Maybe we forget – Stain on the flag – Prince Rupert North view

Maybe we forget - Stain on the flag - Prince Rupert North view

Located on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, its exotic fishing boats and rocks, also proudly standing directly above the green waters, are near the Italian city of Tortona, where dream holiday gateways are photographed on modern photo HD digital cameras. It contrasts with the granular black and white paintings of a village that collapsed 77 years ago when elite German paratroopers planted booby traps and bombs while the Canadian army fought for possession of crumbling buildings and dirt roads.

In the city’s cemetery today, the bodies of 1,375 everlasting Canadian sons are buried under plain white headstone markers engraved with their names.

Body Arthur Swanson is a name marked in this resting place at a distance of more than 7 km0 km from Prince Rupert Mati all over the world.

In early December 1943, in the mud and rain, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Armored Brigade engaged in the deadliest battle of the Italian campaign. German troops, hardened by years of war, were relentless in their defense of the bombed-out buildings when mainly fresh-faced Canadian opponents, including the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the Seaforth Highlanders, overturned the tables. From street to street, from house to house and from room to room, Canadians paved the way for victory by securing the city three days after Christmas.

The battle was described by soldiers as a bloody December, with heavy casualties and casualty accidents.

Physical Arthur Swanson was a Mattis soldier and a mechanical engineer working on tanks and artillery during the war. He grew up in Alberta and was admitted as a young man as soon as possible, said his daughter Brenda Stace-Smith. Northern view.

After completing basic training, Swanson was sent to England to complete further training. When the last call for war came for his regiment they were sent to unknown places. In July 1943, he boarded the MS Battery which took the young soldiers to their first combat encounter.

Brenda said that when she was younger, her dad sometimes talked about ton rtona. She remembers being called to the living room by her father one day. He was excited and turned his attention to a TV clip showing a photograph of soldiers sitting on top of rocks in front of a church on Christmas Day.

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“You can see all these men sitting on the ground around this long table for Christmas dinner. My dad was sitting at that table in Ortona. ”

Brenda said she was told to gather men and eat in shifts.

“They ate roasted pork, mashed potatoes, nuts, gravy, and apples. They sang Christmas carols and thought about their families back home, ”he said.

Many Matisse soldiers sat together because they spoke Cree, a language that did not explain to the Germans.

“It was like coded language for them,” Brenda said.

One of the memorable highlights Arthur shared with his children was the time he took part in the Fellow Troop Peep Rally where British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery spoke to troops before deploying to the Mediterranean campaign.

Soldiers continued to give postings in Holland, France, Belgium and Germany after the bloody December in Ton Rtona, while Arthur served in all locations until the end of the war.

Physically Swanson became a well-equipped soldier during his service in Canada. She wore the 1939-45 Star, the Italy Star, the France Star, the Germany Star, the Defense Medal, and the Canadian Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, all proudly wearing a uniform on the top of her heart.

While Arthur served shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers on an equal footing, when the Matisse Veterans returned home they were not exactly. Indigenous and Matis soldiers forgot. They were not allowed the same benefits or support as other veterans.

After returning to Canada when the war ended, Arthur met his wife Lily, who had two children, and moved to Prince Rupert in 1949, where his family grew to ten children.

Arthur made life for himself and for Lily on the North Coast. He became a longshoreman and went to B.C. for Salmon. Fished ashore, Alaskan seas for halibut and once Newfoundland for herring. Arthur and Lily went to Port Edward where he became a marine engineer. He continued to work until retirement, contributing to his community all the time but never received the same benefits and recognition for the combat efforts made by other returning soldiers.

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“Arthur was a kind and respectful man who loved his family very much,” Brenda said. “He was not identified as P a when the wear was finished. He did not identify Matiz as a veteran at the time.”

“When they returned they were promised education and training and they got nothing out of it,” he said.

There are some who would say this treatment, forgetting this, this inequality is a stain on the Canadian flag.

In November 2000, the Government of Canada erected a plaque at the Piazza Plebiscito in Ortona, recognizing Bloody December as Canada’s National Historical Event, “a symbol of the Canadian Army’s efforts in the Italian campaign during World War II.”

But, it was not until 2017, 72 years after the end of World War II, that the signing of the Canada-Matisse Nation Accord was agreed by the Government of Canada that Matisse’s veteran leaders needed the necessary address.

“The Matisse Veterans Legacy Program recognizes the misconceptions experienced by World War II veterans upon their return to Canada. Many of our Metis veterans were systematically discriminated against by Veterans Affairs Canada. The Matiz Veterans website states that they have not received the support, resources or promises that their non-Matis colleagues have enjoyed.

“The importance of apologizing to Canada was echoed by all of our people. On September 10, 2019, Canada issued a formal formal apology for the neglect and unfair treatment of our veterans during their service at WWII. ”

The Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense, Lawrence M. A Cowley, issued an apology statement which can be found on the website.

“We are sorry that our country has taken three-quarters of a century to address the concerns of the Matisse veterans who joined Canada’s arsenal to enter World War II. They left this country because they did not know the enemy they were facing, or the countries and people they were defending. Nonetheless, he was instrumental in Canada’s actions in protecting fundamental rights and freedoms around the world. ”

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In kto. Arthur was not present at the body on July 20, 1990. The colorful autumn leaves fell from the trees in the background as a small family group surrounded his widow Lily Swanson, who was sitting at a table decorated with small nests. The gathering was underestimated by Arthur’s contribution to his country and his large military service.

Chili sits in front of a cell phone lily, outside the Acropolis Manor Seniors Home in Prince Rupert in the air. It was from this cell phone that he received a long-standing ‘thank you for service’ and posthumous apology from the Government of Canada. It is only 75 years and 50 875050 km away from a small town on the Adriatic Sea.

“Today’s belief is that my father was 75 years old. He received an official apology from the minister for never being recognized. It’s been a long emotional process, “said Brenda. “I’m grateful they’ve finally recognized Mattis Veterans.”

Physical Arthur Swanson once told his children, “There are horrible things in war that man should never see, or never forget.”

Maybe we forget.


KJ Miller | Journalist
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Photo provided by Brenda Stace-Smith Corporal Arthur Swanson, served in Orton, Italy during the historic historic battle during World War II during bloody December.

Photo provided by Brenda Stace-Smith Corporal Arthur Swanson, served in Orton, Italy during the historic historic battle during World War II during bloody December.

Retired Second World P Te Arthur Swanson died in 2004, and as a Matisse he did not receive recognition or benefits from other soldiers.  75 years after the end of WWI on November 5, 1945 - his widow Lily Swanson received a government official pardon on October 30, 2020.

Retired Second World P Te Arthur Swanson died in 2004, and as a Matisse he did not receive recognition or benefits from other soldiers. 75 years after the end of WWI on November 5, 1945 – his widow Lily Swanson received a government official pardon on October 30, 2020.

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