Exhibition chronicles the last, not-so-glorious days of the war horse

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Stephen J thorne

Alfred James Munnings/CWM/19710261-0443

Exhibition chronicles the last, not-so-glorious days of the war horse


It’s unlikely that artist Alfred Munnings grasped the full significance his work would come to take on after Lord Beaverbrook invited him to paint Canadian military forces in France in 1918.

It was, after all, the swan song of the war horse as it had been known for centuries and Munnings, who specialized in equine and landscape art would, over the course of the war’s final months, create a priceless record of the cavalry’s last days serving in a widely integrated role on the battlefield.His moody, exquisitely subtle paintings also provide a rare glimpse into the workings of the Canadian Forestry Corps, which supplied the lumber for trench works, railways and other critical wartime infrastructure.

In its latest exhibition, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa—home to the 15,000-piece Beaverbrook Collection of War Art—celebrates the work of the British-born painter whose subject matter would move from the fox hunts and refined equestrian ladies of his native England to the mud- and sweat-soaked workhorses and cavalry chargers of the Western Front.



Silk Scarves
Military Milestones

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Photo ID: JSC2000-05266.

The first Canadian to go to space heralds the importance of celestial travel


On Nov. 30, 2000, Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau blasted off in the space shuttle Endeavour, beginning his third and final space mission. By the time he returned to Earth on Dec. 11, he had spent more than 677 hours of his career in space.

Garneau started out in Halifax as a naval officer and engineer in 1973. In 1983, he became an instant celebrity in Canada when he was one of six candidates chosen (from nearly 4,300 applicants) to become astronauts.

Space shuttle Challenger took off on Oct. 5, 1984. For the next eight days, Garneau, a payload specialist on the mission, conducted 10 experiments. He studied physical characteristics of Earth’s upper atmosphere and space, as well as human adaptation to space flight.



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