The origins of the RCA Museum started well before its official opening in 1962. After the Second World War, senior officers in the Canadian Artillery wanted a centralized museum to honour the service of the more than 200,000 Canadian Gunners who had served in peace and war since 1855.
Occasionally, RCA Museum staff are lucky enough to find artifacts which tell a complete story. Such is the case with a collection of old photos and records donated years ago by Mary Bennett, wife of the late SSgt Albert Thomas Bennett. The documents tell the story of a man who chose to dedicate most of his life to military service and found a home within the Army.
During the First World War, Pte Cecil Minary served in the CEF, beginning his military training at Camp Hughes before being sent to England for further training. He saw his first action in France shortly after Canada participated in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. His great-great-grandniece Kendra Minary, of Souris, spent the COVID pandemic examining the letters originals he wrote from England and France before he was killed on Aug. 28, 1918.
On July 5, 1916, the Department of Defence and Militia authorized the formation of No. 2 Construction Battalion. It was the largest Black unit in Canadian history. Its members continued the proud tradition of service to king and country that went back to the American Revolution and continued through the War of 1812 and the Rebellions of 1837–38 to the start of the First World War.
Italian Campaign starts — Defence, Veterans Affairs Ministers mark the 80th anniversary of invasion of Sicily
Eighty years ago, the Allied invasion of Sicily marked the start of the Italian Campaign in the Second World War. Code named Op Husky, the invasion of Sicily marked one of the largest seaborne operations in military history. Canadians were critical to its success.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment what is now known as 1RCHA, originally based on A and B Batteries – the first “full-time” or “regular” elements of the post-Confederation Canadian Army. This is a significant Canadian military and Gunner milestone.
During the First World War, Pte Cecil Minary served in the CEF, beginning his military training at Camp Hughes prior to being shipped to England for additional training. He saw his first action in France soon after Canada’s involvement in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.
Three Canadian Great War soldiers — Pte Harry Atherton, Cpl Percy Howarth and Sgt Richard Musgrave — were laid to rest with military honours at Loos British Cemetery, Loos-en-Gohelle, France.
Holding something that was once held by my great-great uncle 105 years ago is pretty crazy. This post card was sent home by Pte Cecil Edmund Minary to his father, Andrew Minary — my great-great-grandfather) while he was in England for a short time before being drafted over to France during the First World War.
Pte Cecil Minary learns about classmate being wounded during Battle of Vimy Ridge — died of his wounds three days later
Canada Post in May 1917, 1918 — Cousin Edna, father in Nesbitt receive letters from Pte Cecil Minary written in French trenches during breaks from his duties serving in the CEF during Great War.