward to your RSVP.
I would also strongly encourage a donation of $10.00 or $20.00 to the Vancouver Artillery Association to assist in defraying some of the costs incurred in the postponed Battlefield Tour.