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The Van Doos, 100 Years with the Royal 22e Regiment

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal 22e Régiment, widely known by its colloquial name, “The Van Doos.” In October 1914, while World War I was raging across Europe, the Canadian government authorized the formation of the only French-speaking battalion to fight in the Great War. Initially called the 22nd (French-Canadian) Battalion, and later the Royal 22e Régiment, the “Van Doos” went on to serve with distinction on several fronts. Its feats in battle included not only missions in both world wars and the Korean War but also numerous U.N. peacekeeping operations, including in the former Yugoslavia and, more recently, the interventions in Afghanistan. These French-Canadian soldiers have answered the call across the globe, but many have fallen on the field of honour. The Van Doos: 100 Years with the Royal 22e Régiment pays tribute to both the living veterans and the lost soldiers through their personal stories and narratives. Combining interviews, letters and archival images, filmmaker Claude Guilmain brings a little-known page of our history books to life, and shows how the Royal 22e Régiment adapted to the evolution of conflict while affirming the rights of French-speaking soldiers within the Canadian army. Featuring a  moving score by Claude Naubert, performed live by the regimental formation La Musique du Royal 22e Régiment, this documentary offers a vibrant elegy in memory of those no longer with us.
 

2014, 52 min

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