By Periklis Deligiannis

A Governmental Web site with plenty of material that has really impressed me is the Canadian Military History Gateway, and especially its Online Reference Books under the general title ‘Canadian Military Heritage’. Materials on that web site were produced and/or compiled by the Canadian Department of National Defence and various partners, namely Rene Chartrand and Serge Bernier who wrote the texts and a group of renowned military illustrators: G.A. Embleton, Eugène Lelièpvre, Michel Pétard, David Rickman, Ron Volstad and others (I apologize for not mentioning all of them, due to lack of time).
The site also includes numerous photographs of classical paintings, drawings and diagrams of forts, battlefields, weapons, maps, statues, portraits and anything else related to Canadian Military History. Enjoy it!

Below are some  illustrations and photographs of the site with their captions. Τhe captions were written by Rene Chartrand and Serge Bernier (Chartrand wrote the texts refereeing to the period AD 1000-1871 and Bernier the texts of the years 1872-2000):


Grenadier of the French Guyenne regiment (left) and a corporal from the Béarn regiment (right), circa 1756

These men wear the special Canadian version of their regimental uniform, made to specifications of the Ministère de la Marine (the Ministry of the Navy – responsible for French colonies). At left is a grenadier of the Régiment de Guyenne. His moustache marks him as a member of the elite grenadier company, since other French soldiers of the period had to be cleanshaven. His uniform looks much like the European pattern, save for the lack of collar to his grey-white. The Canadian uniform of the régiment de Béarn showed more changes. It had blue cuffs and waistcoat, pewter buttons, and silver lace – very distinct from the red collar, cuffs and waistcoat, brass buttons, and gold lace worn in Europe. The corporal of the régiment de Béarn (right) wears loops of silver lace on his cuffs as a mark of his rank. Reconstruction by Eugène Lelièpvre. (Parks Canada)


French crossbowman around 1541-­42

This crossbowman wears the white and black livery worn by the members of the Cartier and Roberval expedition to Canada during 1541-42. These men were well armed and well equipped. In this period, each soldier wore an iron helmet and a breastplate, carried a sword and dagger, and sometimes wore livery. Black and white were not only the colours of Brittany, where the expedition set out from, but apparently those of French King François I at this time. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard.


Officer’s gorget, around 1750, found in Quebec

The officer’s gorget was a last vestige of medieval armour. This gilded copper throat­piece was worn by officers on duty. Generally plain under Louis XIV, it was sometimes decorated in the centre with a silver badge bearing the royal coat of arms.

Fort Duquesne in 1754

Fort Duquesne in 1754

Jacques Cartier ordered cannon firings to impress the Indians

Jacques Cartier ordered cannon firings to impress the Indians…


Sixteenth-century Amerindian warriors from central Canada

Three types of costumes common to all Amerindian tribes are shown. Reconstruction by David Rickman.


Soldier of the 58th Regiment of Foot, 1757-1762

The 58th Regiment of Foot was one of several British units sent to America in 1757 in preparation for the attack on Louisbourg. Although the siege did not begin until 1758, the regiment saw the capture of the fortress and was present at the capture of Quebec the following year. This soldier is shown in marching order, carrying his pack and haversack. His red coat shows the black regimental facings of the 58th Foot on its cuff and lapels. The uniform is unusual for British infantry of the period because the regimental lace is yellow instead of the normal white, and the coat lining (seen on the turned back coat tails) is buff instead of white. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)


The French Gate at Fort Niagara

Construction of the so-called ‘French Gate’ began at Fort Niagara in 1756. Note the coat of arms – from 1725, the royal coat of arms of France was ordered to be put up over the main gates of towns and forts in New France. The fort itself dates back to the 1720s, and was expanded substantially at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War. Several of the original French structures still stand, incorporated within later British and American works. The whole site is now a New York state park.


Fenian infantryman, 1870

Most Fenians seem to have worn civilian clothing, but some units did manage to provide themselves with uniforms. The green shell jacket this man wears is based on a surviving relic taken as a trophy during the skirmishes along the Quebec-Vermont border in 1870. Reports of O’Neil’s 1866 Fenian army at Ridgeway mention that the Louisville company of the 17th Kentucky Regiment had blue army jackets with green facings, while a company of the 18th Ohio Regiment called the ‘Fenian Cleveland Rangers’ wore green caps and green shirts. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)


Canadian infantryman in Korea, 1951-54

The period 1950-1955 saw 12 Canadian infantry battalions serving in Korea, most of them with the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade as part of the First Commonwealth Division. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

SOURCE:  Canadian Military History Gateway