By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario -- November 9, 2018 -- On November 11, 1918, the sound of guns and mortars grew silent. The Great War had come to an end.
Of the 425,000 Canadian soldiers who served overseas, one-in-seven would not return. But for those who did, it was time to return home. On the battlefields of Europe, these soldiers had become very familiar with gasoline powered vehicles, from the armoured cars that drove them to-and-from the trenches, to the ambulances that whisked away the wounded, and the airplanes that battled high above them.
This was even more true of the many soldiers who had served their King and empire as part of the Canadian Army Service Corps—which was renamed the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC) in recognition of their valour. Despite the circumspect training and inadequate tools, they had routinely performed procedures most of us would find unthinkable, from fixing tank tracks broken by landmines and repairing axles as vehicles sank into the mud—all while under fire. The dedication of these soldiers is credit to our country. Their commitment to excellence should inspire technicians in every part of our industry. After all, even for civilian drivers, an improper repair can be a matter of life and death.
As we approach hundredth anniversary of Armistace on Sunday, Collision Repair felt it appropriate to make a particular point of remembering those members of the RCASC who made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada and her allies. As part of the first generation of collision repairers, those who died in the battlefields of Europe would not live to see the automobile's revolutionary impact on the world.
Many, however, would make an impact on the collision repair industry. From the trenches, soldier-repairers were forced to deal with limited resources, inventing repair procedures. While many of these inventors would not live to see it, their approaches to making many repairs were remembered by their comrades-in-arms, who formed the very foundation of Canada’s collision repair industry as it is known today.