The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled (31st July) their latest collector coin which honours the courage and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who helped the Allies win control of the Dutch and Belgian shores of the critical Scheldt river. This bloody battle, fought from September to October 1944, secured a major supply line that helped Canada liberate the Netherlands and ultimately made the Allied liberation of Western Europe possible. The coin was unveiled by RCM President and CEO Marie Lemay and His Excellency Henk van der Zwan, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada. The ceremony took place at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa and was attended by Second World War veterans and Allied nations representatives.
In her opening address during the unveiling, CEO Marie Lemay commented:
“Canada’s veterans continue to be honoured through coins that preserve incredible stories of courage and sacrifice in defence of Canadian values,” further adding “Our newest collector coin shares the valour and determination that contributed to the hard-won success of Canada’s soldiers at the Battle of the Scheldt.”
Victory at the Battle of the Scheldt made way for the Allied liberation of Western Europe, but it came at a substantial cost. Over 6,000 Canadians were killed or wounded during the five weeks of intense conflict with well-fortified German forces along the Scheldt River. The Battle of the Scheldt has become a significant milestone in the shared history of the Netherlands and Canada. As part of his participation in the unveiling, Ambassador Henk van der Zwan commented:
Led by Canadians, this fierce battle marked the beginning of the liberation of the Netherlands, we are proud that the Royal Canadian Mint, with this coin, pays tribute to Canadian soldiers who bravely fought to make 75 Years of Freedom possible.
The commemoration of the Battle of the Scheldt will be celebrated in the Netherlands on the 31st August 31 and will initiate a year full of celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. Another special link between Canada and the Netherlands is that during the Dutch occupation by the Nazis, Princess Juliana, heir presumptive to the Dutch throne, made Canada her home along with her two daughters. Princess Juliana gave birth to her third daughter, Princess Margriet, in January 1943.
The coin is designed by Canadian artist Mary McPherson, who depicts a realistic portrait of a Canadian soldier in action in the fall of 1944. The insignia of the First Canadian Army appears above the infantryman, who wields a Bren gun while advancing past a tower mill. A Wasp MKIIC flamethrower Universal Carrier backs the infantry advance from atop an embankment near the Scheldt River.
The obverse features the effigy of HM King George VI, which was created by T.H. Paget, and has been included on Canadian coinage from 1937 until 1952.
|31.3 g||38 mm||Proof||
The coin is part of the ongoing 10-coin series entitled “Second World War Battlefront” and is the eighth in the series. Two more coins, The Liberation of the Netherlands and Victory Day, will complete the series, which concludes in October 2020. For additional information about this coin and others in the series, please visit the website of the Royal Canadian Mint.