Remembrance Day: The Guns did not Stop Firing

Remembrance Day: The Guns did not Stop Firing

As published in the Inverness Oran: 13 November 13, 2018

Dear Editor,

At the risk of contradicting Brian Adams’ armistice anthem “Remembrance Day”, the guns did not stop firing on November 11th, 1918. Instead, Canadian artillery continued to blast in Russia; this time in support of regime change. Unbeknownst to most citizens, “The Canadian Siberian Expedition Force (CSEF), which consisted of 4,213 men and one woman from across Canada, mobilized alongside 13 Allied armies to replace Lenin’s Bolsheviks with a more friendly government.”

The Canadian force arrived in Siberia in November 1918 and departed shortly after the April 1919, evacuation of Vladivostok. Nineteen Canadian soldiers died in fierce fighting between Bolshevik partisans and White Russian forces supported by Canada and Britain. Their remains still rest in Vladivostok’s Marine Cemetery on the Churkin Peninsula.

Prime Minister Robert Borden’s decision to send the troops was influenced by Canada’s support role in British affairs and his hostility to the Socialist Party of Canada, whose workers’ rights advocacy he considered a subversive menace to law and order. In a way, this western intervention in Russian affairs marked the true beginning of the Cold War and anti-communist sentiment lingers in Canada’s social fabric and official culture.

Morgan Duchesney