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. See a new addition– the top 20 military powers in 2016.
The American Revolution (recovered)
The War of 1812: Canada vs US Colonies
The India Mutiny 1857-1859
American Civil War 1861-1865
The Boer War, Africa 1899-1902 – 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 1: 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 independantly on their farm, a marvellous 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.
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.
|USA||601 Billion||1,400,000||8,848||13, 892||72|
|JAPAN||41.6 Billion||247, 173||678||1,613||16|
|SOUTH KOREA||62.3 Billion||624, 465||2,381||1,412||13|
|UNITED KINGDOM||60.5 Billion||146,980||407||936||10|
|TURKEY||18.2 Billion||410, 500||3,778||1,020||13|
|EGYPT||4.4 Billion||468, 500||4,624||1,107||4|
|TAIWAN||10.7 Billion||290, 000||2,005||804||4|
Note: This report, in order of miltary might, seems to have two errors to me on military budget re USA & China. Is it possible that these two nations actually spend that kind of money for the military, or was there a typo in that original report so should it read USA 60.1 Billion and China 21.6 billion? That doesn’t sound right either for the largest nation in the East. The accompanying notes say that Russia has the most powerful armed forces in the world, and Israel is using many drones as part of its forces.