The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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279 Garry Street    Location Map
  

"Shoulder to Shoulder".


Location: NE corner Garry & Graham; South Face

Occupant: Army Navy Air Force Veterans in Canada

District: City Centre

Neighbourhood: South Portage

Artist(s): Charlie Johnston (C5 Artworks)

Year: 2000

Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, ANAF Unit 50 Ft. Garry & Unit 60 Ladies Auxiliary

 

This Mural is called "Shoulder to Shoulder" and its central theme is also the central theme of ANAF Unit 50: the Army, Navy and Air Force United in remembrance of those who served and died.

The poem is 'For the Fallen' by Lawrence Binyon. Charlie Johnston: "I wanted the poem to be the entry point of the Mural. Someone is reading and reflecting on the veterans."

The first figure is Edith Anderson, a World War I Aboriginal nurse from Six Nations Grand River Reserve in Alberta. She served at a hospital in France and saw firsthand the effects and suffering of war. The fallen soldier she's holding is faceless. "That was intentional,' says Johnston. "Behind her I put Flanders Fields".

Next is Seargeant Tommy Prince, the highly decorated aboriginal war veteran who served in World War II and in the Korean War. He is a Manitoban who received the Distinguished Service Cross amongst other medals as well as being part of the renowned "Devil's Brigade". He is in fact Canada's most decorated aboriginal soldier.

These first two figures symbolize the men and women in the Army. The Air Force pilot next to them is Russ Bannock, the Distinguished Flying Cross recipient and an unsung WWII ace. Amongst his other aerial victories, he saved the lives of many by shooting down 19 German Buzz Bomb planes (unmanned planes filled with explosives) that were headed for London. The female pilot is a Canadian ATA pilot from WW II who was required to fly an amazing variety of aircraft as part of her duties, sometimes with nothing more than an operating manual to guide her on her missions.

The next figure is Hampton "Hammy" Grey, a naval pilot who earned the Victoria Cross when he gave his life saving the aircraft carrier "Formiddable" from being sunk by a Japanese destroyer. The flag bearer next to him is a Canadian Wren, one of many who served at most any naval base in World War II. The flag contains the colours of ANAF Association Unit 60 Women's Auxilary.

Charlie: "Behind the figures from the Army, Navy and Air Force, I superimposed the type of equipment each used. Behind Tommy Prince I put an Army tank. That tank is actually right here in Winnipeg in the North End. There's a Spitfire behind the Air Force figures, and I put the HMS Formiddable behind Grey."