Monday, 11 November 2019

Canadian War Heroes

Today is Remembrance Day, so a fitting day to remember these two Canadian soldiers from the Second World War.  Both of these figures are from Stoessi's Heroes.

First up we have Sergeant Harold Marshall, of the Calgary Highlanders Scouts and Snipers Platoon, based on this famous photo (this version is from Sgt Marshall's Wikipedia page).

This image was part of a series of photographs made when Lt Bell, a correspondent from 'Army News' stopped by the unit in October 1944 to write an article on the scouts.  More images from the shoot can be found on the website of Library and Archives Canada.

Scout Platoon commander Lt G.H. Seller

Corporal S.Kormendy

Sniper Team of Sgt Marshall and Corporal Kormendy demonstrating sniper and scouting techniques.

Here is my take on Stoessi's figure of Sgt Marshall.

Stoessi has also decided to recognise the One Man Army, Léo Major of Le Régiment de la Chaudière.  Quite an amazing man, and one whose exploits are sadly under-recognized in Canada.  He earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) three times in two different wars, but was only awarded it twice as the first time he was nominated, he refused to accept the medal as it would have been presented by Field Marshall Montgomery.  Major thought Monty was incompetent and he wasn't going to accept an award from him!  He is the only Canadian to be awarded the DCM in two different wars (his second DCM was awarded for his actions in Korea).  

Major was wounded several times, including the injury that cost him his eye.  Where many other soldiers would be grateful for a "blighty" that allowed them to be invalided home, Major insisted on returning to his unit and carried on fighting.  I can't do as much justice to his story, but recommend following the stories at the following links.

There's an hour-long documentary from Radio-Canada, in French here:

A bit more accessible is this short animated feature (although the French pronunciation is sometimes bizarre).

Here is Stoessi's Léo Major.

And here are the three Canadian heroes, including Tommy Prince.

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