Take advantage of a rare opportunity to view Lieutenant Colonel Robert Shankland’s medals, including the extraordinary Victoria Cross.
Shankland was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the attack on Bellevue Spur, Battle of Passchendaele, on October 26, 1917. He had previously received the Distinguished Conduct Medal for service at Sanctuary Wood in 1916. Of the Victoria Crosses awarded to Winnipeggers in the First War, three lived on the 700 block of Pine Street in the west end, including Lieutenant Colonel Shankland. Accordingly, the street was renamed Valour Road in the 1920s.
“Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Shankland’s story is an essential part of the national heritage of all Canadians,” stated Mark O’Neill, the Canadian War Museum’s Director General. “We’re pleased that we are able to loan the medal set to The Manitoba Museum to mark such an important anniversary.”
The Victoria Cross was instituted in 1856. It was made from captured cannons from the battle of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. The Cross has been awarded to 94 Canadians, 71 in the First War. The last recipient died in 2005.
The anniversary exhibit includes artifacts, maps, and medals from the First and Second World Wars, as well as from Peace Keeping and Peace-making Operations.
The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada are a Primary Reserve Infantry Regiment of the Canadian Forces. They have been a mainstay in the Winnipeg Community since February 1, 1910, when they became the first highland regiment on the Canadian Prairie in response to lobbying by the Scottish community. Shortly after inception, the Camerons recruited a number of Canadian Expeditionary Force battalions to go to France, beginning in 1914. It was in one of these battalions—the 43rd Cameron Highlanders—that Robert Shankland served. The Camerons mobilized again in the Second World War, where they earned distinction at Dieppe and the Scheldt. They have sent soldiers to participate in many of the post war missions the Canadian Forces have been involved in, right up to Afghanistan.