Monday, October 15, 2012
Memorializing Brock, Part 1
Sir Isaac Brock's death while defending Upper Canada from invasion guaranteed him major hero status in Canadian history. Brock's military tunic and other artifacts from the Battle of Queenston Heights are on permanent display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. See the bullet hole right underneath the black lapel? That's where the fatal musket ball got him.
The city of Brockville in Eastern Ontario is named for him, as is Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, the largest city on the Niagara peninsula. There's a township in Ontario and a village in Saskatchewan which also bear his name, as do numerous schools across Canada.
When I was a kid, I learned to sing a Canadian folk song celebrating the Battle of Queenston Heights. Its romanticized lyrics were written in the 1800s but the melody was composed in the 1960s by Canadian folklorist Alan Mills. Here's the first verse:
Upon the heights of Queenston one dark October day,
Invading foes were marshalled in battle's dread array.
Brave Brock looked up the rugged steep and planned a bold attack;
"No foreign flag shall fly," said he, "above the Union Jack."
You can hear the melody in an excerpt of Alan Mills singing the second verse by going here, scrolling down to #19 and clicking on the little play button.
Tomorrow: Memorializing Brock, Part 2