Parks Canada

Parks Canada

November 14, 2007 08:00 ET

The Government of Canada Commemorates Canada's Presence in Britain During World War II

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2007) - Mr. James R. Wright, Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, on behalf of the Canadian Environment Minister John Baird, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the Canadian Presence in Britain during the Second World War.

The Second World War was one of the defining events of the twentieth century," said High Commissioner Wright. "Thousands of Canadian men and women proudly served in the United Kingdom during the war, and these soldiers became part of the historical landscapes in both our nations. Commemorating this common history is important to Canadians and Britons today, and for future generations."

The plaque, which was unveiled at Canada House, home to the Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom, commemorates Canada's military, civilian and diplomatic contribution to the war effort in Britain. In addition to the presence of the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Merchant Marine in Britain, Canadian civilians also served there in many capacities, including as firefighters, stenographers, foresters and diplomats. The Canadian High Commission in the United Kingdom under Vincent Massey and Lester B. Pearson represented Canada's national interests during the war.

Canada's three military services were a vital part of Britain's first line of defence. In all, a quarter of a million soldiers made Britain their home until, starting in July 1943, they went off to fight in sustained operations in Italy and other parts of the continent. By the time Britain became the springboard for the Allied offensive, the number of Canadians there had grown to more than one half million-one twentieth of Canada's entire population.

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment about the national historic significance of persons, places and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historic value. It is one means of informing the public about the richness of Canada's heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.

Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Nicole Racette
    National Director
    613-769-4638
    or
    Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communication Branch
    Nathalie Boileau
    Manager of Public Affairs
    613-864-2934