— As part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, the regiment asked for the loan of Lieutenant Robert Shankland’s medal group from the Canadian War Museum for a display in the Manitoba Museum. Lt Shankland was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the attack on Bellevue Spur on October 26, 1917, at the Battle of Passchendaele, and he had previously received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for service at Sanctuary Wood in 1916.
LCol Brett Takeuchi hands over Lt Shankland’s medal group to Hanna Peters, exhibits manager for the Manitoba Museum.
“The artifacts that we have at the war museum are the artifacts of the Canadian people,” said Eric Fernberg, manager of collections for the Canadian War Museum. The medals were shipped by armoured car to Winnipeg, where Fernberg presented them October 1 to Lieutenant-Colonel Brett Takeuchi, commanding officer for the regiment.
“In cases like this, for a staffer like myself to come and be part of the celebration like this, it’s fantastic,” said Fernberg. “It brings it alive for us; we get to see how the artifacts are appreciated across the country.”
LCol Takeuchi subsequently presented the medals to Hanna Peters, exhibits manager for the Manitoba Museum. Peters and Sergeant Grant Tyler, the curator for The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Museum, then put them on display along with the various artifacts he helped to pick out from the regimental museum’s collection.
Sgt Grant Tyler, curator of The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Museum, adjusts Lt Shankland’s medals in the display case with other QOCH of C members.
“This is like a once in a lifetime opportunity to share with the public, probably one of the most significant, if not the most significant cultural object that relates to the history of this Regiment,” said Sgt Tyler. “It’s something that all Canadians can relate to: gallantry in action in the face of the enemy under dire circumstances.”
Lt Shankland was one of the residents of Pine Street who contributed to the street’s name change in the 1920s. Of the Victoria Crosses awarded to Winnipeggers in the First World War, three recipients lived on the 700 block of Pine Street in the west end. Accordingly, the street was renamed Valour Road, reflecting the inscription on the Victoria Cross, “For Valour.”
Article and photos by Cpl Bill Gomm, 38 CBG Public Affairs
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