Gillespies have served in many wars, with records in this library as early as the 1600s in Ireland. The first Canadian military record on file is for September 1759 for a Gillespie military leader on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City and the struggle between the French and British for control of Canada. His roots have been researched to Renfew County in Ontario where his family later settled. Another Scottish Gillespie soldier, in the same battle in Quebec, had arrived from Fort George, near Inverness, Scotland. His family history is recorded on this website.
In 2014, I stood in Westminister Cathedral in London, England looking down at the grave of the British leader of that great battle in Quebec, General James Wolfe (1727-59) which determined Canada’s future British roots instead of French ones, in awe of the history that is remembered on these pages.
Click on the links below to find Gillespie records in military conflicts around the world.
Click on each war title for records
The NAPOLEONIC WARS, 1803-1815
A unique insight into Horatio Nelson & his doctor
Dr Leonard Gillespie
Diplomatic relations between Britain and France had deteriorated and were now brought to crisis point over Britain’s refusal to evacuate Malta and Napoleon’s unwillingness to withdraw troops from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Piedmont, conditions both countries had agreed upon when signing the Treaty of Amiens. Britain declared war on France on 16 May 1803. Nelson joined his ship HMS Victory at Portsmouth on 18 May 1803. Dr Gillespie joined him aboard in 1805.
The India Mutiny 1857-1859
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR 1861-1865
See photo of a British mule train straining up a hill. My Uncle, James Gillespie, my Dad’s brother, from the Ottawa area of Canada, served in that war in Africa. He came home in 1901, married a local girl from Hazaldean, became a fireman, and lived to be into his 90s.
WORLD WAR I: 1914-1918
Photo of men in the trenches
My Grampa, my Dad’s father, John Gillespie married a widow in 1900 in Billings Bridge, Ontario near Ottawa. One of her sons, Ernest Davis, from her first marriage, enlisted in Saskatchewan, went overseas in 1916 and died in 1918 age 24 in the Somme area of France. I just found his grave.
WORLD WAR II: 1937-1945
Photo of Omaha Beach
I have interviewed and filmed a World War II vet and his wife in Duncan, Grey County, Ontario Canada. It took two visits to get him to open up a bit about his arrival as a medic in France a week after D-Day, and some of the terrible things he endured. Immediately after a conflict, he helped carry the bodies of injured men on stretchers back to a makeshift hospital set up in various areas. The medics following the soldiers who were moving along dangerous roads lined with thick hedges that sometimes hid the enemy.
His wife he would meet later when he came home after the war ended. She was working in a factory in Toronto making Brenn Guns. They have been married over 60 years, still living independently on their farm, a marvelous testimony of love and faithfulness through the hardest of times.
When I was a student at a college in Alberta in my 20s, I lived off campus with a family that included a man who had been a seaman during the Korean Conflict. The little that he shared gave a glimpse into the stress, the fear, and strain of those dangerous times.
VIETNAM WAR 1955-1975
The Vietnam War caused the majority of my classmates to come to a Canadian college in Alberta during the turmoil of the 1960s. I was in love with one of those American men, but he left for Georgia military training and war, while I drove overland to with a group to live and work in India and Nepal far from the conflict. How many of my classmates died in Vietnam I have not been able to discover, but most were drafted as soon as they returned home. So this war was especially personal to me.
THE GULF WAR
Operation Desert Storm
AFGHANISTAN: Operation Enduring Freedom
Forces Reunited – British Soldiers’ Website. Forces War Records has over seven million individuals records and a ton of supplementary military data not found on any other sites.
MILITARY MIGHT JAN 2020
|ID||COUNTRY||POPULATION||ACTIVE PERSONNEL||RESERVE||AIRCRAFT||COMBAT TANKS||NAVY ASSETS|
A layman’s view:
Israel & Iran
Iran has about the same military hardware as Israel, its enemy, but has increased its naval assets substantially. If the Iran Navy arrived in the Mediterranean Sea, it could have a lot of fighting power to attack an open shoreline of the tiny nation of Israel, who hasn’t the naval resource or physical barriers and distance in which to stop it. But Israel’s will to survive must never be discounted, nor God’s favour and protection for the home land of the Jews.
To get there, the Iran Navy would want to take the shortest route through the Red Sea. Egypt looks strong and would probably let Iran through the canal, but Israel certainly would not. The battle for control of that tiny strip of sea could be decisive again in future events. Could Egypt be persuaded to fight Israel to keep it so busy Iran’s ships could make it through to the Great Sea for the bigger purpose? Still very dangerous that too many ships would be destroyed or the channel blocked. If, however, Iran’s ships went around Africa, a much longer trip, but less threatening to Israel, could they arrive in the Mediterranean to creep along the North African coastline to avoid arousing suspicion and anxiety in counties building their fire power in France, Italy and Greece?
USA vs China & Russia
Though the US has superior air power, if it came in conflict with China and all military personnel were called up, China would have 7,783,000 soldiers vs the USA manpower of only 2,141,900 soldiers. Russia would likely add its 3.5 million soldiers with China, bringing the combined force up to 10 million strong.
But who would Japan and India support, if they had to? Maybe the USA? Imagine Japan doing that! Not so sure about that one. These last combined military forces of about 16 million soldiers would make a major shift somewhere, even in split. The US would need a tremendous increase in its soldier base to face a China and Russia attack, especially by land. It doesn’t seem likely, but we have been surprised before. Could Russia and China be planning to drive tanks across to Alaska and down through Canada, while ships and airplanes bring others, and the massive Chinese/Russian armies arrive on US shores? China’s new missiles– fired from ships moving closer to the States– might keep US military leaders hunkered down in bunkers, with frantic people fleeing everywhere in mass hysteria. Canada stunned and ineffective to stop it.
Canada looks pitiful in this chart, maybe because we do not anticipate a major conflict within our own land. A few peacekeeping missions perhaps elsewhere. We are a peaceful nation supposedly, but we are welcoming immigrants who have come through war and destruction in their home country. Will these new arrivals become loyal to our land, or will they remain deeply attached to their homeland and its policies, not our own?! Should the Canadian Military Budget be upped simply to promote the economy and create badly needed jobs, even housing? Why are so fooled into thinking that the US will protect us if anything goes wrong? How must our troops feel when they read a chart like the one above?
I didn’t add the details for areas in which I have little or no interest, but this report has just been published January online, and is available for review in greater details. I have no idea how accurate it is, but fascinating in the light of world events, and what hidden agendas might be in these numbers. I wish I knew how many submarines each nation had, the silent killers on the sea, and does Iran, China, Russia have many? Is there a radar in effect to alert the US if those submarines moved ahead of the main body of attack towards the North American west coast?
Why is China building its tanks? Where does it plan to go with them? Hardly east into the sea, and not likely north into Russia. That probably means south, or west. China is so vast, a massive Chinese tank presence could be brought to Tibet for aggressive military plans looking east (and a lovely railway now spans that great distance). South regarding India and more directly towards Korea and other smaller nations I shall not discuss just now. I noticed Burma (a country now called Myanmar) and Thailand are building their military power and are they afraid of China? Remember the Vietnam War, and the USA’s inability to defeat the jungles of Asia.
Why isn’t Russia caring more about building its naval assets, especially on its western shores closest to the USA? Too frozen to the north for its Navy. Russia was building paved highways way to the south in other countries, through Afghanistan as an example. It supports Pakistan also, I believe and its presence is felt in the Middle East. But where is Russia’s main focus with its huge development of combat tanks? Is it in secret negotiations with China, who is doing exactly the same thing? At attack by land outward, or could they be expecting an inward attack by someone? Not likely.
Could I be totally wrong and Russia and China are facing off against each other, both rather in self protective mode, simply aware of the danger of each other’s military power. I cannot see Russia ever supporting the US, and obviously China is aggressively developing its weapons for some purpose of its own. I don’t forget Korea, nor all of those Asian countries below them but these comments are long enough. Just interesting to ponder this chart.
Think of all the million or so military personnel who do this kind of thing daily. Planning for war, while the rest of us hope it never happens. But war makes a lot of money, and that is a huge pressure for politicians and presidents. Obviously it is also why military budgets are huge for these three nations, and very little for Canada, whose Prime Minister wants to promote us as a peaceful, passive nation.
Australia is sitting right below two major powers, but is probably spending more of its efforts now to save the Continent from its ring of terrible fires. But right above is Indonesia, another aggressive grower of military and increasing in its economic presence in the world.
The only silent continent seems to be Africa, with so much internal strife, poverty and disease. The world is our home, and this review should stimulate us to be alert, because the dangers are both within and without.