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Discovering and Honouring True Heroes - A Tribute to James Campbell Clouston Discovering and Honouring True Heroes - A Tribute to James Campbell Clouston
by Mirella Ionta
2017-12-30 13:31:17
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The greatest news emerging from Canada nowadays is the fact that a humble and talented Canadian commander was finally commemorated in his native city, Montreal, for his significant leadership role during World War II Dunkirk’s battle.

dunk01_400_01James Campbell Clouston’s name was not destined to be confined to oblivion. Although Clouston is never mentioned in Christopher Nolan's Oscar-worthy movie, he is portrayed by actor Kenneth Branagh. Historians have recently concluded that Clouston’s firm leadership skills were crucial in the preservation of the lives of 338,000 soldiers. As German forces continued their airstrikes during an official “Halt Order,” Clouston worked for six consecutive days to ensure the safe evacuation of British troops from the shores on which they were trapped.

Clouston graduated from Selwyn House, Lower Canada College, and McGill University. He trained at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He met his defeat on June 3, 1940 after an airstrike caused his ship to sink in the English Channel. He was survived by his wife and two sons. Clouston's family members travelled from overseas to take part in the ceremony in Montreal, where a commemorative plaque is placed in honour of his extraordinary service to the Royal Navy.  

This commemoration is very important for the history of Canada as rewarding true heroes and true talent is not only the right thing to do from a “just documenting history” perspective but it also serves as a good example in the pursuit and revelation of truth and in the upholding of justice. It is a good reference for future events, whether small or large scale, that those who merited reward, receive proper honour, recompense, or accolade. Perhaps the words of Samuel Adams, penned in a letter dated October 29, 1777, best sum up this principle: “Give credit to whom credit due.”

As I express gratitude for James Campbell Clouston’s legendary efforts, I hope that more heroes’ names of his calibre surface from oblivion and become immortalized in our updated versions of history.


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