Category Archives: Canada’s First World War

Canada’s History and the First World War Centennial: A Conversation

ActiveHistory.ca has an announcement!  With contributors’ approval, Canada’s History will be selecting posts from the “Canada’s First World War” series on ActiveHistory.ca for inclusion in Canada’s Great War Album.   The album is Canada’s History’s online tribute to people and stories from the war, and carries on from their book project that recognized the centennial of the war’s outbreak. The arrangement… Read more »

A View from the (Editing) Trenches: Summer 2016 and the Challenges of (Knowledge) Mobilization

Sarah Glassford, Christopher Schultz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan Weier Following a call for submissions, the Canada’s First World War series on ActiveHistory.ca began with a post by Nathan Smith in August 2014 – exactly a century after the outbreak of the Great War. Since that time, the series has posted 40  pieces, including this one. The posts cover topics ranging… Read more »

“Manna From Heaven” – A YMCA Physical Director at Valcartier and Salisbury Plain

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By Robert Alldritt Before he was a prisoner of war in Germany (a story explored in an earlier article), Sergeant William A. Alldritt served as a machine gunner with the 8th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). However, as documented in many of the letters he sent home and in letters written by his colleagues and fellow soldiers, he… Read more »

Vimy Ridge and Canadian Nationalism

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By Walter Klaassen Several weeks ago the CBC National News offered a film clip of the President of France, Francois Hollande, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel standing together at the site commemorating the 1916 Battle of Verdun.  It has been called the biggest battle in history.  It lasted for 300 days and resulted in 300,000 French and German dead. … Read more »

In Conversation: Teaching and Learning Canada’s First World War

By Sarah Glassford and Ruby Madigan Preamble During the winter 2014 semester, we (the authors) experienced HIST 309A “Canada and the First World War” from opposite sides of the teaching-and-learning equation. Sarah was teaching the course, offered by the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Department of History, while Ruby was a student taking the course as an elective. We… Read more »

“Deeply regret to inform you”: War and Loss in the Trapp Family

By Mike Bechthold The loss of a loved one during the First World War was often conveyed by a telegram beginning with the life-altering preamble, “Deeply regret to inform you….” This simple piece of paper heralded the deaths of sons, fathers, husbands, and brothers leaving families to pick up the pieces.  Rudyard Kipling, writing of the loss of his son… Read more »

Performing For War, Hoping For Peace: Canadian Actresses’ Transnational Engagements with World War I

By Cecilia Morgan It opened with a number of trumpet calls, followed by the boom of cannons. Then the curtain rose and the central attraction of the 1917 vaudeville production Liberty Aflame was revealed: Julia Arthur, dressed as the Statue of Liberty. According to theatre reviewer Alan Dale, “Miss Arthur stood, as all stars love to stand, in the absolute… Read more »

Golgotha?: D. Y. Cameron’s Flanders from Kemmel

By Laura Brandon One of the aspects of war art that continues to surprise me is how personal it ultimately is. Any painting, however objectively representative of events it may purport to be, in it carries some measure of the artist’s subjective response to the incident, place, or person depicted. Furthermore, it is influenced by the artist’s personal circumstances and… Read more »

Marjorie Stinson, the Flying Schoolmarm

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By Liz Millward On December 4, 1915 Joseph Gorman of Ottawa graduated from the Stinson Flying School at San Antonio, Texas, and returned to Canada in order to sign up with the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). He was the first graduate for twenty-one year-old Marjorie Stinson, the instructor who taught him to fly in the record time of two… Read more »

Bleeding Him White: How Canada Stole an Indigenous Veteran’s Identity

By Lynn Gehl In the Anishinaabeg tradition dibaajimowinan, which translates to personal storytelling, is valued as a valid and legitimate method of both gaining and conveying knowledge. The dibaajimowinan method is holistic in that it values knowledge that is more than what is rational: it is emotional and spiritual too. As most know, the oral tradition was recognized in the… Read more »