Friday, October 19, 2012

For Valour opens Oct 20 @RoyalBCMuseum #yyj



For Valour honours 100 years of service in peace and war

Victoria Cross Citation and Richardson’s medal set
 
Piper James Cleland Richardson, VC
16th Battalion (the Canadian Scottish), CEF

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, prior to attack, he obtained permission from his commanding officer to play his company ‘over the top’ . . .” Partial extract from the Victoria Cross citation in London Gazette, October 22, 1918 describing the action on October 8, 1916. The Victoria Cross is the highest military award for valour in the Canadian and British system of orders, decorations and medals.


Victoria, BC – For Valour - The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) 100 years of Service in Peace and War, opens on Saturday Oct. 20 at the Royal BC Museum. This new exhibition tells their stories of valour and service in time for Remembrance events and marks the regiment’s centennial year.

For 100 years the brave men and women of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) have answered the call of duty in times of peace and war. They fought to retake Vimy and stormed the beaches of Normandy. They were on the ground to keep the peace in Bosnia/Kosovo and Afghanistan.

“This is a joint production, a partnership between the regiment and our museum,” said Tim Willis, Director of Exhibitions and Visitor Experience, Royal BC Museum. “We’re really pleased to honour a century of service, from the earliest days to recent UN peacekeeping and NATO operations.”

Photographs, letters, memorabilia and artifacts, including effects from the regiment’s mascot – a St. Bernard dog named Wallace – add touching personal vignettes of daily regimental life. Visitors can compare the evolving designs and equipment included in the battle kits and uniforms worn by regiment soldiers during the First World War, the Second World War and in modern-day Afghanistan.

“Six Victoria Crosses, and the stories they carry with them, will be brought together for only the second time in Victoria,” said Lorne Hammond, History Curator, Royal BC Museum. “The medal sets include four Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the 16th Battalion, more than any other battalion in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.”

Included in this important collection is the Victoria Cross awarded to Private James Richardson, the 20-year-old piper of the 16th Battalion, for his valiant actions at Regina Trench north of Courcelette, where he died in battle in October 1916. Richardson’s pipes will also be on display. Thought to have been lost forever in the mud of the Somme, the war-weary pipes were repatriated to Victoria in 2006 after being rediscovered in a school in Scotland.

The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) is the only infantry regiment of Canada’s Militia (army reserve) based on Vancouver Island. The Regiment originated in 1912 in Victoria as the 88th Regiment (Victoria Fusiliers). In 1920, the 88th Regiment was combined with the 50th Regiment and renamed The Canadian Scottish Regiment. Princess Mary was Colonel-in-Chief from April 24, 1930 and the change of the Regimental Title to include "Princess Mary’s" was granted on April 29, 1948.

The Regiment perpetuates the two founding Regiments above and six Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force: the 16th, 48th, 67th, 88th, 103rd and 143rd.

 
About the Royal BC Museum

As the provincial museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares the stories of British Columbia – on-site, off-site and online – through its research, collections, exhibitions, publications and educational programs. Its two-hectare cultural precinct in Victoria also includes a number of historically significant buildings and First Nations sites.

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