Remembrance Day services recognize the roles
played by thousands of Canadians who served in
the armed forces over the last century
and more. Onoway Museum is fortunate to have in
its collection military
artifacts and many archival documents that give
us just a hint of what these
servicemen and women experienced. Some items in
the museum's collection are not
what would come to mind when you think of the
military. Here's a look at the "unimportant"
parts of a soldier's time in service.
You wouldn't think
that soldiers had "textbooks"
about every aspect of army training. Ted
Looker's compact 5"x7½"
handbook, published in 1940, was one of many
addressing different aspects of
training of the infantry. This volume covers
everything from how to march and
salute to detailed illustrations of the
different rifles; from protection
against gases to how to dig a weapon pit; from
hand-to-hand fighting to what to
carry in your haversack (backpack). [The
"housewife", a small case
for needles and thread, is to be kept in the
pack which is usually carried on
the platoon truck.] The importance of sanitation
and personal hygiene is
stressed in this manual; statistics are cited
from previous wars showing the
huge numbers of soldiers who suffered from
disease rather than injuries.
Canadian Army Training Pamphlet,
A General Instructional
Background for the
used by M15 C. E. Looker
worn shaving kit in canvas pack
gave soldiers a small Bible
or book of readings.
standard equipment but this one is unique.
Robert J. Russell scratched dates and names of
Japanese prison camps all over
the sides of his tin water canteen. His time as
an American prisoner of war in
the Philippines shows moves to several camps
during 1941 and 1942 - Bataan,
returning home, how elated they must have been!
Ted Looker even saved the bag filled with lunch
given to him when he returned
home after serving five years overseas.
etched with names of prison camps in the
The Good Luck
bag usually contained sweets, food,
coupons, information about job placements.
Let us remember all
those who served in the forces to enable
Canadians to live the comfortable life we have