On the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Scheldt, a new Royal Canadian Mint coin honours brave Canadian soldier whose victory forged the path to liberating the Netherlands
Ottawa, Ontario, July 31, 2019 – The Royal Canadian Mint’s newest Second World War Battlefront Series fine silver coin commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who, 75 years ago, helped the Allies win control of the Dutch and Belgian shores of the strategic Scheldt river. This costly battle, fought from September to October 1944, secured a vital supply line that helped Canada liberate the Netherlands and made the Allied liberation of Western Europe possible.
The coin was proudly unveiled by Mint President and CEO Marie Lemay and His Excellency Henk van der Zwan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada. This ceremony took place at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa, in the company of Second World War veterans and Allied nations representatives.
“The Mint is proud to honour Canada’s veterans through coins that preserve incredible stories of courage and sacrifice in defence of Canadian values,” said Marie Lemay, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “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.”
“While victory at the Battle of the Scheldt ultimately helped pave the way for the Allied liberation of Western Europe, it came at a tremendous cost. More than 6,000 Canadians were killed or wounded during five weeks of intense conflict with well-fortified German forces along the Scheldt River,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. “As time passes, it is critical that we not forget the contributions made by Canadians during the Second World War, and I am grateful that the Royal Canadian Mint is paying tribute to their eternal legacy of courage and sacrifice.”
“The Battle of the Scheldt is a significant milestone in the shared history of the Netherlands and Canada. Led by Canadians, this fierce battle marked the beginning of the liberation of the Netherlands, said Henk van der Zwan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada. “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 commemorations of the Battle of the Scheldt will be celebrated in the Netherlands on August 31. This will be the kick-off to a year full of celebrations to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands.”
Canadian artist Mary McPherson designed the Battle of the Scheldt silver collector coin, which presents a realistic portrait of a Canadian Ojibwa 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 MKII C flamethrower Universal Carrier backs the infantry advance from atop an embankment near the Scheldt River. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T.H. Paget.
The coin can be ordered from August 6. 2019. For more information, visit the Royal Canadian Mint.