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XII Manitoba Dragoons
26 Field Regiment

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December Issue Presents:


After a great turnout at the Evans Theatre in Brandon,
director Graham Street and colleagues Shaun Cameron and Nate Bower
were presented with momentos of their hard work by
members of the Xll Manitoba Dragoons Museum.
Left to right are Nate Bower, volunteer John Ball, Shaun Cameron, Graham Street, Don Berry,
President 26th Field Regiment / Xll Manitoba Dragoons Museum
and Glenn Ball, Secretary, Museum Board.
Over $800.00 was raised for the museum through donations by the near capacity crowd.

Film revisits regiment's war
Brandon Sun ~ Nov. 12, 2016

Brandon filmmaker and historian Graham Street introduces his latest documentary
on the Westman-based XII Manitoba Dragoons at Brandon University’s Evans Theatre

Marking Remembrance Day with a movie and popcorn? Well, in this case it was appropriate given that the film was a documentary about the XII Manitoba Dragoons.

Filmmaker Graham Street retraced the path the regiment took as it helped liberate Europe in the Second World War. In that sense, Street says, the film itself is a tribute to the liberty the soldiers helped to defend. "Without the men from the XII Manitoba Dragoons, the footage that I capture of them now probably might not have been possible at this point if they hadn’t sacrificed what they did," Street said. "Because, who knows what the world would have been like?"

"Then and Now: Life in the Regiment" premiered on Friday at the Evans Theatre at Brandon University. It took two years to make, and Street had the assistance of Shaun Cameron and Nate Bower. Veterans of the regiment were among those in the audience for the 50-minute film’s premiere.

It’s now available to view as part of MTS’s Stories from Home programming. MTS funded the film, which is free to all MTS Ultimate TV customers through video-on-demand.

The movie uses footage taken by members of the regiment themselves during the Second World War in Europe to create the "Then" aspect of the film. While it shows some battle scenes, much of the footage shows life when the soldiers weren’t in the midst of fighting — from training near Virden to a liberation ceremony in Ostend, Belgium. "It’s not Department of Defence footage, it is from the unit level, so it’s very, very authentic," Street said.

Street’s role was to provide the "Now" of "Then and Now." He followed the path of the XII Manitoba Dragoons through Europe and filmed footage in the same locations from the same angles to show how the areas look now. In that way, past and present are connected and the movie shows the world made possible by the regiment’s efforts.

The regiment’s task was reconnaissance. They went ahead of the main allied force to scout German positions, then relayed what they found back to commanders to decide on a course of action. Using quick armoured scout cars, sometimes they were days ahead of their fellow soldiers in the allied force behind. As such, they were the first troops that liberated Europeans would see as the German army.

Former regiment member 93-year-old Jack Houston saw the film for the first time Friday. Not only was he a subject of the film as one of the soldiers who served with the regiment, but he was also interviewed by Street for modern perspective. The film showed mainly the better times of the regiment’s time in Europe, Houston said — not, for example, when 17 lives were lost in one day due to friendly fire.

But the film is a fitting tribute to the task that regiment members undertook on behalf of its government, he said. "The film shows that it was a success," Houston said. Houston said that he hoped the movie would help audiences appreciate the sacrifice he and his colleagues made. "Just be thankful that we went and preserved the peace and harmony that we’ve enjoyed in this country for so long," Houston asked. "Every one of those men had their life on the line at any moment."

Bill Pierson, who is from the Eden area, was a member of the 12 Manitoba Dragoons in the 1960s as a reservist. He marvelled at the footage taken during the war and said it made him proud to be a former regiment member and others should be pleased, too. "They should be proud of it," Pierson said.

The XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum helped produce the film, and is located at the Brandon Armoury.

Graham Street’s latest documentary film 
“Then and Now: Life in the Regiment” 
will debut at the Evans Theatre Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. 
In the photo, Graham is flanked by Shaun Cameron and Nate Bower, 
who were two of many industry professionals to help make the film.
Today's Brandon Sun article on this is reprinted in our 
AS YOU WERE. . . Military Tribute Webzine 

Then and Now: Life in the Regiment

Brandon, MB – “Then and Now: Life in the Regiment”, a documentary film produced by Street Media Inc. in conjunction with the XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum for MTS TV ‘Stories From Home’, will be premiering at The Evans Theatre on November 11th at 2PM.

Hosted by documentary filmmaker, public historian and cinematographer, Graham Street, this documentary follows in the footsteps of the XII Manitoba Dragoons as they trained in Manitoba and then when overseas to fight for their country in World War 2.  Using film footage that the regiment gathered during the conflict, Graham pieces together the regiments journey capturing the ‘Now’ footage and comparing it to what the regiment saw ‘Then’.

‘It was a highly educational and fulfilling experience to work with the XII Manitoba Dragoons museum on this project’ says Street.  ‘with the support for local story telling and independent production provided by MTS TV Stories From Home, we were able to literally follow in the footsteps of the XII Manitoba Dragoons during World War Two, starting right here in Brandon and then over to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland and Germany.’  Local filmmakers Shaun Cameron and Nate Bower were two of many industry professionals to work on this project with Street.

Quote From The XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum.

The documentary that Mr. Street has produced is a must see for anyone who is has a relative who served in the Canadian Army in WW Two.  The integration of the original film and the “Then and Now” footage is seamless and helps explain the original film.  I would recommend seeing this film to everyone.  My congratulation to Graham on producing such a moving documentary.  My thanks to the Museum Volunteers for their help with this project.
Edd. Mc Arthur, CD
26th Field Regiment RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum
"Then and Now: Life in the Regiment" will premiere at The Evans Theatre located on the campus of Brandon University on November 11th at 2PM.  Admission is free, however cash donations will be accepted for the support of the XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum.  "Then and Now: Life in the Regiment" will be available to watch 24 hours a day 7 days a week following the premiere on MTS TV ‘Stories Form Home’ video-on-demand of service.

For more information on the premiere, please contact:

Graham Street
Street Media Inc.
P: 204 720 3332
E: grahamstreetmedia@gmail.com

Then and Now: Life in the Regiment
View the Trailer HERE
This documentary soon will be available on the
MTS TV Stories From Home service.
Join Cinematographer and Public Historian, Graham Street, as he follows in
the footsteps of the XII Manitoba Dragoons during World War 2.


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Camp Hughes honour 'a long time coming'

Brandon Sun ~ July 25, 2016 ~ by Alex Antoneshyn ~ Photos by Tim Smith

Nicholas Simonds (right) with the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum at CFB Shilo
tells visitors to Camp Hughes about the 18-pounder field gun on display.
CAMP HUGHES — A crowd of roughly 300 were present at Camp Hughes on Sunday for a ceremony that recognized the former training grounds as a national historic site. The 60-acre national heritage site hosts a 10-kilometre system of trenches that were used to train soldiers in the First World War.

While the site had received its provincial designation as a site of significance in 1993, it took until 2012 to receive confirmation of its national designation. "It’s been a long time coming, and we’re very happy," said Brad Wells, vice-chair of Friends of Camp Hughes. "And we’re just so happy with the turnout today, ‘cause you never know. But everybody you talk to here has been affected somehow by these trenches."

Friends of Camp Hughes — a committee consisting of representatives from the RM of North Cypress-Langford, Town of Carberry, Parks Canada, Military Historical Society, Shilo’s Royal Canadian Artillery Museum and their volunteers — decided to postpone the presentation ceremony until 2016, which is considered the centennial of Camp Hughes’ busiest year.

In 1916, Camp Hughes had been home to nearly 40,000 soldiers and staff, making it the second-largest settlement in Manitoba at the time. "The trenches are basically a ditch in the ground, but the stories that go with this place is the amazing part of it, because you think of the 27,000 men that went and not everybody came home. How many doctors and lawyers and politicians and farmers did we lose, out of those men? What would Manitoba have been like if those guys had lived, or there’d never been a war?" Wells said. "This place is more than just trenches; this place is about stories."

Those who gathered at the national historic site Sunday afternoon came for the stories, as well. As a girl, Lillian Glenn understood that the shell hole in her father’s arm and the barbwire scar down his back were tokens of his service, but didn’t express much curiosity beyond that. Yesterday, however, she visited Camp Hughes to satiate that interest. "My father trained here in the First World War with his brother before they went overseas, so I wanted to see the grounds where he trained," Glenn explained.

Her father, Ernest Kenward, and his brother John had enlisted at Birtle in 1915, and fought in Europe as privates. Glenn’s father came back; her uncle did not. "(He said) he and his brother went over the top of the trench together, and they started running, and then the next time he was able to look to his left for John, John was not there. He’d been shot — or killed. And there was no way you can go back and try to find somebody. They were ordered not to stop so they had to continue running," recalled Glenn of her father’s stories. "I’m glad I came. I feel very glad to see that those sacrifices men made are being honoured in this way, they’re not being forgotten. And I think that’s really important. Don’t forget."

A new National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada memorial plaque
is unveiled during a ceremony at Camp Hughes on Sunday

A large crowd listens to speakers
during the unveiling of a new National Historic Sites
and Monuments Board of Canada memorial plaque 
during a ceremony at Camp Hughes west of Carberry on Sunday. 

Gord Crossley (right) with the Fort Garry Horse Museum
in Winnipeg talks about his First World War 
Canadian soldier’s uniform with Falk Riegel and 
his daughter Aletha Riegel at Camp Hughes on Sunday.

Roy Albert Snaith
(August 15, 1921 ~ May 20, 2016)

            Roy was born on August 15, 1921 to Mirim and Herbert Snaith, he was the only surviving sibling of 8. He was born in MacGregor and attended the Emeline school. That is where he met his wife of 60 years Marjorie Laurens, she predeceased Roy in 2002. Roy and Marj had 3 children Dick (Barb); Gloria (Orvil Cairns) and Larry. They had 6 grandchildren Audrey (Keith Loney), Judy (Reid Anderson), Kevin (Cheryl), Scott (Wendy), Dean (Ang), Kim (Jody) and 14 great grandchildren Brenan (Taylor), Kaelynn (Chad Kelly), Camille, Taren, Reece, Alex, Michael, Breanna, Cord, Emily, Dahlia, Keaton, William and Brooke and one great great grandchild Mataya.

            All of Roy’s life was spent around the Austin, MacGregor area. He and Marj farmed in the Austin area until 1963 when they moved their house into Austin. They worked hand in hand running the local Lye Lumber Mart for 12 years before “retiring”. After retirement they purchased several homes through Orvil in the Portage area, refurbished them and selling them.

            In 1942 Roy joined the 12th Manitoba Dragoons of the Canadian Army. He was 20 years old and had only been married a few months when he was shipped overseas. He made it home just after Christmas, in the early days of 1946. His son Dick was three years old at the time and he had been born after Roy had gone overseas. Gramps very rarely spoke of this time, often says when asked that it was not nice and no one needed to hear of the horrors, as always Grampa was thinking of everyone else and not wanting to burden anyone else with the memories that he carried. In 1995 Grampa travelled back to Holland to take part in the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation Holland. In 2014 Roy was received France’s highest honour Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour. Although Gramps did not make fuss over it the family could see how proud he was of that honour.

            For over 25 years Roy and Marj enjoyed retirement as Winter Texans, many great friends were made in Texas. Roy was a avid golfer and one of the organizers of the weekly games while Marj enjoyed her time crafting with the ladies and happy hours were often enjoyed in there sun porch. Many of those special friends make the trip up from various parts of U.S. to help Roy and Marj celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

            Roy was a true family man. He taught his family the importance of family and is the main reason why we remain so close today. Whether it was helping Dick and Barb build their home in Carberry, which they still remain in today or working alongside Gloria out a Delta Beach running the store and canteen. Or helping Larry establish his home in Cartwright he was more than willing to lend a hand. The grandchildren spent much time at Granny and Gramps home enjoying many card games and always some kind of ice cream treat. Even in his final days when food did not always appeal to Gramps he couldn’t resist an ice cream treat.

            Roy valued working hard and caring for others. He was community minded and belonged to many organizations including the Mason’s and the Royal Canadian Legion. He instilled those values in his children. He was proud of all his family and really enjoyed hearing all their stories. The family spent much time camping together and still do to this day. Gramps was still out at the campground last year enjoying chatting with everyone and watching the kids playing in the playground.

            Roy was never one to feel sorry for himself and certainly didn’t want anyone else to feel sorry for him. He never wanted to be a “bother” to anyone. He had extreme arthritis and dealt with skin cancer for years but never complained. He received a cornea transplant in August 2015 which relieved pain for him. We had so many nurses and doctors and home care workers comment on what a kind soul he was, even though he was the one lying in the hospital bed he would always ask how they were and joke around with them. He was always “fine” even when we knew he was not.

            Roy was an avid sports fan, in the day he played baseball, hockey, curling and golf. He was still an avid Toronto Blue Jays fan and enjoyed watching them on TV.

            Roy passed away at the Portage District General Hospital on Friday, May 20, 2016 with family by his side. We know Granny was waiting (probably not so patiently J) and they are together watching over the family. Sir Roy Snaith you may be gone but your legacy will live on for generations to come. Rest in Peace Gramps.

            Memorial Service will be held Friday, May 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the Omega Funeral Home, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Interment will follow at the Carberry Cemetery at a later date.

            If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society; 193 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 2B7 or to the Portage District General Hospital Foundation; 524 5th Street S.E., Portage la Prairie, Manitoba R1N 3A8.

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