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The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


A long-awaited history of this important Canadian regiment, The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812 looks at this military unit from its beginnings in the early days of the 19th century to its disbanding in 1817. Best known for its perilous Winter March through the wilderness of New Brunswick to the battlefields of Upper Canada, the 104th was a British unit whose early role in the War of 1812 was to defend the Maritimes. In 1813, it was ordered to Upper Canada and took part in a raid on the American naval base at Sackets Harbor, New York. From there, they were sent to the Niagara Peninsula and fought in the Battle of Beaver Dams. Returning to Kingston, parts of the regiment fought in the Battle of Lundy's Lane and took part in the siege of Fort Erie, during which their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel William Drummond, was killed. The 104th fought its last action at Lyon's Creek in October 1815. The end of the war in 1815 saw the regiment in Montreal, where it disbanded in 1817.

Although styled as a New Brunswick regiment, it drew its members from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Upper and Lower Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland. The story of the 104th can be seen as a truly national endeavour, whereby "British Americans" in British North America, and Britons alike, defended those colonies from foreign aggression. After the war, many of the veterans remained in British North America and helped to build what would eventually become Canada. Today there are a few memorials, a bridge named in the regiment's honour, and a few artifacts, but the story of the 104th has largely been forgotten. The bicentenary of the War of 1812 has revived interest in this regiment — the only regular regiment of the British Army to be raised and employed on this continent during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. This history of the 104th relies upon period correspondence, reports, diaries, and journals to describe the exploits of this famous unit.

The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot in the War of 1812 is volume 21 of the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series..

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John R. Grodzinski is an assistant professor of history at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of Defender of Canada: Sir George Prevost and the War of 1812 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013) and editor of The War of 1812: An Annotated Bibliography (Routledge, 2007). He has contributed articles to a number of journals and has also authored chapters for several books. Grodzinski appeared in a PBS documentary on the War of 1812 in 2011, an episode of "Battlefield Detectives," and has been a commentator on the War of 1812 for the Discovery Channel and CBC Radio. He is a popular speaker and has addressed historical groups throughout Canada and in the United States. Grodzinski is also editor of the on-line "War of 1812 Magazine" and, over the last decade, has organized and led over 80 battlefield tours to sites related to the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence, and the War of 1812. He lives in Kingston.

 
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Bamboo Cage

Vance, Jonathan F. (Hrsg.) | Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


In 1942, RAF flight controller Robert Wyse became a Japanese prisoner of war on the island of Java in Indonesia. Starved, sick, beaten, and worked to near-death, he wasted away until he weighed only seventy pounds, his life hanging in tenuous balance. There were strict orders against POWs keeping diaries, but Wyse penned his observations on the scarce bits of paper he could find, struggling to describe the brutalities he witnessed. After cleverly hiding his notes in a piece of bamboo next to his bed, in December of 1943, he carefully hid his notes inside a bottle beneath his prison hut. After the war, he wrote to the Dutch authorities, asking them to dig up his diary and return it to him. In this detailed and frank portrayal of life under Japanese occupation, Wyse reveals the both the best and the worst of human nature. He criticized his fellow soldiers for botching the defence of Java and Sumatra and admonished his captors for their brutality. Yet, Wyse also describes the selfless efforts of the Dutch civilians who helped the prisoners by doing whatever they could as well as his first-hand observations of acts of self-sacrifice among the prisoners themselves.

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Jonathan Vance is a professor and Canadian Research Chair in Conflict and Culture in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario. He has been interested in the history of prisoners of war for over thirty years and has written several books on the topic, including The Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment.

 
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Riding Into War

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


On the ghastly battlefields of the First World War, Jimmie Johnston drove teams or pack horses carrying ammunition and hauling guns to the front lines. One night, Johnston was hauling guns back from the front line. Suddenly, in the darkness and pouring rain, he, his team, the wagon, and the guns pitched into an old trench. After disentangling the horses from their harness, Johnston found a trenching tool, dug away the side of the trench, and led the horses out of what had become a sea of mud. Then he harnessed them again, took them back to camp, cleaned them up, and returned to the trench to find the wagon blown to bits by German fire.

Jimmie Johnston, the farm boy, endured nearly three years under constant artillery fire. Two decades after the war ended, he wrote this memoir of his wartime experiences on a trip back to Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. In Riding into War, Johnston marvels at how jokes and pranks and the funny side of even the most terrible events have stuck in his mind. Yet, even in the face of horror and suffering, his sense of humour rarely deserted him. The scenes he relates destroyed many men's sanity, but Johnston's ability to laugh and the practical need to care for his horses no doubt contributed to his recovery. After the war, he says, "my nerves were not too good, and I remember a lot of nights I would get up when no one else was around and have to go for a long walk." But, he concludes, "After some time, this seemed to wear off and soon back to a new life again."

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"Riding into War is the best memoir now in print relating to logistics. It explores the forgotten heroics of feeding and arming the Canadian Corps during the First World War."

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James Robert Johnston (1898-1976) grew up on a farm at Notre Dame, New Brunswick. Knowing nothing about the army, he enlisted in April 1916, when he was 18, and was posted to the transport section of the Canadian machine gun corps. Johnston served at Vimy, at Hill 70, Lens, Ypres, Valenciennes, and other places, and finally at Passchendaele. He was gassed, watched Billy Bishop give a flying demonstration, and saw the bodies of 200 young soldiers in a neat line, killed to a man as they went "over the top." By chance, Johnston arrived in London on leave on November 11, 1918. After the war, back home in Moncton, Johnston spent most of his postwar career working for the Canadian National Railway and as an independent surveyor. In 1964, he toured the battlefields he remembered so vividly. The memoir he wrote during that tour has become Riding into War, his unique tribute to the dependence and affection between men and horses, heroic partners in the War to End All Wars.

 
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War on the Home Front

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Daniel MacMillan never saw the battlefields of Passchendaele or Vimy Ridge. A farmer in the tiny New Brunswick community of Williamsburg, he experienced the Great War entirely from the "home front." War on the Home Front: The Farm Diaries of Daniel MacMillan, 1914-1927 is a portrait of the other side of war from the perspective of a man who, like countless families across North America, had no choice but keep on going with his life as sons, nephews, brothers and fathers fought and died on battlefields worlds away. As MacMillan's moving wartime diaries reveal, these years took a terrible toll on him, his family, his farm, and his community. A fascinating chronicle of wartime life, Daniel MacMillan expressed the fear, anxiety and uncertainty as well as the sense of duty and fortitude that characterized the war experience on an individual level, making the tragic four-year event much clearer in diary form than in second-hand reports. His insider's account of supplying money, men, equipment, and especially food for the country and the troops documents the often unnoticed sacrifices of rural people in wartime and their post-war struggles to recover. The diary is also a testament to the loyalty of the people of Stanley parish, who mobilized the churches, women's groups and other institutions to provide aid to the troops overseas, the Red Cross and other war-related issues. A unique historical document, War on the Home Front encompasses entries written between 1914 and 1927 in which MacMillan describes the hardships of running a farm in the face of acute labour shortages and the anguish of losing friends and neighbours in battle. War on the Home Front is Volume 7 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"War on the Home Front is a captivating little work ... A remarkable compilation."

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Daniel MacMillan never saw the battlefields of Passchendaele or Vimy Ridge. A farmer in the tiny New Brunswick community of Williamsburg, he experienced the Great War entirely from the 'home front.' War on the Home Front: The Farm Diaries of Daniel MacMillan, 1914-1927 is a portrait of the other side of war from the perspective of a man who, like countless families across North America, had no choice but keep on going with his life as sons, nephews, brothers and fathers fought and died on battlefields worlds away. As MacMillan's moving wartime diaries reveal, these years took a terrible toll on him, his family, his farm, and his community.

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Bill Parenteau is associate professor of history at the University of New Brunswick and editor of Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region. He has published extensively on the environmental history and political economy of natural resources in the Maritimes, particularly with regard to the forest industries and fisheries.

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Stephen Dutcher is the assistant editor of Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region and a specialist in the history of Atlantic Canada, co-operatives, and Aboriginal-Canadian relations. He teaches history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and on the web through Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

 
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Saint John Fortifications, 1630-1956

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Saint John became a gateway to what is now Canada in the early 1600s, and Fort La Tour, built in 1632, was one of the three main forts of Acadie. In Saint John Fortifications, Roger Sarty and Doug Knight trace the history of the port's defences, from the earliest log palisades to the bunkers, gun emplacements, and communications stations built during World War II. Put to the test during the American Revolutionary War, Saint John has figured as one of Canada's most significant guardians. American independence effectively closed the shipping route between the mouth of the Richelieu River, on the St. Lawrence, and the mouth of the Hudson River, at New York City. Saint John took over some of this traffic, and so the 19th century wars and threatened wars between Canada and the United States resulted in bigger and better fortifications for the city. Each new defence system has incorporated the old, including the installations built as protection from German invasion during the two World Wars. Although the last of the modern installations on Partridge Island was disabled in 1956, many sites still contain substantial reminders of their past strength. Visitors today can trace the evidence of this great commercial port's military past. Saint John Fortifications, 1630-1956 is the first book in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series published by Goose Lane Editions in collaboration with the New Brunswick Military Heritage Project.

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"An excellent assessment of how technological advancement challenged and changed the fortifications systems and how local people had to adjust to ever-changing realities of war ... any trip to Saint John could be enlightened by the descriptions of the fortifications in and around the city and what currently remains."

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Roger Sarty, one of Canada's foremost military historians, is the former senior historian at the Directorate of History, National Defence Headquarters. He currently holds the position of deputy director of the Canadian War Museum and the author of Canada and the Battle of the Atlantic and No Higher Purpose: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War.

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Ottawa military historian Doug Knight is a retired Canadian Army officer. His engineering experience provides a solid background for his research into the history of Canadian military equipment and fortifications.

 
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Trimming Yankee Sails

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


The word "pirate" conjures up many Hollywood images, but Trimming Yankee Sails by Faye Kert paints a very different picture. Covering the Atlantic coast from Cape Breton Island, Halifax, and Saint John to the east coast of the United States down to the Virginias, this insightful book offers a glimpse of northeastern North America's naval history and the pirates and privateers who scourged the Atlantic coast throughout the 19th century. In Trimming Yankee Sails, Faye Kert recounts a thrilling but little known story. Pirates and privateers sailed from New Brunswick ports throughout the 19th century, but their exploits began in earnest during the War of 1812. Amid tales of battles at sea and fortunes lost and won, Kert's exposure of the murky context in which these semi-legal marauders operated reveals surprising truths about Confederation and its promoters. Trimming Yankee Sails: Pirates and Privateers of New Brunswick is Volume 6 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"Written clearly with an engaging style... a welcome contribution to the literature."

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Privateers and pirates hunting their prey out of Atlantic Canadian ports have been Faye Kert's passion for many years. She is a popular speaker on North Atlantic seafaring adventurers, the book review editor of the Canadian Nautical Research Society's journal The Northern Mariner and the author of Pride and Prejudice: Privateering and Naval Prize in Atlantic Canada in the War of 1812, the standard work on the subject. She also worked on two important underwater archaeological projects: the discovery, survey and excavation of a 16th-century Basque whaling vessel at Red Bay, Labrador, and the raising of Henry VIII's flagship Mary Rose in Portsmouth, England.

 
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Battle for the Bay

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Battle for the Bay explores a new chapter in the history of the War of 1812. Although naval battles raged on the Great Lakes, combat between privateers and small government vessels boiled in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine. Three small warships — the Provincial sloop Brunswicker, His Majesty's schooner Bream, and His Majesty's brig of war Boxer — played a vital role in defending the eastern waters of British North America in this crucial war. The crews of these hardy ships fought both the Americans and the elements — winter winds, summer fog, and the fierce tidal currents of the Bay of Fundy — enduring the all-too-real threats of shipwreck and possible capture and imprisonment. In peacetime, these patrol craft enforced maritime law. In wartime, they engaged in a guerre de course, attacking the enemy's commercial shipping while protecting their own. Now, for the first time, Joshua Smith tells the full story of the battle for the bay.

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"It’s a wonderfully fun short book about a side of the War of 1812 that is otherwise seldom seen."

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"Battle for the Bay fills an important gap in our knowledge of the War of 1812 in the Maritimes."

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"Smith’s account is well researched, immensely readable, and another excellent addition to the growing New Brunswick Military Heritage series. Combined with clear maps and well-chosen artwork, this book provides the perfect starting point to a war enthusiast’s driving expedition down the eastern seaboard."

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Joshua M. Smith grew up in the United States on Cape Cod and coastal Maine. He now teaches at the US Merchant Marine Academy, where is he also director of the American Merchant Marine Museum. He is the author of Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820.

 
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The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Almost since Champlain's men first settled on St. Croix Island in 1604, the French and the English fought for control of Acadia, a huge area consisting of today's Maritime Provinces and parts of Quebec and Maine. The British assault on Fort Beauséjour in 1755 was the final act in this long struggle. The frontier between the two imperial powers lay along the Chignecto Isthmus, the neck of low, fertile marshlands and parallel ridges joining Nova Scotia to the mainland. Of great strategic importance, this land was the scene of a few pitched battles and constant petty warfare. By 1750, the present-day New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border was a fortified camp amid the fertile lands that generations of Acadians had farmed. The English were building Fort Lawrence on one side of the Missaguash River, near present-day Amherst, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, the French were constructing Fort Beauséjour in plain view on the opposite side, only three kilometres away, near what is now Sackville, New Brunswick. Relations among the British soldiers, the soldiers from France, the Acadian inhabitants, and the native Mi'kmaq were complex. Acadians and their Mi'kmaq allies traded with British soldiers by day and attacked them at night. The French boasted that Beauséjour was the third-strongest fort in North America, but it was poorly sited and unfinished, and the Acadians forced to work on it demanded payment in British gold. When a combined force of New England volunteers and British regulars wrested the fort from its defenders in June 1755, Beauséjour fell, and so did Acadia. In The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755, Chris Hand outlines the events leading up to this final clash and gives a running account of the siege itself. The 30 site plans, maps, and drawings and paintings, archival and modern, show a realistic picture of the battle that made the Expulsion of the Acadians not only possible but inevitable. The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755 is Volume 3 in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"Hand paints such a vivid picture that you can visualize the siege unfolding ... [It] makes one realize that this region, Canada, and possibly the continent may have been a different place had this fort been successfully defended."

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Born in Scarborough and raised near Boston Mills, Ontario, Major Chris Hand joined the Canadian Forces in 1981 and attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, graduating in 1986 with a BA in history. In 2002, Major Hand completed studies at Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto and a MA in history from the University of New Brunswick. The Siege of Fort Beauséjour, 1755 is based on his master's thesis, which he completed while serving at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. Major Hand has had a number of overseas postings, including postings in Cypress, Bosnia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. He is now the Canadian Exchange Officer with the British Army in Land Warfare Centre, in Warminster, Wiltshire UK. He has two children, Sarah and William.

 
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Agnes Warner and the Nursing Sisters of the Great War

Goose Lane Editions | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Through ear-splitting, thunderous explosions and fearful eerie flashes in the distance, the nurses of the Canadian Army Nursing Service in World War I waited for the inevitable arrival of wounded soldiers. At the Casualty Clearing Houses, they worked at a feverish pace to give emergency care for bleeding gashes, broken and missing limbs, and the devastating injuries of war.

Exploring the many ways in which trained and volunteer nurses gave their time, talents, and even their lives to the First World War effort, Shawna M. Quinn considers the experiences of New Brunswick's nursing sisters — the gruelling conditions of work and the brutal realities they faced from possible attacks and bombings. Using letters, diaries, and published accounts, Quinn paints a complete picture of the adventurous young women who witnessed first-hand the horrors of the Great War.

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"Agnes Warner joins the roster of only a handful of books that recount the firsthand experiences of Canadian nursing sisters in the First World War and is a worthy addition to that literature."

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"An excellent addition to any military history collection."

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"This volume, the latest in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Project, should find a diverse readership among those interested in local history, as well as those who enjoy learning more about Canada's role in the Great War."

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"Quinn’s work is a valuable contribution in furthering our understanding of the experience and diverse responsibilities of nursing sisters in the Great War."

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A native of Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick, Shawna M. Quinn holds a BSc in biology-psychology (1999) and an MA in history (2006) from the University of New Brunswick. After earning the David Alexander Prize in 2004 for her undergraduate essay on a nineteenth-century school inspector, she began her graduate research examining the private and public priorities of inspectors for her thesis, "‘Sympathetic and Practical Men’? School Inspectors and New Brunswick's Educational Bureaucracy, 1879-1909" (2006). In a concurrent project, she surveyed the contributions of several women to the growth of New Brunswick's provincial museum, featuring their efforts online in a virtual exhibit entitled "Progress and Permanence: Women and the New Brunswick Museum, 1880-1980." One of these women was Nursing Sister Agnes Warner. Shawna's interest in history extends also to historical interpretation and preservation. She spent several seasons developing and leading educational support at Kings Landing Historical Settlement and is involved in the support and management of community museums through Queens County Heritage and the Keswick Ridge Historical Society. She currently lives in Upper Gagetown and works as an instructional designer.

 
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The Road to Canada

Goose Lane Editions and the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society | New Brunswick Military Heritage Series


Since the last Ice Age, the only safe route into Canada's interior during the winter started at the Bay of Fundy and followed the main rivers north to the St. Lawrence River through what is now New Brunswick. Aboriginal people used this route as a major highway in all seasons and the great imperial powers followed their lead. The Grand Communications Route, as it was then called, was the only conduit for people, information and goods passing back and forth between the interior settlements and the wider world and became the backbone of empire for both England and France in their centuries of warfare over this territory. It was Joseph Robineau de Villebon, a commandant in Acadie, who first made strategic use of the route in time of war because he understood its importance in the struggle for North America. A strategic link between the Atlantic colonies and Quebec, the French made extensive use of the route to communicate and move troops between the northern settlements and Fort Beauséjour, Louisbourg, and Port-Royal. The British put great effort into maintaining and fortifying the route, building major coastal forts at Saint John to guard its entrance and erecting garrisons and blockhouses all along the way to the St Lawrence, first as a defence against the French and then to ward off the Americans. The route also played a key role in the American Revolution as well as the Aroostook War of 1839 that saw bodies of troops lining each side of the border extending from St. Andrews (NB) and Calais (ME) to Madawaska. In 1842, the Grand Communications Route and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty determined the location of the Canada—US border. It is still in use today: the Trans-Canada Highway and Route 7 follow its path. As well as telling the story of the Grand Communications Route from the earliest human habitation of the area, The Road to Canada describes the historic sites, forts, blockhouses and other historic remains that can still be visited today, including Martello Tower (Saint John), the Fort Hughes blockhouse (Oromocto), the Fort Fairfield blockhouse (Fort Fairfield, ME), Le Fortin du Petit-Sault (Edmundston), the Fort Kent blockhouse (Fort Kent, ME) and Fort Ingall (Cabano, QC). The Road to Canada is the fifth volume in the New Brunswick Military Heritage Series.

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"A neat little narrative that weaves not only a story of the development of secure communications, but how that development was linked to settlement policies, military strategy, communications, technological evolution and international disputes. As far as this reviewer knows, this is the only book length study of this aspect of the route."

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Major W.E. (Gary) Campbell has served for over forty years in the Canadian Army (Militia), the Canadian Army (Regular), and the Canadian Forces. He is a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick and has obtained a Bachelor of Arts (History) from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts (War Studies) from the Royal Military College of Canada. His passion for military history, especially logistics, and his many tours of duty as a transportation officer in the Logistics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces led to his interest in the Grand Communications Route. Gary Campbell is presently posted to the Combat Training Centre headquarters at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, after serving in a variety of line and staff positions in navy, army, air force and headquarters units across Canada as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. He has twice received the Royal Logistics Corps Review Award. He is an active member of the Orders and Medals Research Society, the Military Collectors Club of Canada, and the York-Sunbury Historical Society, and he has served on the boards of the latter two groups.

 
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