Hometown war hero Lt.-Col. Robert Shankland’s Victoria Cross is on display in Winnipeg for the first time since Shankland’s medals were bought by the Canadian War Museum in a controversial auction last year.
The medal, along with others awarded to Shankland, is part of a temporary exhibit unveiled today at the Manitoba Museum to mark the 100th anniversary of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, a primary reserve infantry regiment based in Winnipeg.
"To the Camerons, their value is immeasurable, as the regiment’s only Victoria Cross," said Lt.-Col. Brett Takeuchi, commanding officer of the Camerons, of the medals.
Shankland served in the 43rd Cameron Highlanders battalion in the First World War.
He’s one of three soldiers, all hailing from the same block of Winnipeg’s Pine Street, credited with the street’s name change to Valour Road in the 1920s in recognition of the Victoria Crosses each received for gallantry in battle.
Shankland received his Cross in the 1917 battle of Passchendaele. A national controversy erupted in May 2009 when it was reported his medals, including the Victoria Cross, were set to go up for auction, with concerns raised they could wind up leaving the country.
The medals were ultimately purchased by Canada’s National War Museum, which is loaning them to the Manitoba Museum for the exhibition.
The exhibit includes Camerons uniforms worn in the First and Second World War, artifacts, and the medals of other soldiers affiliated with the regiment.
It will be on display until November 21.