August 12, 2020

Winnipeg
31° C, Fair

Full Forecast

Close this

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Coming home: museum displays Victoria Cross medals

Museum displays Victoria Cross medals

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/8/2014 (2198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THE three original Victoria Cross medals awarded to the "Pine Street Boys" will be on display beginning today at the Manitoba Museum.

Lt. Robert Shankland, Sgt. Maj. Frederick William Hall and Cpl. Lionel B. Clarke were boys from the same block of Pine Street, which was renamed Valour Road in 1926 by the City of Winnipeg. They all fought for Canada in the First World War.

Each was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour, for their separate valiant actions.

Their three Valour Road Victoria Cross medals will be on display in the foyer of the Manitoba Museum beginning today, 100 years to the day of the declaration of war by Canada, until the end of Veterans Week on Nov. 14.

The Victoria Crosses of Valour Road Exhibit is on loan from the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, which acquired the three medals over a three-year period from 2009 to 2012, to safeguard the medals as artifacts of great significance to Canadian heritage.

"These medals were granted to regular guys from Winnipeg," said Maj. Paddy Douglass of Winnipeg, a member of a group that was instrumental in bringing the Great War Centenary Exhibit to Winnipeg.

"They were just regular guys who were put into extraordinary circumstances and performed extraordinarily."

The official opening ceremonies will be today at 1:30 p.m. in the Alloway Hall of the Manitoba Museum and is open to the public.

The medals, on display under strict security, will be transferred to the Manitoba Museum display during the opening ceremonies in the presence of soldiers drawn from the ranks of the successor units to the original units with which the three Valour Road Victoria Cross recipients served.

Soldiers from the Governor General's Foot Guards of Ottawa, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada will form up as a Quarter Guard during the transfer ceremony.

Douglass said Manitobans should take the rare opportunity to see the medals back in Winnipeg.

photos by Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press 
Maj. Paddy Douglass and Tony Glen, of the Canadian War Museum, hold the Pine Street Boys� First World War medals, including three Victoria Crosses,  that will be on display at the Manitoba Museum beginning today until Nov. 14.

photos by Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press Maj. Paddy Douglass and Tony Glen, of the Canadian War Museum, hold the Pine Street Boys� First World War medals, including three Victoria Crosses, that will be on display at the Manitoba Museum beginning today until Nov. 14.

"This is their (Manitobans') history. It's the history of this city. This city was a thriving city in the early part of the last century. This is just a testament to how many people felt that patriotic fervour when the war came about," Douglass said.

"It's not about them wanting to go to war. It's about them wanting to serve their country."

Shankland was the only one of the three Valour Road Victoria Cross recipients to survive the war. Both Clarke and Hall died in battle.

The Victoria Crosses of Valour Road project is a collaborative effort of the Royal Military Institute of Manitoba (RMIM), the Manitoba Museum and the Canadian War Museum. The exhibit is co-chaired by Hanna Peters, the exhibits manager of the Manitoba Museum, and retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Tabbernor of the RMIM.

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for "valour in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories.

It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals. It may be awarded to a person of any rank, in any service and to civilians under military command.

The VC was introduced on Jan. 29, 1856, by Queen Victoria. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,356 times to 1,353 individual recipients.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 8:24 AM CDT: corrects sentence

The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.

To submit a letter:
• fill out the form on this page, or
• email letters@freepress.mb.ca, or
• mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us