Military Heritage of Summerside

The military presence in Summerside began in 1941 when No. 9 Service Flying Training School was established to train personnel for action in World War II.  Later, No. 1 General Reconnaissance School, RCAF Station Summerside and finally Canadian Forces Base Summerside were integral parts of the community until it was closed in 1989.  Thousands of Canadian men and women have called Summerside home while posted here during periods of their military careers.

Summerside volunteers served with distinction in the Great War, World War II, and Korea.  This mural celebrates the rich military tradition of this community and is dedicated in honour of its many veterans who served so courageously during time of war.

The veterans illustrated represent the many that have served.  Also depicted are the insignia and ships of the Merchant Navy, including the corvette HMCS Summerside.

Flying Officer Charles E. Monty completed two tours of operation over enemy territory as a rear gunner with Bomber Group.  The survival rate for such service was atrociously low.  Flying mostly in Halifax bombers, Monty received the Distinguished Flying Cross from King George VI.

Company Sergeant Major Harry J. Bishop served with the North Nova Highlanders in France, Holland, Germany, and Africa, where he was wounded. Bishop received the Military Medal from Alexander of Tunis for conspicuous gallantry in action at the battle of Bienen, Germany.

Nursing Sister Bea Rankin sailed from Halifax in 1943 on the Queen Elizabeth along with 27,000 other passengers. She served at the 10th General Hospital near London, England. In 1944 she was transferred to France and then to Antwerp and Bruges, Belgium where she served until the war's end.

Captain Fred T. Peters joined the British Navy in 1905 at the age of 16 and served in both World Wars.  He ranks as the most decorated Island veteran and the only native Islander to be awarded the Victoria Cross.  His VC was for valour while serving as Captain of the American Coast Guard cutter Wainey (on loan to the British Navy) during the World War II battle of Oran.  Peters also received the Distinguished Service Order, the Distinguished Service Cross and Bar, the US Distinguished Service Cross, and an Italian Decoration.

The Merchant Navy suffered heavy loss of life while manning unarmed ships engaged in accompanying supply convoys to Europe. They were at the mercy of German submarines operating in the North Atlantic. The heaviest casualties occurred in 1941 during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Location: The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 5, 340 Notre Dame Street

Facts:  Mural # 5.  Measures 10 x 15 feet.  Erected 2000.

Mural Artist: Greg Garand