This is a bronze angel given to a First Hussars tank crew after they had stopped to help untangle the bells at a church in France during a liberation mission in the Second World War. As a gift, the priest of the church gave the crew this angel, unaware that the name of the tank was “Angel.” After this occurrence, the tank’s crew survived the war unscathed.
This item was chosen because it best encapsulates what our museum is about: the bravery of the First Hussars. It commemorates both those lost and those who endured the tragedies of the war. It also denotes those who fought alongside Canada during the war. The Angel’s historical importance to Ontario and Canada is profound, as it is an essential artifact commemorating one of Ontario’s oldest regiments. It celebrates the bravery of the First Hussars and the story behind it offers insight into the relations that took place between Canadians and the other allied forces during the war.
This artifact is unique because of the story behind it. Whether it was sheer luck or divine intervention, the fact that the Canadian troopers survived one of the world’s most devastating wars is a miracle. It is important today because it commemorates Canadian involvement in the Second World War. We are so privileged to live in such a beautiful and peaceful country and that is in part because of the men who fought and still fight in order to promote a safer world for us all. It is important that their stories live on throughout history, no matter what form that commemoration takes.
Museum Curator: Alastair Neely
Student Curators: Alicia Boyer and Andrew Johnston