Yesterday’s post on Dieppe, displayed Canada’s tragic WWII history. This recent arrival below depicts a more successful segment of Canada’s history. It is a photograph of the Canadian troops landing on Juno Beach. The ally invasion of Nazi-occupied France was central to Germany’s defeat.
A bicycle that they are unloading (on the right) isn’t what I would have initially considered essential gear. And boy does the guy on the left have a lot of gear!
The sender also remarks on another element of the photo:
“Normandy Landing, 6th June 1944. The 3rd Canadian division land in the JUNO sector.
“More from Juno Beach. I didn’t know they let guys in glasses serve in the front lines. We were at Pegasus Bridge yesterday – site of the first D-Day battle.
Bonus a square card!”
This may be the first perfectly square postcard in the Collection – round, oval, and other odd shapes are fairly common but not square ones. I wonder if the square shape better captures the aspect ratio of the original photograph?
Today is Karl Marx‘s birthday (born 1818). Marx gave the world communism and in return I offer this postcard. It is from my trip to Budapest, Hungary.
After the fall of communism there, various statues and public artworks commemorating events and figures of communism were removed (sometimes violently by the public) from their original locations and moved outside of town. The statues can now be visited at Memento Park.
We got the following postcard from our visit there:
This was such a unique place and postcard that I wanted to keep it, so I sent it to our cat.
“Hello Commrade Tabitha. Greetings from Statue Park, Budapest. We spent today learning about Communist Hungary. Let me tell you, cats like you would not have been able to lounge about all day eating cat-treat bon-bons! No, they were forced into hard labour chasing away Capitalist Pigs and rooting out Rat Traitors! Disloyal layabouts like you were sent to communist North Korea – and you can imagine what happened there! Live and learn!”
101 years ago today, the ship Titanic sank 600 kilometres off the coast of Canada. Halifax, Nova Scotia was the centre of recovery efforts, it’s also where many of the bodies found are buried. Halifax’s Maritime Museum has one of the largest collections of Titanic artefacts (read more here and here).
Last year, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking Canada Post released stamps and postcards. Here’s one of them:
This postcard, and one of the bow, are still available for sale from Canada Post. They provide details on the imagery:
This postcard shows the three propellers that were situated at the rear of the ship—two larger outer propellers and a smaller centre propeller.The postcard design offers a stunning illustration of the then largest man-made moving object in the world.
Until today, I only had one postcard in my collection from Egypt. At least a couple people have sent me postcards from there but they’ve never arrived. A friend mailed me postcards from Egypt back in February – everyone got their postcard ages before me.
I was convinced that I was under some curse and was destined by the Nile gods to never more receive any modern-day papyrus scrolls from their land.
Until today, and this arrived in my mailbox:
The practice depicted is as bad as it looks. The back side of the postcard relates some details:
“Second try. Remember I tried to send you an ancient hieroglyphic circumcision and it never got to you? Well, 13 years on and here it is again! I hope it gets to you.”
Thankfully, the Egyptian postal service seems to have improved over the years. I hope circumcision has as well.
Who needs email, telephones, or radio when the postal service can delivery postcards across the seas in less than 24 hours?! (The Internet we need for this blog, of course.)
A great patron of the Collection mailed the item below on Monday, February 3rd at 4:30 pm near London, England. I picked up the postcard the next day when I got home around 4:00 pm, Toronto time. The time zone change worked in the postal services’ favour – but still that’s oversea delivery in a day!
I have experienced (very rarely) local delivery that fast, but never international!
Suitably, the item was about a revolution in communication speed – the telegraph:
Here’s the back side of the postcard:
“Hi, [X] got a bunch of postcards from his work archives. This is my favourite. Apparently the top hat was for storing his tools!”
“Front – Birmingham telegraph engineer, 1860. The electric telegraph was invented in the Uk in 1837.
Discover more at www.bt.com/archives“
Last month, I was walking around the campus where I’m doing my PhD – University of Toronto. I noticed that one of the older buildings had a museum and was open, so naturally I went in. UofT has several little museums and collections on display throughout the various faculties and colleges, but I’d never seen this one before. It’s the the Memorial Room Museum of the Soldier’s Tower – the museum commemorates the UofT students, alumni, and staff who have served in wars, from the Fenian Raids (c. 1866) to recent international conflicts.
They have a small, but interesting collection – but perhaps one of the most interesting site they have are various, beautiful stained glass windows, as seen here:
Here’s what the window’s represent, excerpted from the museum’s website.
On the left a Private has “his hands on rifle reversed, and pays tribute to the fallen, who are portrayed in ghostly images on the right. In the background looms the impressive Vimy Memorial that commemorates Canada’s role in the Great War.In the middle window… we witness Able Seamen in the Royal Canadian Navy making a rescue at sea during the Battle of the Atlantic. The western window depicts ground crew of the Royal Canadian Air Force, servicing an aircraft. ”
This postcard represents the contributions of auxiliary service organizations, the Merchant Navy, and the following three represents women’s service in navy, army, and air force.
The museum has an interesting online tour of the museum and the building, Soldier’s Tower. But I recommend visiting it in person. Not only is it free, and they have an interesting collection and beautiful stained glass windows (not all of them were available on postcard) but the best part, for me, is they give away their postcards for free!
Today is Remembrance Day, the most important holiday of the year. I will be having a moment of silence at 11 am, although unfortunately this seems to be less observed every year.
In honour of Remembrance Day, here is a suitable postcard:
This is the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. It’s one of only two of Canada’s national historic sites outside of Canada. It commemorates the over sixty thousand Canadians who died in World War 1, but symbolically it represents the greater misery and human cost of war. As Veterans Affairs Canada‘s website puts it:
In recent times, the Vimy Memorial has come to symbolize Canada’s long commitment to peace in the world, as well as its stand against aggression, and for liberty and the rule of international law.
I hope one day to go there, but in the meantime the Vimy Foundation has put together an excellent interactive experience called Vimy Real.
“Les amis du Monument et Parc commémoratif du Canada [Friends of the Monument and Memorial Park of Canada]
La connaissance et la vérité [Knowledge and truth]”
[top] “Check out the cancellation mark” (Supposedly the interpretive centre there had a special stamp, but sadly this didn’t come through on my card. I would have loved it.)
“Hello from Vimy Ridge, the place Canada was made a nation. Going to go through the trenches now, unbelievable how close togehter they are – and how close it is to England!”