Thursday, May 2, 2024

Videos: More Turtle Tours, 2024 (9 and 10)!!

Video 9 - "Snappers and a Red-Eared Slider"

Video 10 - "Turtles Come in SIZE LARGE"

Large snappers are coming and going in the Thames River, London


My YouTube channel is growing every month and I think it's related to the warming weather or climate. Turtles are cold-blooded and love to bask on large rocks near their home whether it be a stream, river or pond. And we have all of those settings (good turtle habitat) in London ONT. 

In this city I also enjoy excellent walking trails, e.g., the Thames Valley parkway (TVP) and during several weekly walks I am able to spot turtles without leaving the trail adjacent to 'The Mighty Thames'. (Though, I often do leave the trail to try to get closer to turtles before they hear or see me, which is almost impossible). 

Visible from a worn trail 25m from the TVP

Please click here to view "More Turtle Tours, 2024 (9)" on YouTube

And please click here to view "More Turtle Tours, 2024 (10)" on YouTube

So big it broke the diving board? Could be!

Still into Turtles? Wow! Please click here to view "More Turtle Tours, 2024 (8)".

Temperatures are rising, numbers of sightings are too, so, more tours will follow.

Please click here to read more about invasive species like the Red-Eared slider.

Still want to see more turtles? What?!? Visit my YouTube channel @7GHarrison

Questions or comments can be sent to email:

Photographs by GH

Videos by GH

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Research: Three Months in the Mediterranean, 1943 (19)

 The Canadian Army is Working Hard in Central Sicily

The Canadian Navy is Buying More Depth Charges

"That baby cost us 90 bucks!! Sure hope it hits that sub we spotted!!"


While the Canadian Army was spearheading a push beyond Enna, a central and significant transportation hub in Sicily, Canadian sailors (members of RCNVR and Combined Operations) were into their third week - eventually four, July 10 - August 7, 1943 - of ferrying all materials of war from "ship to shore" (from Allied supply ships to beachheads near Gallina and Fontane Bianche via LCMs (landing craft mechanised), between Avola and Syracuse, in support of Montgomery's Eighth Army.

Map of Sicily - Combined Operations by Londoner Clayton Marks

In the news clips that follow readers will find a good amount of detail concerning the progress of Allied troops in Sicily, e.g., near Enna. And there will be one photo of a Canadian sailor, part of a fundraising campaign to purchase more ammo! 

It's true. You actually do learn something new every day : )

Questions or concerns about any of the material presented below from The Montreal Gazette can be sent to Gord H. at

Extra! Extra! Read all about it:

A significant photo follows, but as has been the case with most photos from microfilm, it is not in the best condition. That being said, better shots can be found at other sources...

Caption - Personalities: The Commander of the 1st Canadian Division,
Major General G. G. Simonds, wading ashore from a landing craft.
As found at Imperial War Museum (IWM) (A 17963)

Please click here for more photographs and information re Gen. G. G. Simonds, WWII.

The 'ring is tightened' by Canadian, British and American troops in various locations in Sicily. A detail report follows:

Allied air forces are also making their presence felt on various war fronts. Hamburg is again mentioned:

Click here to read about the Canadian Spitfire pilot from the Chatham/Blenheim area (west of London, ONT.) whose report about the invasion of Italy (near Salerno in early September) was the first to make it back to Canada.

Photo Credit - C. Vasicek, younger brother of FO. J. A. Vasicek, RCAF
Used with permission


A regular summary from 'War News Digest' - of actions at various war fronts - is shared below:

Ross Munro and other productive Canadian war correspondents also offer regular summaries of actions in Sicily. Below Mr. Munro offers "an eagle-nest view of (Saturday's) fighting from atop towering cliffs." (Bring your sturdiest hiking boots, I say): 

Maj. Gen. Guy Simonds "watched the battle through field glasses,
(and) directed the action from a lookout." See below)
Photo Credit - Wikipedia 

Canadians Drive Towards Etna concludes:

Help Wanted: If you have a photograph of Ross Munro on a mule, please let me know!

"Munro Not on a Mule"

"Munro, But Still Not on a Mule"
Photo Credit - Juno Beach Centre

"Ross Munro on a Jeep"

The Canadian Army Film and Photographic Unit (CAFU) took 1000s of stills during WWII, and readers are free to search the many albums that are available for perusal. The original version of the above photo has been shared here to reveal the quality of pictures copied from the digital albums. The best quality is found at Library and Archives Canada but I have been unable to regularly collect copies from that source as of yet.

Finally, some photographs with mules. However, I do not see Ross Munro on any of them. Better luck next time, I say.

Mules were plentiful in Sicily, and very useful not only to Sicilians. 

No caption available, but the driver and back seat driver look the
same as in photo above (w Munro hidden from view)

Original Caption: Mules used by the Edmonton Regiment to transport
supplies through mountainous terrain. CAFU Album 62, 22710

Munro on a Mule article continues:

"Finiti Benito":

Citizens overpainting and scraping off signs to the Duce on the walls of
their houses. Canadian Film and Photo Unit, Album 62 (#22685, 22686)

Downfall of 'Finito' Mussolini continues:

Citizens of battered Sicilian towns and villages welcomed Canadians as vehicles passed through narrow streets:

Agira, Sicily, July 1943. Photo - Canadian Film and Photo Unit. 
Album 61, No. 22207

Canadian Film and Photo Unit. Album 62 (22297 - 22299)

More bad news for 'Finito' Mussolini:

A few details about the worst of bad news from Europe:

So, under the heading of "Good News," Canadian sailors contributed to the purchase of depth charges. This is the first time I have read anything about this matter:

Please click here for more details re the use of depth charges and more during 'The Battle of the Atlantic.'

Photo - The Battle of the Atlantic, Government of Canada. Military History

Below are two posters related to the appeal made for money to go towards buying depth charges:

Photo Credit - Canadian War Museum

Photo Credit - Canadian War Museum

And on the other side of the North American border:

IL DUCE - the beginning of the end:

As I was searching for supportive photos and links I came across the following painting re Halifax, home of the Navy training camp HMCS Stadacona. It was in Halifax that the first draft of Canadian sailors, incl. my father and close mates, volunteered for Combined Operations. The dock below was behind a large, well-known hotel (The Westin?) and it was here the first and second drafts to Comb. Ops boarded the SS Volendam in order to ship out to Scotland:

Halifax – The Spring Board by John Horton, in which the flurry of
dockyard activity during the Second World War is clearly evident.
Photo Credit: Battle of the Atlantic, Gov. of Canada. Military History

Please click here to view Research: Three Months in the Mediterranean, 1943 (18)

More news clips soon to follow.

Unattributed Photos GH