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The Ajax Town
The Ajax is one of history’s highlights, thanks to its impact on the way things played out during the Second World War. In turn, it was no surprise that today, a town in Ontario, Canada, is used to remember the significance of the Ajax. This is even more unique thanks to the reality that this is the first time a city or town has derived its name from a ship. Even more impressive, this remains the ship that continues to name a town or city even today. While there’s no doubt that the Ajax deserves the recognition and status that it continues to receive today, what’s more, surprising is the correlation between a British warship and a Canadian town. This has led to a wide variety of activities to unravel the realities of the Ajax leading to the now popular Ajax Town.
The history of the Ajax and its subsequent influence leading to the renaming of an area as the Ajax town is traceable to the 10th of September 1938 when Canada decided to go to war against Germany and declared the same war. During this period, the area now known as Ajax town was merely farmland. Precisely, it was a farmland that was located at the side of Lake Ontario. This was some 25 kilometres away from Toronto. At this point, this area was merely 150 years old, dating back to the time when the first white settlers had arrived to start a new life in that area. This peaceful land remained until 1941 when Defence Industries Limited, Pickering Munitions Works arrived in the area. They converted the area to their site and transformed the once peaceful area into an ammunition plant. This rapid change became even more evident by 1945. By this time, the site had seen the manufacturing of around 40 million shells. Even more, this plant had emptied over nine thousand people who were constituted majorly by women. This area had also witnessed some development as it has received its sewage and water treatment plants, post office, railroad, a school, and other roads. This area was truly the hub of a wide range of activities. With the plant site including almost 3,000 acres, it was able to accommodate all these activities. As expected, the community continued to experience a significant increase and was soon in need of a name to cement its identity. In turn, in 1941, the plant’s management decided to hold a competition to determine the name of the competition. Subsequently, the name came from the initial victory of the British navy in the Second World War. Note that this relationship was existent as it was the Defence Industries Limited responsible for selling or supplying shells to the British Royal Navy.
The victory was of great significance because the British warships, the HMS Exeter, HMS Achilles, and HMS Ajax, had conquered the more powerful German battleship when it was believed to be almost impossible. Known as the Battle of the River Plate, the battle’s success story had spread like wildfire all over the world. Even more illustrative was the speech rendered by Winston Churchill, who was the Lord of Admiralty. This battle was easily ranked as one of the most important battles in the Second World War. In turn, the name Ajax, including those of other shops, becomes synonymous with determination and courage thanks to what they had achieved. Generally, these were virtues that people greatly respected within the Canadian community. In turn, in recognition of these virtues and seeking to reach the same lofty heights, the name Ajax was regarded as the ideal make for the town born out of war activities’ exploits. This action becomes symbolic as, in the past, ships’ names were derived from cities and towns and not the other way around. However, with this action, there had been a change in the status quo which forged a connection to the Royal Navy, the ship, and its crew members. The people felt this connection deeply that it extended to the HMS Ajax’s successor, which got built-in 1964. Even today, this connection continues to exist as the town continents enjoy a strong relationship with the River Plate Veteran Association and the HMS Ajax. This is done through a regular mutual visit, especially during anniversaries. Even as an addition, since 1962, each Mayor continues to invite the British Admiralty ships to visit the town. This led to the visit of the frigate in 1976 and the subsequent honour, the Freedom of the Town, that it received. Various commemorations have been held over the years to strengthen the bond between the Royal Navy and the town. There is no doubt that the HMS Ajax and Ajax town are intertwined for life. It becomes even more evident when considered because the town represents a living memorial of the ship. It achieves this by according honour to the ship and its officers. This is achieved by naming the town’s streets after the names of the courageous and brave officers who fought at the Battle of the River Plate. This is also the same as the accompanying ship HMS Exeter and HMS Achilles. Also, Bob Sharplin isn’t left out as he is remembered under the name “Sharplin Drive.” There should be no doubt about the long-lasting connection between the HMS Ajax and Ajax town. This connection is poised to continue in the coming years, and there shouldn’t be any surprise following the great value that they have contributed to their respective existence.