Category Archives: Legion Magazine

100 year-old Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

From the Legion Magazine.


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Front lines
Jaye Edwards: A woman pilot in wartime Britain

Jaye Edwards:
A woman pilot in wartime Britain

Story and photography by Stephen J. Thorne

As a child, Stella Joyce (Petersen) Edwards was always pushing boundaries.

She grew up in Kent, England, the third daughter of an Australian trader, and whether it was scaling walls, climbing trees or riding her bicycle off into the countryside, Jaye, as she became known to her compatriots, was an adventurer.

“I think I was always a bit wild,” admits Edwards, now a century-old resident of Vancouver and one of three surviving women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).

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Christmas in Ortona Commemorative Print for only $6.99
Military Milestones
The Battle of Ortona begins

The Battle of Ortona begins

Seventy-five years ago, under cover of darkness on the night of Dec. 5-6, 1943, Canadian troops in Italy began a nearly month-long campaign that would end with the capture of Ortona.

In July 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily, opening a new front. After the capture of Sicily and the surrender of the Italians, they chased the Germans north through Italy, facing stiff resistance with every yard gained. The plan was to advance up the Adriatic coast to Ortona, then strike inland to Rome.

At the end of November, the Allies were bogged down, Germans dug in on the far side of the Moro River. The Canadians were tasked to cross the river, head up the valley, break through German lines and capture Ortona.

They began with an attack involving the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. The PPCLI took and defended their objective, but San Leonardo remained outside the Canadians’ grasp. The German 90th Panzer Division rushed from Venice to block the offensive.

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This week in history
On this date: December

December 8, 1941

The Battle of Hong Kong begins, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Revera Living

Win an iPad + Free Christmas in Ortona Print!

From the Legion Magazine.


Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

From the Legion Magazine.


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Front lines
Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

Reginald Wise:
Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

Reginal Wise, the 94-year old former sniper who grew up in London and would eventually settle in British Columbia, was 100 yards back down the line doing his best to suppress the German fire when a messenger arrived, summoning him forward.

Wise and the rest of his Royal Marine commandos were advancing on a German position in Northern Italy when a landmine took out a track on their lead tank and everything ground to a halt.

Almost immediately, a German MG-42 or MG-08 machine gun, firing up to 20 rounds a second, had pinned down the British troops.

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Military Milestones
WW I Collection 5-Volume Set – Only $49.99!

Sir Arthur Currie, a national hero

Sir Arthur Currie, the first Canadian soldier to command the Canadian Corps during the First World War, died a national hero Nov. 30, 1933, aged 58.

Respected for his military acumen, he perfected battle strategies and honed his men into elite assault troops whose string of victories during Canada’s Hundred Days played no small part in winning the war. But he made political enemies who assaulted and tarnished his reputation.

A militia officer before the war, Currie began his military career as commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, which fought in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915, Canada’s first major engagement. His talent noted, he rose to commander of the 1st Canadian Division in 1915. He helped plan the Canadian attack on Vimy Ridge, where the British and French armies had previously lost thousands in unsuccessful assaults.

Part of the strategy was to ensure every soldier knew his task. Ordinary troops were supplied with maps and photographs of objectives. The plan was carefully co-ordinated, a 100-yard advance every three minutes behind a rolling barrage, a moving curtain of artillery fire.

With victory came a new sense of nationhood, both for those at the front and those on the home front.

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Military Milestones
On this date: November

November 30, 2000

Space Shuttle Endeavour launches with Canadian astronaut
Marc Garneau aboard, on his third and final space flight.

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Cyber Monday Bonus Offer! Win an iPAD contest!

From the Legion Magazine.


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Legion Magazine

Choose our next cover for The Battle of Ortona!

From the Legion Magazine.


Black Friday Deals coming soon......
Front lines
The seizing of Europe’s bells

The seizing of Europe’s bells

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

The bells that rang out across allied nations after the First World War ended what for many had been a four-year silence enforced by regulation in some places and imposed by confiscation in others.

In Germany and across Europe, tens of thousands of bronze bells—some imparting “the songs of the angels” since the 12th century—had been seized and melted down for arms and munitions.

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Prisoners of War – Awarded GOLD for Best Interactive Site!

“Prisoners of war” special feature awardedGOLD for Best Interactive Story 2018
At the 2018 Canadian Online Publishing Awards in Toronto on Nov. 14, Legion Magazine was awarded Gold for Best Interactive Story for “Prisoners of War.” The win marks the third time in the past three years Legion Magazine has won awards in this category, with a Gold in 2017 for “Cold Comfort” and a Silver in 2016 for “Blood in the Mud.”

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New Christmas Cards!
Military Milestones
Crime, Canadian Style

Gerda Munsinger: spy or party girl?

“If a woman wants to make a career for herself, she must learn to listen. When men want to talk, I let them talk,” said the woman behind the sex scandal that rocked the country in the 1960s.

Listening is a good skill for a mistress—or a spy, as Gerda Munsinger was suspected of being when she had relationships with at least two Canadian cabinet ministers.

The German beauty was born in Konigsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), in 1929 and lost track of her family during the Second World War. After the war, she had an affair with an officer of the KGB, the Russian spy and security agency. She frequently crossed between East and West Germany, raising suspicions of espionage in American border police, who arrested her in 1949.
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Choose our next cover for The Battle of Ortona

Choose our next cover for
The Battle of Ortona

Late in 1943, Canadian troops attacked the German-held Italian city of Ortona. The goal was to push up the eastern coast, then swing inland on a road leading straight to Rome. In fierce fighting, Canada prevailed in Ortona’s labyrinth of death. Read about the day-by-day battles—street by street, house by house, and hand to hand—in THE BATTLE OF ORTONA.

Pick up a copy of The Battle of Ortona on newsstands across Canada starting February 1.

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