An event sponsored by the 1918 Victoria Mutiny Commemoration Committee:
Victoria Mutiny Commemoration
Honour the Resisters of the 259th Battalion
Saturday, December 21, 9:00am
Gather at Fort and Quadra Street (900 Block of Fort)
On the morning of December 21, 1918, French-Canadian conscripts in the 259th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force mutinied at the corner of Fort and Quadra streets in downtown Victoria. They refused to embark for service in a new war. That war saw the Conservative government of Canada send troops to try to aid the White Russian forces fighting the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War. The war on the Western Front had ended six weeks earlier. So sending conscripts to fight in the Russian Far East had dubious legal grounds.
However, at the point of the bayonet, the mutinous men were forced to embark for Russia. The ringleaders were shackled together on a ship, sent to Vladivostok and given sentences of between 30 days and 3 years imprisonment with hard labour for their just act of resistance.
In 2013, on the 95th anniversary of the mutiny, we are gathering to remember this forgotten moment in the history of Victoria, Canada and the world.
The event has two parts:
1. For those able there is a walk. We begin at dawn (7:30AM) from Carnarvon Park (2800 Henderson Road, Carnarvon Street at Henderson Road) to the corner of Fort and Quadra streets. Highlights of key locations along the route will be provided by Ben Isitt, Historian and Victoria City Councillor.
2. The second part is a ceremony at the corner of Fort and Quadra streets (9:00AM) to honour these mens’ resistance to imperialism and to demand a formal apology from the Canadian government for the families and a full pardon for the French-Canadian soldiers wrongfully convicted of mutiny at Victoria.
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