Lest We Forget
Robert Metcalfe
Remembrance Day, November 11th

Painting by Ruth McMillan in 1976
Shows the Head of the Rideau Canal Locks in Ottawa, Canada in 1893

October 31, 2010:

Thanks to Diane Moorhead for the following beautiful story:

Poppy - Lest We Forget
Robert Metcalfe - Veteran of WW2 on Canadian Ten Dollar Bill
If you look at the back right-hand side of a Canadian $10 bill, you will see an old veteran standing at attention near the Ottawa war memorial. His name is Robert Metcalfe and he died in 2007. That he managed to live to that age is rather remarkable, given what happened in the Second World War. Born in England , he was one of the 400,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force sent to the mainland where they found themselves facing the new German warfare technique - the Blitzkrieg. He was treating a wounded comrade when he was hit in the legs by shrapnel. En route to hospital, his ambulance came under fire from a German tank, which then miraculously ceased fire. Evacuated from Dunkirk on HMS Grenade, two of the sister ships with them were sunk. Recovered, he was sent to allied campaigns in North Africa and Italy . En route his ship was chased by the German battleship Bismarck . In North Africa he served under General Montgomery against the Desert Fox, Rommel. Sent into the Italian campaign, he met his future wife, a lieutenant and physiotherapist in a Canadian hospital. They were married in the morning by the mayor of the Italian town, and again in the afternoon by a British padré. After the war they settled in Chatham where he went into politics and became the warden (chairman) of the county and on his retirement he and his wife moved to Ottawa . At the age of 80 he wrote a book about his experiences. One day out of the blue he received a call from a government official asking him to go downtown for a photo op. He wasn't told what the photo was for or why they chose him. 'He had no idea he would be on the bill,' his daughter said. And now you know the story of the old veteran on the $10 bill.
New November 8, 2010: Greetings, I hope that this email finds you well. Pierre and I would like to tell you about an exciting opportunity that you have to become a part of Canadian history! After travelling across Canada, to Afghanistan and back, “Notes from Home” – a hand-made book containing signatures, drawings, photos and kind wishes to the soldiers in Afghanistan from over 80,000 Canadians – will be making one last stop where it all began before being donated to the Canadian War Museum. The inspiration behind the book, Sgt. Renay Groves, will be at the Barrhaven Legion tomorrow to share her inspirational story of how this book started as a dream right here in Barrhaven, and has since travelled across the world, touching and changing the lives of so many – both civilian and military. You are invited to join us on November 9, 2010 as we gather to remember those who serve our country and show our support for our soldiers both at home and abroad. There will also be an opportunity to sign the book – Note that this is the last opportunity for you to put your mark in this book. Location: The Barrhaven Legion 3500 Fallowfield Road Unit #3 Ottawa ON K2J 4A7 Date: November 9, 2010 Time: 6PM ... Austin Jean
Left to Right: Pierre Polievre, Sgt. Groves, Stephen Harper Remembrance Book -- Barrhaven Legion, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

E-mail Allan Lewis

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