Bill Hillman's Monthly Military TributeSlide 1
AS YOU WERE . . .
WAR YEARS ECLECTICA
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
Script for his Memorial Slide Show
Freedom Is Not Free ~ It is bought at terrible costs and suffering by the youth of our country.
World War I
Vimy France ~ the Canadian Memorial to the 60 thousand Canadians who lost their lives in the Great World War, the War to end all wars, World War 1.
Vimy ~ The grass in the area is kept trimmed by the sheep. The ground still contains explosives from WWI as well as the remains of hundreds of soldiers who fought, died, and drowned in the mud. They still lose about one sheep a month due to the explosives being set off by the weight of the sheep.
Beaumont Memorial - France: to the Newfoundland Regiment. Over 800 men went into battle - the following morning only about 78 answered roll call. The Caribou points directly at St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Beaumont Hamel: The trenches still remain from 1914.
Famous words of John McCrea at Wimereau, France.
The Cemetery at Wimereau, France. John McCrea's grave is to the immediate left of the Cross of Sacrifice. The stones lie flat because the soil shifts and they cannot be maintained vertically.
The grave of John McCea. Wimereau is west of Calais, France.
One cemetery near Verdun, France. It illustrates the futility of war. These stones represent a portion of the 120 thousand graves in this cemetery.
WORLD WAR II
9. September 1, 1939: WWII began and after Germany walked over Poland, and then into Belgium , Holland and France. The free world held its breath while the Battle of Britain was fought and won by men flying the Hurricane on the right and the Spitfire(wearing D-Day stripes). Over 100 young Canadian pilots flew in the Battle of Britain and drove the German Luftwaffe from the skies of Britain.
10. Airman S.A. Prince from Victoria but Flying for the Royal Air Force was the first Canadian Airman killed in WWII. He is buried in Becklingen, Germany, only 6 KM from the Death Camp of Bergen Belsen where Anne Frank died. Note the date of his death -- one day, after Britain declared war.
11. Later came the Dieppe Raid - Aug. 19/42. The little Town of Puys shown here is where The Royal Regiment of Toronto was almost obliterated. The house above shows up in pictures of the raid and still remains. Note the large bunker to the immediate right, the machine gun half way up the stairs and the one in front of the house.
12. Debris still washes in from the sea in the tide.
13. Air photo of Dieppe at the time of the raid. The harbour and town have changed little since that time... but are much friendlier now!
14. Dieppe today. At the time of the raid all the hotels and houses were full of machine gun positions and only a broad stretch of beach was left to cross under murderous gunfire. The remnants of a machine gun position remains at the brow of the green cliff near the centre of the picture.
15. Prisoners taken at Dieppe. Nearly every town in Canada was touched by this raid. The Canadian with his hat tipped back is a relation.
16. Then D-Day 1944. A Memorial to the Winnipeg Rifles where they landed at Courcelles, France that day. (Juno Beach)
17. Taken above Arroanche France. The artificial harbour towed across from England still leaves its parts to indicate its position so long ago. (Gold Beach -Brt.)
18. The Guns at Longues France. Gold Beach. They still remain but are bowed to the liberating Allies.
19. Three aircraft flown by Canadians as they carried the war deep into the heart of Germany. The Halifax.
20. The Lancaster.
21. The B-17 Flying Fortress (This one appeared in the movie, MEMPHIS BELLE.)
22. The Cemetery at Scopwich Lincolnshire, England.
23. The grave at Scopwich of John Gillespie Magee Jr., an American who flew with the RCAF (as did 6000 other Americans). He wrote the poem High Flight which is a famous poem from WWII. He was killed in a mid-air collision at 19.
24. The Memorial to airmen of the British Commonwealth who flew out of England and have no known grave. Located at Runnymede, England. It contains the names of 20 thousand airmen with no known grave.
25. There are six of these memorials around the world including the one in Ottawa. The total number of airmen without known graves is over 33 thousand. Runnymede in where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, giving us our present day laws and freedoms.
26. In the cloisters the stone panels are made to resemble an open book. Looking out the back to the right you see planes taking off from Heathrow airport and to the left you see Windsor Castle.
27. Showing the names.
28. Dieppe Cemetery, France.
29. Dieppe Cemetery: The stones in the centre are of the men killed in the raid. Along the right are the graves of airmen. Almost out of the picture on the left are Free French graves - men who fought for the Allies.
30. Ranville Cemetery, France. One of the D-Day Cemeteries.
31. Ranville Cemetery: The grave of Lloyd Chadburn – a favourite Wing Commander of all who flew with him. Killed in a mid -air collision.
32. Beny Sur Mer D-Day Cemetery, France.
33. Beny Sur Mer Cemetery: Just beyond the building you might detect a different blue colour. This is Juno beach where the Canadians landed.
35. Beny-Sur Mar, France. The Grave of Kenneth Lawrence. One of the 150 or so Canadians murdered by the Hitler Youth SS. He came from the same town as the photographer. (They were executed after being captured.)
36. Above 0maha Beach - a D-Day beach. One of the two American invasion beaches.
It was later called "Bloody 0maha."
37. Omaha Beach U.S. Cemetery: Only a small part shows in this picture. 114 Acres - 9,400 Graves - hence "Bloody Omaha"
38. La Cambe, France ~ A German Cemetery containing 22,000 Graves. Men who died
following a cause that went terribly wrong. The significance of the groups of 5 stones is unknown.
39. The cemetery at Mehariacourt, France: Note the grave of Andrew Mynarski VC
at the Canadian Flag. Andrew is from Winiiil)eg. The Mynarski Lancaster
that flies out of Hamilton, Cntario is named for him.
40. Grave of Mynarski who died of burns trying to save his trapped tail gunner.
The strange part of the story is that when the burning aircraft hit the ground the tail turret popped out and the tail gunner survived with only a few scratches.
41. The Mynarski Lancaster in Winnipeg on its maiden flight - after Restoration.
42. Claude Weaver buried in the same Cemetery as one of the more than 5000 from the U.S.A who joined the RCAF. Note on the bottom of the stone his brother died on Iwo Jima in the Pacific. The story of Claude Weaver is told in the Champlin Air Museum in Mesa.
46. The Canadian Museum that pays tribute to Canadian Soldiers and Airmen, who liberated the town of Adegen (Pronounced ADAHEN), Belgium.
47. Antwerp, Belgium Cemetery
48. Antwerp, Belgium Cemetery
49. Antwerp, Belgium Cemetery: The flag on the 4th row is the grave of relative.
50. The Grave of the great Guy Gibson and his Navigator in Steenbergen in the Netherlands. Gibson led 617 Squadron on the famous Dam Busters raid in 1943.
51. Bergen OP Zoom Canadian Cemetery in Holland.
52. Bergen OP Zoom Canadian Cemetery in Holland.
53. Bergen OP Zoom Canadian Cemetery in Holland: The flag indicates the grave of a young man who carried me on his shoulders so I could go to the creek to swim with the older boys. Standing before his crave I felt so proudly Canadian and yet so humbly Canadian.
54. Bergen OP Zoom Canadian Cemetery in Holland: Rest in Peace, Jack.
56. Holten Canadian Cemetery, The Netherlands. Nearly every Canadian unit fighting in Europe at this time is represented in this cemetery.
57. The peaceful gardens at the entrance of Holten Cemetery, Netherlands. Here one might contemplate the fact that all these young men rest here and you survive. The people of the Netherlands never forget their sacrifice ... but we as Canadians often let it slip into the past to be forgotten. Some attitude!!!
58. Holten Cemetery: Note the Dutch people and their children visiting the cemetery. On Christmas eve each grave has a candle burning at the base and one person stands behind each grave in the special ceremony held during the late evening.
61. Entrance to Groesbeek Canadian Cemetery in Holland. This cemetery holds many of the casualties from the fighting in the Arnhem Area.
62. Memorials on the sides contain the names of men who have no known grave.
63. One of those remembered with no knowm grave is Frank Pickersgill, brother of Member of Parliament, Jack Pickersgill. Frank operated with the French underground until his capture and death at the hands of the SS. in Buchenwald Death Camp.
64. The flag indicates the grave of Aubrey Cosens VC, from Ontario.
65. Grave of Raymond Diehl, cousin of Jim Diehl who lives in Citrus Gardens.
66. AABENRAA DENMARK CEMETERY: A hedge separates German stone crosses from those of the Commonwealth in this cemetery.
67. Aabenraa Cemetery: The grave of a young Manitoban so far from the home and family he loved - A relative of Stuart Johnson.
68. The entrance to Kleve or Reichwald Cemetery near Kleve Germany. Anne of Kleve a wife of Henry VIII came from here. Note: each entrance has been designed to be distinctive and not cookie cutter copies of each other. After the war the bodies of airmen were moved from the small local cemeteries to about 10 large ones. (In Germany Only) There they are cared for in the proper manner and we have never been in one that has not been beautifully kept.
69. Kleve Cemetery: These are all Commonwealth Airmen buried here.
70. Kleve Cemetery: The total buried here is about 6,000. Never forget that Bomber Command lost over 55,000 men.
71. Kleve Cemetery: "Between the crosses row on row"
72. Kleve Cemetery: Many friends lie here. They came from around the globe.
73. Reinberg Cemetery, Germany (near Cologne) Airforce Men.
74. Reinberg Cemetery, Germany
76. Becklingen Air Force Cemetery, Germany: Just 6 miles from the horrors of Bergen Belsen Death Camp. S. Prince, the first Canadian airman killed in WWII, is buried here. Also another relative of Stuart Johnson.
77. Becklingen. Germany: I firmly believe that the Statesmen Canada should have had, lie buried in the fields of Europe.
78. Berlin Airforce Cemetery, Germany: All the double rows of stones in this picture are composed of 7 common graves. That is that none of each aircraft was identified. (None of the airmen) These rows run from front to back of the cemetery. About 3000 buried here, among them another relation.
79. Berlin, Germany: The stones stretch out on both sides and never seem to end.
80. Berlin Cemetery: Taken toward the back. "They shall grow not old."
81. Durnbach, Germany Airforce Cemetery: (Entrance) Located south of Munich in the Bavarian Hills.
82. Durnbach Germany: A Beautiful setting in the Bavarian Hills. When we first visited here many of the flowers were past their bloom. Returning 4-5 days later they had all been replaced with new plants. This was in late September.
83. Durnbach Germany: In the Bavarian Hills. Just a few miles south of here Hitler's Eagles Nest still exists.
We lost a tremendous number of young men ... but think of the world without their sacrifice.
84. Bergen Belsen Death Camp (Germany)
85. Bergen Belsen, Germany: Where countless people starved to death including
Anne Frank. This poor woman shows the signs of the treatment in this camp.
86. Bergen Belsen: These prisoners died of starvation.
87. Bergen Belsen, Germany: Here the German SS who were responsible for the deaths of the prisoners are made to bury the dead in pits for fear of the spread of disease among the few that survived.
88. Bachenwald Death Camp: This shows the sleeping conditions in the camp. The man in the second row 4th from the left is Klei Weisel. He is still alive but his father died in this camp.
89. The large mound in the background is one large common grave. There are many of them. 100,000 are buried this way. The stone in the foregound is a memorial to some buried in the pits. The stones on top indicate the stone has been visited. Remember Schindler's List? The Monument at the rear is to the Jewish people who died here.
90. Entrance to Dachau Death Camp, Germany. (Outskirts of Mumich)
91. Dauhau: Compound in the centre was for taking roll call. The buildings were former SS offices. They now serve as a museum and movie theatre.
92. Dachau Germany: Shows guard tower, electric fence and moat.
93. Main entrance for prisoners at Dachau. Words in the fencing roughly translated mean "Work makes you free." The only way to freedom was up the chimney in the crematorium! Dachau a was built In 1933 to house 5,000 prisoners. In 1945 at liberation it held 30.000.
94. Crematorium at Dachau. Beware of Buildings with square chimneys in Germany. All death camps had them. There were no gas chambers here but starvation, brutality, and shootings achieved the same end.
95. Dachau Crematorium: Where thousands were cremated. One of those was the famous French underground spy Madelaine. The plaque on the wall at the left honours her.
96. The Little town of Oradour Sur Glane, France where the German SS surrounded the town, called all the people to the village square, sent the men to the barns and sheds, women and children to the church and burned all the buildings killing 642 people. It was later discovered that the wrong town had been chosen for this orgy of killing. It stands today as a shrine. (It was dynamited after the killings).
97. Oradour Sur Glane, France: This is the church where one lady managed to jump out the window and was not discovered. She lived to tell the story. Oradour is about 25 Kms from Limoge, France.
98. Kore remains of Oradour.
99. A survivor of the Death Camp at Ebensee, Austria. He is speaking to school children of his time in this camp. He was brought here at the age of 14-15.
100. Tattoo of the prisoner's number of this former prisoner. He received it at age 14 at Auschwitz, Poland. He did not return to Poland after the war but lives in Ebensee with his Austrian wife and 5 children.
101. Hitler’s Eagles Nest in the Bavarian Alps: It is now a restaurant in the beautiful surroundings above Berchtesgaden, Germany. Think of the inhuman plans that were developed in this beautiful area.
INSERT 7 & 8
(Insert after No. 102 Berchtesgaden Hitler’s Eagles Nest.)
103. Entrance to Calais France War Cemetery.
104. Brass door behind which is found the particulars of each person buried in that cemetery. This is found in all larger cemeteries.
105. View from Calais Cemetery: Across the channel you can see the White Cliffs of Dover England.
106. Grave of F/0 F.H. Lang: His brother lives in Souris. (See the south wall of the CATPM Chapel) This grave is in Calais Cemetery.
107. Entrance to Cemetery at Hermanville France.
108. Cemetery at Hermanville, France.
109. Hermanville, France: Grave of Jim Clark of Isabella, Manitoba.
110. Graves in the Cemetery at St. Andre de L'Bure, France.
111. Grave of P/0 H.D. Baker - St. Andre de L'Bure, France. His bother, Keith, lives near Neepawa Manitoba.
112. Beny-Sur-Mer Cemetery, France: Grave of F.V. Meakin - Murdered by German SS. He is from the Neepava area and is an Uncle of Cecil Pitman of Neepawa.
113. Beny Sur Mer Cemetery, France: Grave of G.B.Meakin who was murdered by the SS.
114. Entrance to Haverlee Belgium Cemetery.
115. Heverlee Belgium Cemetery: Garland and his Navigator both won VCs in the early days of the war. He had three other brothers who also served in the RAF. They also died in active service.
116. Haverlee Belgium: P/O I.C. Bradley of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. (See picture and details on the East wall of Chapel).
117. Canadian Cemetery at Adegem (Pronounced Adahem), Belgium.
118. This is the way this aircraft almost disappeared as it sliced into the low wet land of Holland. The crew are buried in the Cemetery behind the Church. (Westerbeek, Holland)
119. Grave of J.M.R. Lang, brother of F/0 F.H. Lang (See # 106) Also see the South wall of the CATPM Chapel. Reinberg Cemetery, Germany.
120. Hannover Military Cemetery, Germany.
121. Graves in Hannover. In this case all were unidentified.
122. Hannover Cemetery.
123. Hannover, Germany. Grave of F/L DM Carey of Brandon. See the case on the north wall of the CATPM Chapel for details.
124. Grave of R.A. Playter in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. See the North wall of the Chapel for details and photos of the funeral.
125. Grave of F/O G.B. Johnson (My Brother) In Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.
126. Harrogate Yorkshire Cemetery: Note the pictures of Playtors funeral in this same cemetery. The church appears there as well.
127. Harrogate Cemetery: The resting place of 999 Airman from the Commonwealth. 666 are Canadian.
128. Our friends in Yorkshire live only 30 miles from my brother’s grave and always visit on the llth of November as well as other times of the year.
129 Gulls: See #103 page 6.
130 Sunset: See #104 Page 6 - "At the going down …” Etc.
102. The town of Berchtesgaden, Germany lies below the Eagle's Nest.
103. And so we must think of our freedom that was gained with such great sacrific. That same Freedom that we often hold so cheaply in our hands was paid for so dearly in the blood of our youth.
104. At the going down of the sun and in the morning “WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.”
105. One more Cemetery ... located in Harrogate Yorkshire, England is the resting place of a 999 airmen.
106. Harrogate, Yorksire: a sad but beautiful spot.
107. The grave of a wonderful brother… I Do Remember!
May we never forget… for the forces of evil are never far away.
Thank You and God Bless.
Stuart T. Johnson
Stuart Johnson Memorial Slide Show
Script by Stuart Johnson ~ Copyrighted
Digital Photo Conversions by Bill Hillman