Author Topic: The Queen in Canada 1964 and other things with the Canadian military  (Read 975 times)

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Offline Blackadder1916

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Came across these two NFB films while looking for something else.  While they are not specifically about the Canadian military, it is featured prominently in both.

The Queen in Canada, 1964   https://www.nfb.ca/film/queen_in_canada_1964/
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This short documentary follows Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh as they visit Canada to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Confederation. A hundred years earlier, the Fathers of Confederation had gathered in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to discuss the idea of a united Canada. At a time when Canadians are once again reassessing the nature and role of the diverse communities within Canada, the Queen’s arrival unites onlookers in the idea of Canada as one great nation.

Canada at the Coronation   https://www.nfb.ca/film/canada_at_coronation/
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This documentary depicts the colour and pageantry of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Canada's participation in this momentous event.
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Online FSTO

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Love watching those old movies.
I don't care what some people say, the square rig is the sharpest uniform in the forces!!

What was the reason for the red facing on the Van Doo's beret?

Offline Dan M

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Thanks for posting Blackadder, great topic.

I just watched the 1964 visit, and have a couple of random observations to make.

Prince Philip wore his uniform as Colonel of THE RCR while in Charlottetown. The Queen's Canadian equerry was Roland Reid of the R22eR. The Vandoos paraded with chrome plated (blade and handle) bayonets. The RCAF guard at Uplands were parading with the .303 and spike bayonet, seven years after the introduction of the FN.

Oh, and flat salutes all round and the old style present arms. Ah, the good old days.

Cheers,
Dan.
An officer in The Canadian Guards should at all times, by intelligent study, conscientious application to his work and continual observation, seek to make himself so competent, so confident and so correct in all matters connected with the Profession of Arms that if he were to state in the presence of any military audience that "Pigs have wings", he would at once be both understood and believed. The wise officer, of course, will weigh all his statements carefully before he makes them. (ASAG 1960)

Offline Old Sweat

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Bit of trivia re the coronation. It, of course, was the first one televised and there were some obvious commercial advantages to airing it first in North America. Satellites were still years in the future, so the film had to be flown across the Atlantic. Canada achieved a North American scoop as the film was rushed to an airfield where it was handed over to the RCAF who flew it to Newfoundland in, I think, a CF100. Once on the ground the CBC broadcast it in all its black and white glory (colour TV was more than a decade away) on their national network, and I think it may have been picked up by one of the American networks as well.

Offline Blackadder1916

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. . . The RCAF guard at Uplands were parading with the .303 and spike bayonet, seven years after the introduction of the FN.


Maybe the RCAF (a separate service from the Canadian Army) didn't want to pay for new rifles when the ones they still had were perfectly adequate to use for the occasional parade.

And below, from the same honour guard, shortly before HM entered the hangar.
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Offline Blackadder1916

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. . . Canada achieved a North American scoop as the film was rushed to an airfield where it was handed over to the RCAF who flew it to Newfoundland in, I think, a CF100. Once on the ground the CBC broadcast it in all its black and white glory (colour TV was more than a decade away) on their national network, and I think it may have been picked up by one of the American networks as well.

Close but not quite.  It was the RAF, in Canberra bombers, who flew the film across the Atlantic to Goose Bay.  The RCAF, with a Canuck, was next in the relay from Goose Bay.

http://live.cpac.ca/Event/The_Coronation_of_Queen_Elizabeth_II
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The Alexandra Palace Television Society, a British organization devoted to TV history, also explained the cross-Atlantic arrangements:

The BBC had arranged, with the co-operation of the RAF, to fly telerecordings - that is to say, recordings on film of the television broadcast - to Canada in three stages during the day. This arrangement - "Operation Pony Express" - functioned perfectly. The film recordings were flown across the Atlantic in three Canberra jet bombers which left London Airport at 1.30, 3.15 and 6.20 pm. Each Canberra took a little over five hours to reach its destination and at 4.15 pm, local time, a full telerecording of the BBC Television Programme was broadcast by television stations in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Two of the major United States television networks, the NBC and the ABC, also took this programme via a television link from Montreal to Buffalo. Another major American network, CBS, broadcast its own telerecording of the BBC programme, which had been flown across the Atlantic by the Canberras and then flown on to Boston. Later in the day, NBC switched over to their own telerecording which had also been flown over.

It is estimated that over two million people in Canada and some eighty-five million all over the USA watched the Coronation on television. Approximately 80,000 feet of cinematography film was used for BBC telerecordings. Recordings of the sound broadcast required 3,400 12-in disks and some 250 disks of other sizes, as well as 200 reels (approximately 85 miles) of magnetic tape.
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Offline Dan M

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Just watched the Coronation video. Great historical footage of long past Canadian personalities. A good investment of 50 minutes of my life.

Just a few observations. Why did the narrator keep pronouncing the Mall as "the Mell?" It just didn't sound right. I had read somewhere that the weapons the Canadian contingent carried were borrowed from the Brits, hence the long, blade bayonets. And who shines their brass while it's still on the belt? None of the contingents, not even the Queen's guards, were swinging their arms shoulder high. (When did that start, and why?)

The blue uniforms worn by the Canadian Army were hastily obtained from pre-war stores from across the country. Forage caps were not authorized for other ranks, so berets were worn. In mid-1952 the Army switched from khaki berets to navy blue, however, in a truly horrible decision, each corps had to wear a coloured half moon on the beret's front, centred on the cap badge. Different corps had different coloured half moons. Infantry regiments were supposed to wear red berets. Hence the Vandoo wearing red, which I have to admit I'd never seen before. In 1954 the half moons were done away with, and the infantry were given navy blue berets as well.

Oh, and a properly worn and fitted square rig, is the best. I wore one as a Sea Cadet, and always liked it.

Cheers,
Dan.
An officer in The Canadian Guards should at all times, by intelligent study, conscientious application to his work and continual observation, seek to make himself so competent, so confident and so correct in all matters connected with the Profession of Arms that if he were to state in the presence of any military audience that "Pigs have wings", he would at once be both understood and believed. The wise officer, of course, will weigh all his statements carefully before he makes them. (ASAG 1960)

Offline Blackadder1916

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Just a few observations. Why did the narrator keep pronouncing the Mall as "the Mell?" It just didn't sound right. I had read somewhere that the weapons the Canadian contingent carried were borrowed from the Brits, hence the long, blade bayonets.

They pronounce it that way because they are toffee nosed shiteaters.

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. . . And who shines their brass while it's still on the belt? . . .

Probably soldiers who had already shined it and didn't want to dismantle their webbing just so a photographer could take a few seconds of film.

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. . . None of the contingents, not even the Queen's guards, were swinging their arms shoulder high. (When did that start, and why?)

Can't speak for what Brit or other Commonwealth drill manuals directed in 1953 but according to a later Canadian Army drill manual they were marching by the book.

Canadian Army Manual of Training    CAMT 2-2
Drill (All Arms) Elementary Drill (1959)
Chapter 4 - Marching

5.  The detail for correct marching follows:
     . . . .
d.  arms are swung freely, straight from front to rear, reaching the extremity of their swing each time the heel strikes the ground; the arms are kept straight and swung from the shoulder, belt high, both front and rear, wrists straight, hands closed with the thumbs to the front as in the position of "Attention"; shoulders still and square to the front;
e.  during recruit training, the arms are swung as high as the breast pocket in front and waist high in rear;



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