Thursday, June 11, 2015

Memorials Dedicated to Combined Operations

Courtenay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

On the grounds of Simms Millennium Park, within a kilometre NE of the centre of downtown Courtenay, one will find two items that reveal the significance of the area related to Combined Operations training in Canada during World War II.

The first and easiest to find is an informative display board sitting next to a parking lot east of the 5th Street Bridge:

Part of the slough is still a parking lot for boats of many types

The second and most significant item, in a garden beside the entrance to Simms Millennium Park, is a bronze plaque and memorial commemorating the site (a slough) where many of Canada's assault craft were moored "in preparation for defence... and operations in Europe during WWII."

At this point in my travels and research I have not come across any other plaque or memorial on Canadian soil dedicated to Canadians who served in Combined Operations in WW2. If there are others, please let me know.

Barracks were nearby in 1942. Later the Navy inhabited The Spit, Comox 

Excerpt from commemorative address by Lawrence Burns, Courtenay

The commemoration took place in May, 2004 and was mentioned in the Courtenay Record. Lawrence Burns, local historian, involved in the event, helpfully directed me toward the plaque.

To read one Canadian's account - as a member of RCNVR and Comb. Ops - of time spent on The Spit, at the Combined Operations Training School (near the slough), please link to Memoirs re Combined Operations

Photos GH

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