Museum hosts virtual educational series on Canadian military history

This series will explore a number of important topics, with each session being led by a speaker or expert historian.

Throughout the month of November, the Simcoe County Museum will host a virtual educational series in recognition of Remembrance Month.

With presentations every Wednesday afternoon, this virtual speaker series will explore a number of important topics, with each session being led by an expert speaker or historian.

Remembrance Month sessions will cover the following weekly topics: A History of WWII and Recognition in Canada; experiences as a military police officer; construction of warships at Collingwood; and the history of the Royal Canadian Flying Corps at Camp Borden during the First World War. These discussions will last up to 45 minutes, followed by a question and answer session.

The virtual lecture series is open to individuals and groups with free virtual admission by visiting to register.

November 3, 2021 – 3 p.m.

Best-selling author Dr. Tim Cook, Director of Research at the Canadian War Museum, delivers his “Forget, Remember and Redo Canada’s Second World War” speech. Dr. Cook will talk about his book The Fight for History, how for decades after 1945 Canadians ignored our country’s epic contributions to World War II, and how veterans played a key role in raising awareness and raising awareness. appreciation of our role in the war.

Dr Cook has written or edited 13 books and received 10 awards for his writing, including the CP Stacey Prize for Military History, the RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fictional Literature, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s History Award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the Order of Canada.

November 10, 2021 – 2 p.m.

Warrant Officer Nicole Laidlaw of the Canadian Forces Military Police Academy talks about her experiences as a military police officer since 2005, including being the only military police officer to train uniformed Afghan police while deployed seven months in 2008.

WO Laidlaw has been an instructor at CFB Borden Military Police Academy since 2015. Over the past few years, she has been involved with the True Patriot Love Foundation, a support organization for the military, veterans and their families, and in the Women in Force organization. initiative to recruit more women into the Canadian Forces.

November 17, 2021 – 2 p.m.

Michael Moir, archivist at the Clara Thomas Archives at York University, presents his lecture “Steel Ships for Salt-water Service”, on the construction of warships at Collingwood during the two world wars.

Steel shipbuilding began at Collingwood in 1902, and over the next fifteen years the town’s shipyard produced nearly fifty ships to work on the Great Lakes. During World War I, the loss of Allied merchant ships to German submarines led to an international shipbuilding program involving Canadian builders from coast to coast. Collingwood played a major role in this important initiative and gave a repeat of WWII.

Michael’s presentation will examine the impact of the global conflict on shipbuilding at Collingwood as the town’s shipyard has twice shifted production from Great Lakes freight transport to warships destined for the Atlantic Ocean. .

November 24, 2021 – 2 p.m.

Historian Bill March talks about the history of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Canadian Flying Corps at Camp Borden during the First World War.

By the end of 1916, the airplane had become a key instrument of modern warfare. With the Royal Flying Corps in Britain reaching its limits in terms of training capacity and personnel, eyes turned to the Dominion of Canada as a potential location for an important flight training facility and a source for a large number of enthusiastic young aviators. In January 1917, with the full support of the Dominion government, the Royal Flying Corps (Canada) was created, with Camp Borden as the “home base” of the new force.

The RFC Canada training center at Camp Borden came to life almost overnight. However, during its brief period of existence, less than two years, the camp helped provide a steady flow of pilots for the war in Europe, fostered a fledgling Canadian aviation industry, and sowed the seeds for the culture of Canadian military aviation. Bill’s presentation will examine Camp Borden’s legacy in Canadian aviation history and explain why Camp Borden is referred to as the “Birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force”.

Take the endless journey with the Simcoe County Museum, a cultural exploration of our historic past and exciting future. The Simcoe County Museum is owned and operated by the County of Simcoe and offers exhibitions, events and educational programs throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Visit our website at for more details.

Simcoe County is made up of 16 member municipalities and provides essential public services to county residents in addition to providing paramedical and social services to the separate towns of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at


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