We don’t often share much of the day to day goings on at the Museum so I thought perhaps I’d write briefly about three recent visitors to the museum.
On September 25, I was pleased to meet Mr Robert Catsburg of Holland who is just wrapping up his third historical account of fighting which took place in Holland during WWII. POLDERFIGHTING is a detailed account of the 8th brigade near Oostburg, from 20 to 30 october 1944. It is based on the message log of the brigade, containing all radio messages and numerous other sources including many German and Dutch.The volume amounts 300 pages and will be translated and published in Canada in 2016 or 2017.
Robert shared a draft of his book which made clear the incredible amount of research he had done on the British, Canadian and Germany units involved, and on the significant impact this had on the local Dutch population.
We were happy to contribute in a small way to his project (the QOR were part of this action) and are certainly looking forward to a copy of the English translation when it is completed!
The strangest of coincidences led me to meeting Mark Dalton at the annual Upper Canada College Association Day event on September 26. While he was looking for the UCC archivist, I overhead him mention he name to another staff member and took the opportunity to introduce myself. While we’d exchanged emails in the past, we’d never actually met but Mark will be familiar to many in the QOR family as the son of Lieutenant Colonel Elliot Dalton who was among, if not THE first to step ashore as a Company Commander on Juno Beach on D-Day. Incredibly, his uncle Charles commanded the other company in the first wave.
Mark told me he had actually planned to head over to Casa LOma to see the museum again so we met there and took a tour of our new layout and exhibits plus a bit of a “Curator’s backroom tour” as well. Mark snapped a photo of the piece of a landing craft that we have on display that was brought back by his father after the war. Mark and his wife and daughter are about to head over to France this week where among other activities, they will be visiting the Juno Beach Centre.
Mark has also kindly offered to temporarily loan us some albums that belonged to his father so that we can scan the information they contain and we are certainly looking forward to tackling that project!
During the following week I was very pleased to give a tour to Mr. Arthur Manville who is the Honorary Librarian of the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI). Arthur has no military background but his interest in things military began in the mid-l960s when he was living in Ottawa and became an Associate Member of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Officers’ Mess. From that developed an interest in military history and he became an enthusiastic collector of British campaign medals. For many years he was a member of The Military Historical Society (London) and The Society for Army Historical Research (London), and then began writing in 1983 after a trip to India and Pakistan with the MHS visiting regimental centres. He is very much a student of military history and an amateur military historian, having had articles published in the above society journals, RCMI Year Books and for the past several years in RCMI Members’ News. He has been a member of RCMI Library Committee since 1996 and was appointed Honorary Librarian 2001. Arthur was accompanied on his tour by Mr. Jim Lutz who is a member of our Museum Board of Governors and the RCMI.