Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Today's Poet: Helena Jane Coleman from Canada

Helena Jane Coleman (1860 - 1953) was born in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada.  She was a music teacher, writer and poet.

Canada answered the call to arms in 1914.  The first contingent of the Canadian Army expeditionary force that arrived in England on 16th October 1914, was equipped with a "motor machine-gun corps" of twenty armoured cars. 

This formation - the first in the First World War designed and equipped right from the start as an armoured force - was the outcome of the enterprise shown by Raymond Brutinel. 

Brutinel had served in the French Army and became convinced of the value of the machine-gun. Living in Canada at the outbreak of war in 1914, he persuaded wealthy business contemporaries led by Sir Clifford Sifton to join with him in raising and equipping a brigade of motor machine-guns.

Brutinel purchased a total of twenty vehicles : eight were made into Machine Gun Carriers, five were for Ammo and supply carrying, four were for Officer Transport, one carried petrol, one was a repair vehicle and the last one was an Ambulance which the Autocar Company donated. All were made mechanically identical so parts could be swapped around.
From the website: