Bill Hillman's Monthly Military Tribute
AS YOU WERE . . .
WAR YEARS ECLECTICA
REMEMBRANCE TRIBUTE ISSUE
PART 1 (Continued in Part 2)
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May 4, 1945
F/L William Gavin Campbell
Blacon Cemetery, Chester England
Office of Chief of the Air Staff ~Ottawa
4th May, 1945
Mr. J. M. Campbell
A PLACE OF HONOURCanada has an estimated and astonishing 2,000,000 lakes and holds within its borders more fresh water than all the rest of the world combined. Most of these millions of lakes can be found in the north, where retreating ice age glaciers scoured, cut and pressed deep water-filled scars in the landscape. Much of Nunavut, northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec is covered in fresh water. Many lakes that would be the largest freshwater lake in some countries remain to this day unnamed and unvisited.
Manitoba Geographical Names Program Honours the WWII Fallen
Having a geographical feature like a river, lake, bay, island or mountain named for you has long been understood as a great and very permanent honour. Many early explorers named geographical features that they came upon after their funders and political sponsors. Lewis and Clark and many an Arctic explorer would take the time name rivers, islands and promontories after their benefactors. Scottish explorer John Ross named a vast peninsula in the arctic Boohtia Felix in honour of one of his financial backers, Boothia Gin of London, owned by Felix Booth, a wealthy spirits manufacture.
In the Canadian province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Geographical Names Program has for many years attempted to put names to the province’s many geographical features. The program lists several thousand lakes, bays, rivers, streams and other natural features in indigenous languages. The program’s lists also include an astonishing 4,200 of Manitoba’s war dead for whom a lake, island or other geographical feature is named.
With over 110,000 lakes within its borders, Manitoba will not likely run out of features to honour their fallen for many centuries to come. The province published a compendium of all 4,200 honourees called A Place of Honour. The Program’s web site explains: “This publication is dedicated to the families of those Manitobans who lost a loved one as a casualty of war. Our Province has recognized their sacrifice in the commemorative naming of more than 4,200 lakes, islands, bays and other geographical features after them.
This is not a military history. Innumerable histories have been published since the end of the Second World War focusing upon Canadian casualties, specific branches of the service and various military campaigns. The source of information on these men and women is not primarily historical, archival or military. It is the families and friends of these people, and in some cases, the words of the casualties themselves as expressed in their letters and diaries. In describing these times and events on a personal or familial level, it becomes apparent that the loss of these men and women continues to be felt throughout our province and indeed, throughout the world.”
"FIVE SONS OF MR. & MRS. R. B. HILLMAN OF ELROSE ARE SERVING"
A NEWSPAPER CLIPPING FEATURING THE HILLMAN BOYS (1943)
(3 Came Home)
FROM THE HILLMAN MILITARY TRIBUTE SITE
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~ Bill Hillman's RCAF Tribute
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~ Bill Hillman's RCN Tribute
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