Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Royal Artillery Museum at Shilo turns 50 !

RCA Museum
On Thursday, January 26 the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) Museum at CFB Shilo turns 50 !

Admission is free for the remainder of January and they have some special hours. On the 26th they will be open from 10 am - 10 pm and on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 from 10 am - 5 pm. (It's also the weekend of Shilo's winter fair !)

Thursday will feature fireworks at 7:45 pm and at 7 pm the opening of a new exhibit from the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa called Profit and Ambition: The Canadian Fur Trade 1779 - 1821."

Strangely, their website doesn't actually mention anything that's happening at or located in the museum so check out this write up for an overview. Here are a few other things that might be of interest:

RCA Museum
The most complete collection of Canadian-made military vehicles in the world and the largest artillery collection in Canada.

In Flanders Fields
An original December 1915 Punch Magazine featuring Dr. John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields and a printing plate of his hand-written submission.

There are two Victoria Crosses on display, those of Sargent Robers Spall (left) of Montréal and Winnipegger Captain Christopher O'Kelly*. Only 1351 V.C.'s have ever been awarded, 96 of them to Canadians, so to see two together is rare.

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

If you want to make it a military remembrance sort of day, just 15 minutes up the road is the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, a national historic site. In Brandon is the The XII Manitoba Dragoons and 26 Field Regiment Museum. (Contact them to see if their hours mesh with RCA's.)


For more about Canadian Artillery history

*More on Christopher O'Kelly, V.C.

April 15, 1918, Winnipeg Free Press

When he enlisted, O'Kelly was a student at St. John's College and worked at his father's Main Street real estate firm Harrison and O'Kelly.

The V.C. was O'Kelly's second major award. He had been in the trenches for just a month when he was awarded the Military Cross for his action at Vimy Ridge.

ca. 1922 ad

In 1922 the firm's name changed to C. O'Kelly and Son. In November of that year he was presumed drowned after a boating accident near Kenora. His body was never found.

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