ca. 1000 photographs : b&w and col. ; 25 x 20 cm or smaller
Scope and Content
Accession consists of photographs and textual records that document the activities of the General Wingate Branch 256 from 1976-2007. Also included in the accession are 6 albums dated 1976, 1984, 1985-1986, 1998-2002, 2002-2004, and 2002-2007.
The album for 1976 consists of material related to the First World Assembly of Jewish War Veterans held in Jerusalem. Included are photographs, correspondence, a contact list for branch officers, executive committee and chaplains for 1976/77, newsclippings and general memorabilia related to the First World Assembly in Israel. Of note is a photograph of Moshe Dayan at a lecture of the First World Assembly and of President Ephraim Katzir, Israel's 4th President.
The album for 1984 consists of material related to the unveiling of the Canadian Jewish War Veterans's Cenotaph at Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Toronto. Included are photographs of the Cenotaph, Mt. Sinai cemetery, the annual Remembrance Day parade, newsclippings, drawings and political cartoons. Of note are letters of congratulations from members of Parliament to the General Wingate Branch for their efforts in making the Cenotaph possible.
The album for 1985-1986 consists of material related to the annual memorial service dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives in World War II and in particular the 430 Jewish men and women slain in the Canadian Forces. Included are photographs and newsclippings related to the annual memorial service at Mt. Sinai cemetery, Remembrance Day parade and fundraising events.
The album for 1998-2002 consists of material related to the memorial service dedicated to 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. Included are photographs of the memorial service, articles related the Wingate Branch donations to Baycrest and Sunnybrook Hospitals, the CNE Warrior Day parade, the annual Veterans' seder and poppy campaign and the Jewish military exhibit held at Toronto's Lipa Green Building. Of note is a letter from Jean Chretien paying tribute to war veterans.
The album for 2002-2004 consists of material related to the 70th anniversary of the General Wingate Branch 256. Included is a 70th anniversary commemorative soft cover booklet, photographs, newsclippings, general meeting newsletters, correspondence, letters from members of Parliament and the 2004-2005 report to the community.
The album for 2002-2007 consists of material relating to the Wingate Branch annual memorial services held at Mt. Sinai cemetery. Included are photographs of the annual memorial services, community and fundraising events, newsclippings concerning the diminishing membership of the Canadian Legion, letters from members of Parliament, a Portraits of Bravery: Canadian Jewish War Veterans brochure and photo negatives of 2003-2006 events.
The Jewish Brigade was a member of the Great War Association in the 1920s. After its first president was installed in the early 1930s, the Royal Canadian Legion granted a charter for a Jewish Veteran’s Branch. The brigade was renamed the General Wingate Branch in the mid-1940s after the British army officer Major General Orde Charles Wingate, D.S.O. Although Major Wingate was not Jewish, he was a passionate Zionist.
At first, the branch met at a veteran’s hall at Crawford and College Street in Toronto, but later purchased its own house at 1610 Bathurst Street. In 1968, the branch moved to Eglinton Avenue West. It is currently located at the Zionist Centre on Marlee Avenue.
The Branch holds an annual memorial march and service at the Mt. Sinai Cemetery where there stands a Cenotaph funded and maintained by the branch. The Cenotaph memorializes Jewish servicemen who died and are buried overseas, as well as those who fought in Israel's War of Independence and partisans who fought the Nazis. Once a year veterans distribute poppies and the funds raised are disbursed to assist veterans and their families, hospitals, medical research and charitable causes in the community. In 2018, after more than eight decades of operation Toronto's General Wingate Branch 256 of the Royal Canadian Legion voted to close its doors and give up its charter.