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Armistice Day 11/11/1918 from a Red Deer perspective in pictures and story

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  • Armistice Day 1918

    One hundred years ago, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (i.e. November 11, 1918), the horrific First World War finally came to an end. It was one of the most momentous events in history.

    The outbreak of the War in August 1914 had been greeted with patriotic excitement. Eager young men flocked to the Red Deer Armouries to enlist. Many felt that if they did not join up as soon as possible, they would miss the “big show” before it was over by Christmas. (Click on any image to enlarge it and open gallery).

    Before long, however, the reality of modern war began to set in. The Canadians saw their first major action at St. Julien in April 1915. This great battle involved the first mass use of poison gas as a weapon on the Western Front. The Canadians won high honours for their bravery and tenacity in the horrendous conditions. Nevertheless, the casualty rate was staggering, including many from Central Alberta.

    The summer and fall of 1916 brought the epic Battle of the Somme. The first day’s assault brought 57,470 casualties for the British forces (still the worst one day loss of life in the history of the British Army). When the battle finally ended in November 1916, there were more than one million casualties. Nearly 50 young men from Red Deer and area lost their lives and roughly three times that number were wounded. Tragically, the stalemate along the Front continued.

    1917 brought some great victories for the Canadian Corps. The best remembered is the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April. However, that triumph came with a great cost. 12 young men from Red Deer and area lost their lives in the first day’s assault and another 16 were killed during the rest of the battle.

    That victory was followed by Hill 70. While that battle once again demonstrated Canadian skill and valour, more than 40 from Central Alberta became casualties.

    Passchendaele was technically a victory, but the losses of life were so horrendous and the gains so limited that it is hard to consider it as such. The Canadians suffered 16,000 casualties through an incredible sea of mud to move the line less than 9 ½ km. Sir Winston Churchill later summed up the battle as “a forlorn expenditure of valour and life without equal in futility”.

    In the spring of 1918, the Germans launched a huge, and initially successful, grand offensive. However, by summer, it had faltered. The Western Front ground into another stalemate.

    Then on August 8, 1918, the Allied High Command launched a major offensive with the Canadians as one of the key units in the great assault. The successes by the Canadian Corps at the French city of Amiens were truly impressive. A huge hole was punched through the German defences.

    German morale was permanently shattered. German General Eric Ludendorff described the commencement of the Battle of Amiens as the “black day of the German Army in the history of the War”.

    The great Allied victory turned out to be the first of a string of major successes, collectively known as The 100 Days. The German armies were soon rapidly falling back from their frontal positions in Northern France and Belgium. The Canadians, as some of the very best assault troops in the Allied forces, often led the push forwards.

    On September 27, 1918, the Battles of Canal du Nord and Cambrai commenced. By the time that the City of Cambrai was captured in October, the Canadians had scored one of the most impressive tactical victories of the War.

    Once again, the costs had been enormous. From August to October 11, 1918, more than 40,000 Canadians had either been killed or wounded (20% of the total Canadian losses of the War).

    Hence, the community greeted the pending news of the end of the War with as much of a sense of relief as one of rejoicing. Nearly 120 local young men had lost their lives. A great many others suffered wounds to their bodies and their minds. The terrible toll of the war was amplified by the fact that several of the returning veterans were bringing home a new scourge, the Spanish Influenza.

    In early November, the Canadians were advancing towards the Belgian city of Mons, where the fighting for the British forces had commenced in August 1914. It was a highly symbolic objective.

    On November 7, the local C.P.R. employees were given a half-day holiday on the rumour that a cease-fire agreement had already been signed. On November 8, one of the local weekly newspapers printed two editions in order to keep up with the rapid succession of announcements and rumours.

    On Monday, November 11 at 1:30 a.m., word was received that all hostilities would cease on all fronts at 11 a.m., London time. Just as the fighting came to an end, the Canadians captured Mons. Thus, the Great War ended where it had begun.

    The local papers quickly printed a special issue with the news. Mayor G. W. Smith declared a half-day public holiday. Plans were also quickly made for a civic celebration despite the Board of Health’s injunction against any public gatherings.

    At 12:30 p.m., all the bells and whistles in the city broke out in a thirty- minute peal of rejoicing. Patriotic songs were played on a special calliope that had been set up at the Western General Electric steam plant.

    A crowd of returned veterans, local dignitaries and ordinary citizens paraded through the streets with the Red Deer Community Band and the local Fire Brigade taking the lead. The throngs then gathered in what is now City Hall Park for a ceremony of celebration and thanksgiving.

    There were numerous speeches and choruses of songs. Helen Moore Dawe and Ruth Locke led the crowd in the singing. A gramophone was used to broadcast a special address by Sir Thomas White, the federal Minister of Finance. Mayor G.W. Smith asserted in his speech that this was “the most important day in history since the death of Jesus Christ”.

    In the evening, there was a huge bonfire on the City Square accompanied by the shooting of fireworks. City Council also treated a large number of veterans to a special civic banquet.

    Tragically, the joys over the end of the War were quickly dampened by a renewed outbreak of the flu caused by the large public gatherings. By the time that the great pandemic abated towards the end of the year, the flu claimed 54 lives locally.

    Nevertheless, people fervently prayed that they had just witnessed the end of “The War to End All Wars”.

    Michael Dawe

    November 11, 2018

     

     


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    Watch: Red Deer Hospital Lottery Tickets Just $25

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  • Red Deer Hospital Lottery 2019 Cause:  Pyxis Medstations

    Pyxis Medstations are automated medication dispensing units with numerous electronic features to ensure safety, accuracy and efficiency.

    In our hospital, over 1,000 new medication orders are written by prescribers and processed every day. 13,000 units of medication are dispensed on the care areas every 24 hours. The process for dispensing this medication is paper-based and manual with nurses selecting medication from a patient drawer or from the unit supply.

    Patient safety is of utmost concern in our hospital, and the Pyxis system will help ensure the best possible healthcare for Central Albertans. Automated medication dispensing will ensure possible allergies, drug interactions, and duplicates in therapy are reviewed before medication is given, reduce the chances of a patient receiving the wrong medication, only allow access to medications approved for that patient, warn if a medication is selected too early or too late for a patient, provide additional instruction and information on medications to healthcare providers, enhance communication between the pharmacy and nursing.

    The technology will further ensure medication dispensing safety with ‘bedside medication verification’. Once a medication has been selected for a patient, the nurse will scan the patient file at the bedside before administering the medication to that patient.2019 proceeds will be used to purchase Pyxis Medstations for use in emergency, the intensive care unit, operating room, recovery room, unit 22 (cardiology), & other critical care areas at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

    Red Deer Hospital Lottery  Proceeds from the Lottery have exceeded $8.5 million since its inception; the lottery has become a huge success and has plenty to celebrate!

    For a fifth exciting year we are proud to partner with Sorento Custom Homes for the 2019 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home!

    The 2019 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home, designed by Sorento Custom Homes, makes a strong statement of luxury and design. This $840,000 bungalow features 3,110 sq ft of developed living space. It’s a perfect family home with 3 bedrooms, 2 1⁄2 baths, and a master chef kitchen with adjoining butler pantry. You’ll love the high vaulted ceilings in the main living space, accented with wood beams & two large skylights, plus a full height brick fireplace. Enjoy the convenience of the 5 piece ensuite, connecting to a large walk-in closet and adjoining laundry room. Finish off this beautiful unique home with an impressive wet bar, and $40,000 worth of gorgeous furnishing provided by The Brick. Our Dream Home is located in the community of Laredo on the south east corner of Red Deer.

    There are 100 prizes to be won valued at more than $1.1 million. This year’s Early Bird prize is: $25,000 Cash!

    Don’t forget the MegaBucks 50 Raffle with a minimum cash payout of $100,000. Last year’s winner took home $250,000!
    2019 proceeds will be used to purchase Pyxis Medstations, automated medication dispensing units with numerous electronic features to ensure safety for patients at the Red Deer hospital, and accuracy and efficiency for hospital staff.

    Tickets for the Lottery are $25 each, 5 for $100 or 15 for $250 Call 403.340.1878 or toll-free at 1.877.808.9005.

    Mega Bucks 50 tickets are $10 each, 10 for $25, and 25 for $50. To order online or for more details visit reddeerhospitallottery.ca

    The show home is open to the public beginning March 15 at 1pm. Show home hours are March 15 – March 31, Daily 1-5 p.m.; Starting April 1, Friday – Sunday 1-5 p.m. Closed Good Friday, open Easter Sunday.

    Early Bird cutoff is 11pm May 27, 2019. Final Ticket Sales cutoff is 11 pm June 24, 2019.

     


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    Students Celebrate Reading in a big way at St. Thomas Aquinas

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  • From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

    St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School celebrated literacy this week (March 18-22) to build community through reading, writing, fine arts and special guests. This special week is celebrated annually to remind students about the importance of literacy.
    “Along with our faith, literacy is the foundation of everything else we do. This week we have been promoting literacy in a more community-minded way. Students from Grade 6-9 have been invited to interact through a variety of activities throughout the school during classes and at lunch. Nine guest readers have been brought in to read to each of the classes, as well as an author to do writers workshops with our keen and budding authors. Other activities included graffiti, book art, word games and book donations all culminating with a Pajama and Flashlight Day,” Assistant-Principal, Leo Chauvet at St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School.
    “Literacy week has affected me because it taught me how to be a better author in the Writer’s Workshop and also showed me some ways that I can use old books for different crafts in Recycled Book Art,” said Grade 8 student Janelle Constantino at St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School.


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    march, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    sat30mar - 31mar 3010:00 ammar 319th Annual Central Alberta Family Expo10:00 am - 5:00 pm (31)

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