Posts made in April, 2017

The BRINK …are we still teetering? ? ?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Trump vs Kim  jong un.

As most of the free world held their breath with regard to threats of another World War.

Trump still rattles his proverbial Sabre as he attempts to be the biggest bully on the world stage?

The leader of North Korea will not back down to the threats from the USA a country which it deems to be the most  dangerous in the world. With a lying bullying president.

Trump’s gang in Washington are now reassessing their options after the latest Korean Missile test Crashed and burned.

As Trumpers STRUGGLE to  hastily organize a children’s Easter Egg roll on the lawns of the White House, it does make one wonder what they plan for the future of North Korea and indeed the world.

Please have a thought and a prayer for our Military and their Families.

Nil Sine Labore



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Red Friday……….. Good Friday

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

On this Good Friday (Red Friday) I send a prayer and best wishes to our Military Personnel who are serving far from home and family.  I recall from many Easter Services this passage from the King James Version of our Christian Bible:

Jesus is the Resurrection

“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”

John 11:25-26

To our military Families no matter which religion you believe in. May you all be reunited with your loved one,safely.

This photo was taken at Camp Meaford Ontario 1961 or 1962 Apprentice  Church Parade:

I am amazed at some of the e mails/comments I receive with regard to military and Veterans issues. Also the great memories that some send. This 4 minute Video from Fast Eddie Oursien  a brother Cook and fellow Veteran.

Thanks Ed for this most interesting video from Boeing.

Subject:  F-16 Drones

These fly out of Tyndell Airforce Base, Panama City, Florida.

F16 DRONES – ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE !  This is awesome!

Drone technology has advanced this far so quickly.  They are using up their obsolete F-16’s.  Not a good day for the future of manned aircraft.  Seems like the PILOT is on the endangered list.

This little four minute video is really something.  A first for a full size jet airplane.  Thousands of planes that were grave yard bound, with costs in the hundreds of millions, can now be used as never before.

These F-16’s Boeing aircraft have been in the bone yard at Davis-Monahan for 15 years, and now being used as drones.

This is a real advance for  air forces of  our allies.

On a lighter note after the dropping of MOAB by the US on isis Tunnels in Afghanistan.

Want to by a fleet of Vehicles from your Government or something quirkier like A grand BLUE Staircase from  Canada Day. Then this is the catalogue you need to peruse:

Have a happy Family Easter and stay safe Treat a Veteran with respect and please wear Red this Good Friday.

Nil Sine Labore



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Wednesday Review

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

This past week Canada and Canadian Veterans celebrated the battles of VIMY Ridge and Arras on 9 April 2017. 100 years since the original whistle blew and our men went over the top. This Link will give you a view of the Centenary Remembrances.

Meanwhile in Scotland I was proud to join with other members of our Ravenswood Banchory Legion branch, to attend the Church Service in honour of the Battle of Arras. My grandfather participated in that horrendous battle and fortunately he returned as many of his brothers in arms did not.

             My Grandfather Pte George Cadger Rae Gordon Highlanders France 1917. (Kneeling with plate)

I was sad to see that Veterans Affairs Canada treated Veterans at the Vimy Remembrances with typical indifference. I myself experienced their poor service at the Juno beach 70th in 2014. Where WW2 and specifically Normandy Veterans were treated disrespectfully. This letter from a brother apprentice and Veteran. George Girling


Well, a little disappointed after planning on coming to Vimy for 10 yrs.

Positive points: Made it! Unlimited supply of water. Hanh saw Princes, Justin and spouse .

Negative points: After 2 dry runs, still did not understand the signage for parking and shuttle. Nothing was mentioned about timing for shuttles. We left the hotel at 8am and spent an hour after arriving in Vimy trying to find parking area. We asked police, no English spoken. Finally said to hell with it and parked on the street of Vimy village. Walked about

2.5 ks, through 2 check points. Arrived about 11:30 Busses people were arriving for another hour. Not much happening and there were no speakers on grounds. The area around monument was fenced long ways back from it. Very hot day…20+ I think, very little shade. We went inside for hour and a half, a large feeding area with many tables/chairs. There was entertainment at noon, music etc but as mentioned, no speakers so unless you were very close, could not hear. Had to use toilet, very upset crowd. 16 toilets, Port–a-potys, for thousands. Line, from noon till after 5pm, at least 5-600 metres long. Took us over 30 minutes to access. Hanh and I eventually wandered to a limited shady area. Chatted with couple from Sask. They, along with us, were not impressed. Unless you were in front of barrier, nothing was visible. Except for the many gun salute, nothing was heard from the speakers.

My suggestions for the French/Canadian organizers: You cannot have too many toilets. Speakers are a must for those that cannot see. Bleachers would have been very good, all could see the programme. They had one large screen but could not see, unless in front row. They should have had a couple large screens so all could be viewed. We left at 5:30 prior to 6pm ending. We saw the VIPS arrive but left before they did. All in All, not well planned even though they had years to do so.

On to Ypres.

It is indeed sad that the VAC personnel on duty at Vimy were more impressed with Royalty than with Canadian Veterans. On the other side of opinion I add this letter from Fellow Veteran Don Cappler, who watched the ceremonies from the best seats in the house…..their recliners in their TV Room.

What a day for remembering and offering thanks and congratulations to the people of our nation CANADA. To all civilians involved in any way with the preparation, organization or participation of the VIMY tribute I tip my hat to each of you, for your stellar efforts and support, to those MILITARY members I salute your eloquence, determination and devotion to our fallen and the part you played in this wonderful ceremony…every now and then an event will instil an overwhelming feeling of pride bringing tears to one’s eyes the VIMY tribute did that today….9 April 2017….what a proud day for CANADA…….simply first class in all respects….congratulations and THANKS….

I have no doubt the CBC put on a great show, but Veterans who travelled at their own expense to VIMY were not able to see nor hear any of the events.

Meanwhile 100 years on Canadian soldiers are still fighting somewhere in the world. Will we ever learn?

  • > > > >> > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >>> > > >>> >>

I confess to be a dinosaur of sorts to many ideas in our new Military. Trans Gender military people are a NEW term to myself and I am sure to many older Veterans, as my daughter Stephanie is prone to telling me…… Get with the program Dad…

Last but by no means LEAST this was sent to me by a brother Apprentice, fellow Veteran and Friend Bob Garsnell thanks,  Newf  for a wonderful WW2 story:

Please give a thought and a prayer to our Military Families

Nil Sine Labore


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Monday Morning Meanderings written on Sunday

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Good Day,  I am writing this Blog on Sunday before leaving for Edinburgh Castle and the Centennial Remembrance and Honours service for the Battle of Arras.  I travel to Edinburgh with Veterans from my local Legion.

To the Head Honchos of the Royal Canadian Legion I will be wearing my Grandfathers Medals for the first time, he was with the Gordon Highlanders and was in the battle for Arras. So if you wish to lay charges that will mean the arrest of this Veteran upon a return to Canada. Fill your Boots.

My good friend and brother Apprentice George Girling was in the Village of Arras yesterday and today he will be in Vimy.

Sadly the Vimy celebrations are ignoring our older Veterans and information on the ground is non existent. Yet VAC representatives say they will be available for Canadians. This too happened at Juno Beach in 2014 a debacle  with External and VAC staffers, simply having a holiday at taxpayers expense instead of assisting our Veterans.

This article from George Girling in Vimy:


THE first official archaeological dig of an Anzac battleground since the end of the Great War more than a century ago will begin in the Somme in June with the French Government granting an extraordinary licence to uncover the truth behind the “lost” tanks of Bullecourt.

And in an unusual twist, the dig team will be made up of former and present Australian Defence Force and British Army personnel and specialists in DNA recovery with expectations the remains of their military forefathers who fought in that battle in Northern France will be found in the reopened trenches.

Two German officers with a captured British Army Mark II female tank. Picture: Australian War Memorial

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD), backed by the ADF, have for three years been negotiating with French authorities to conduct the dig.

The year marks the 100-year anniversary of the disastrous two battles at Bullecourt that saw 10,000 Australian casualties and 1170 Diggers taken prisoner by the Germans, a capture not matched until the fall of Singapore in World War II.

Last year, the MoD team was granted rare permission to do above-ground exploratory surveys and soil sampling, in itself controversial given the sensitivities of upsetting locals and or unearthing some of the hundreds of soldiers lost on the battlefield.

But News Corp Australia has learned this week the French Government, local authorities and landowners have granted permission to start the four-year project to conduct a full archaeological dig, retracing the diaries of WWI correspondent turned historian Charles Bean to find evidence of the tanks and trench battle lines that marked one of the biggest disasters in Australian military history.

RELATED: VC hero’s haunting final letter

Australian field artillery in action on the Western Front at Noreuil Valley, in France, during the battle for Bullecourt during World War One (WWI) in 1917. Picture: Australian War Memorial

At the direction of British High Command, Australian Imperial Forces launched two disastrous attacks on the Hindenburg Line trenches at Bullecourt in the Somme in northern France in April and May 1917 resulting in more than 10,000 Australian casualties. Picture: Australian War Memorial

Prior permissions for such searches have usually followed accidental uncovering of remains such as at Fromelles but not an active dig and set excavation.

The MoD’s chief archaeologist Richard Osgood told News Corp Australia it was the enduring respect of Australia’s contribution to France that got the project over the line as well as the geophysical survey which showed his team’s expertise.

“Local (authorities) are massively pro-allied contribution in World War I, pro-Australian which is not so unusual in this area but they are also pro-British which is unusual so that made things easier,” Mr Osgood said.

“We are well chuffed with this, it’s taken us three years to get the permit but we are there now so, it’s really good.

I’m guessing there are no complete tanks left but we are looking for the last resting place of two of them and hoping for it to be a four-year project looking at all 11 locations of them that Bean marked in the Australian diaries.”

The Digger Statue at the Australian Memorial Park, Bullecourt in France.Some 12 British tanks were to have been used in two battles about the village of Bullecourt in April and May 1917 to support two advances to break the so called Hindenburg line by the Australian 4th Division, but they were delayed then broke down and were destroyed or captured leaving the Australian troops to be slaughtered.

Ms Osgood said this year’s dig would be modest as he hoped to build rapport with the local community but all digging would be targeted with the earlier study finding strong signals for large metal objects below the surface as well as evidence of cut-outs in railway embankments and trenches which were done by the AIF.

The combined UK-Australian team will involve some former ADF personnel, veterans injured from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as current servers already in the UK under the Exercise Long Look exchange program.

Body retrieval specialists will also be brought in at some stage.

Australian soldiers at Bullecourt in the Somme in northern France in 1917. Picture: Australian War Memorial“The likelihood I must say is obviously we are looking for the tanks and trenches but with the sheer number of missing, the possibilities are pretty high that human remains will be located but we will deal with it as of when,” Mr Osgood said.

He added ordinance experts would also be on hand to deal with risk of old munitions and if human remains are found local police as well as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission would have to be called with remains passed to the MoD’s linked Cranfield University for identification of British remains and a unit within the ADF to deal with Anzacs.

Charles Bean recorded that Bullecourt, like no other, defined the pathological distrust of the British by Australian military.

“Bullecourt, more than any other battle, shook the confidence of Australian soldiers in the capacity of the British command; the errors, especially on April 10th and 11th, were obvious to almost everyone,” he recorded.

Currently in Canada  trudeau and his gang want to legalise POT  sooner than Canada Day? This is a ludicrous idea to say the least. Our whole Canadian Fabric will be changed, world travel will be impacted when one tries to travel to a destination where POT is still illegal? Trace elements on a traveller can lead to major problems in some countries.

On that note I close. Please have a thought and a prayer for our Military and our NATO  Allies.

Nil SIne Labore




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Red Friday and a new Worry for our world.

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in The Invisible Army | 0 comments

Greetings on this  Red Friday. May all our troops be safe and their families coping with their absence.

Well as you wake up this morning, you cannot miss the headlines. The Syrian regime of bashar  assad carried out a devastating, barbaric attack 2 days ago using both Chlorine Gas and possibly a derivative of the deadly SARIN. Tis attack killed and wounded many children and innocent civilians.

The USA released a counter attack against the Syrian Regime, overnight. They pounded airfields in Syria with Cruise Missiles.

I am definitely   not a trump fan BUT I do believe this action was justified. Now do the Russians and Chinese believe it was Justified. Only the next few days will determine any other response. Will this be regarded by historians as the beginning of another Cold War or heaven forbid a WORLD WAR.

Stay tuned over the next 48 hours for the world reactions to these attacks.

For those of you interested in the COST of 59 Cruise missiles see this Link:

With the world on the BRINK. I say a prayer for our Canadians who are currently serving  around the world.

With all of that news it is perhaps time to put a smile on some faces…. I speak of the Cooks of our military.

The first will bring a smile or a tear to many Veterans of field operations and or training  S P A M one of my favourite foods, whether served cold or as Spam Fritters, please enjoy this Video as you reminisce over your first meal of S P A M

A flashback to 1960…who would have thought?

And finally but by no means in any order here is a 60 year condensed video of Canadian ARMY COOKS  which I was very proud to be.         Part 2:

On that note have a great weekend, please have a thought and a prayer for our Military and their families as well as for our Veterans of all Conflicts.

Nil Sine Labore



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