The first coin in the Canadian Home Front 4-coin series, which highlights the war effort on the Canadian home front across the country. Coins will be launched once every quarter, starting in March 2015 and finishing in the first quarter of 2016.
This fine silver coin pays tribute to the railways of Canada and their contributions to the war effort between 1914 and 1918. As the steel and timber arteries of a young nation, Canada’s railways played a vital role on the home front during the First World War by transporting goods and supplies that were vital to the wartime economy and Canada’s allies overseas. And as Canadians heeded the call of duty sent out on August 6, 1914, so too did the railways; they would be used extensively to transport thousands of enlisted Canadians on their journey to Europe’s battlefields, and would bring returning soldiers home again in 1918.
The reverse design by Canadian artist David A. Oram features stunning finishes and expertly detailed engraving in a proud celebration of Canada’s railways and their involvement in Canada’s war effort from the very start. Seemingly leading with its smokebox and pilot, a 4-6-2 “Pacific” steam locomotive becomes the central focal point as it moves along its rails and appears to emerge towards the viewer, which adds dimension to this intricate design. Behind the locomotive are a series of passenger cars filled with Canadian soldiers; this “troop train” is transporting Canadian soldiers to the training camp at Valcartier, Quebec, as part of their journey to the battlefields of Europe. In the background, an engraved map of eastern Canada highlights the railway lines that would have been used as part of this journey: those of the Grand Trunk Railway and part of the National Transcontinental Railway, which served as vital links between Canada’s large cities (highlighted by dots) and the ports along Canada’s East Coast.
A striking collectible for commemorators, and an impressive addition to any Canadian history-themed collection.