Grey and Simcoe Foresters: Tenacious and Versatile!
This major exhibit is in honour of The Grey and Simcoe Foresters sesquicentennial.
The unit traces its founding to the authorization of the 31st Grey and 35th Simcoe Battalions on September 14th, 1866. Elements of these two units served the nation during the Fenian Raids, Red River Expedition, the North West Canada Campaign and the Boer War.
The Grey and Simcoe Foresters also perpetuate four battalions of the First World War. Ten (10) Royal Bank of Canada employees are known to have enlisted in these units and two of them, William Corbett and William Christie, perished while in service to the country.
In 1936 the then Grey Regiment and the Simcoe Foresters amalgamated into one unit. Since then men and women from the unit have saw service in the Second World War, Korea, United Nations and NATO missions, as well as the war in Afghanistan.
As a militia unit, The Grey and Simcoe Foresters is made up of citizen soldiers who balance their civilian careers with that of a part-time soldier. This has resulted in many notable Canadians having served within the ranks of the units that it perpetuates, including:
Tom Thomson, artist
John Bayne Maclean, publisher
Norman Bethune, physician
Sir Sam Steele, North West Mounted Police
Leslie Frost, politician, premier of Ontario 1949-1961
Robert Rutherford, Ontario Supreme Court Judge
Presently, The Grey and Simcoe Foresters are a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces' 4th Canadian Division. Over the years, successive militia acts have caused changes to its name, as well as its primary role, but through it all its’ lineage has remained intact and it continually lives up to its’ motto: Tenacious and Versatile.
Sunday, September 27, 2015, to September 2016.
1945 was a momentous year; it marked the end of the Second World War with Victory in Europe Day, Victory in Japan Day and the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian Troops.
The Front Parlour
The front parlour was a formal room used only on important occasions and for entertaining guests. The settees and chairs are original to the house and the Bishop family. Although the melodeon is not an original furnishing, it is probable that the Bishops had a piano or organ in the back parlour. In later years, Billy taught himself piano. This became one of his past times.
WILIAM AVERY (Billy) BISHOP VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED
The Back Parlour
Sliding doors divided this parlour from the formal front parlour. Here the family gathered and the children played. This area usually houses the famous Dawn Attack print. This painting by noted wartime artist Robert Bradford depicts Bishop’s single-handed attack of a German Aerodrome at dawn in June 1917. Here he shot down three German aircraft and earned the Victoria Cross. A framed picture of Bishop’s medals is also in this area.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK
The Dining Room
The heavy oak table and chairs were used by the Bishop family. The china cabinet is a Kilbourn family heirloom. Photos on the fireplace mantle are of Bishop, his parents and siblings. His grandmothers are pictured on the wall.