Tag Archives: Canada’s First World War

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic: Testaments.ca

By Neil Orford and Blake Heathcote In January 1920, Stan McVittie was a fit and robust electrical engineer working at a hydro-electric generating plant on the Wahnapitae River in Northern Ontario. Just six years out of university, he loved his work and the outdoor life he’d known all his life. The future was brilliant. While his young wife and daughter… Read more »

Local Tragedy or National Disaster? Commemorating the Halifax Explosion Centenary

By Claire L. Halstead Canada’s sesquicentennial has been contentious. Both historians and the broader public have discussed and debated the commemoration and celebration of the “birth of the nation”. Although less feted and expectantly less controversial, this year also marks the centenary of the Halifax Explosion. With our senses heightened from tuning into (or out of) Canada’s sesquicentennial, the 100th… Read more »

Did You Know the American World War I Museum is in Kansas City?

By Jeff Bowersox I found out about the National World War I Museum during a recent conference trip – yes, to Kansas City. I was curious to see how it would memorialise a conflict that, for most Americans, is greatly overshadowed by its successor, and decided to visit. The museum is intertwined with the Liberty Memorial, dedicated in 1926 to… Read more »

New paper – Victory in the Kitchen: Food Control in the Lakehead during the Great War by Beverly Soloway

By Beverly Soloway In the summer of 1914, the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, similar to the rest of Canada, thought the “European war” would be a short one.[1] When Christmas came and went without any sign of peace, most Canadians just redefined their idea of “short.” Nonetheless, by spring 1915, Lakehead households were becoming concerned about… Read more »

1864 vs. 1914: A Commemorative Showdown

      3 Comments on 1864 vs. 1914: A Commemorative Showdown

By Sarah Glassford As I sat by the window of a popular coffee shop in downtown Charlottetown on a warm afternoon in September 2014, two student actors from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) appeared on the street corner opposite, heading toward nearby Province House, seat of the provincial legislature.  He wore a three-piece suit and top hat; she… Read more »

World War One in Winnipeg – Conscription

      3 Comments on World War One in Winnipeg – Conscription

By Jim Blanchard It is well known that the adoption of conscription in Canada during the First World War was very unpopular in Quebec. Although many Quebecois volunteered to serve in the army in the first years of the war, large numbers of French Canadians disagreed with sending troops overseas when the country did not seem to be threatened. What… Read more »

Anti-War Poetry in Canadian Newspapers at the Beginning of the First World War

By Russ Chamberlayne The war fever has reached an acute stage. It has now attacked the poets. – “Pertinent and Impertinent,” Calgary Daily Herald, August 4th, 1914 Readers of ActiveHistory.ca may be surprised at the deeply emotional and mixed reactions to the opening of World War I in Canadian newspapers, and the forms they took. While many have described the… Read more »

Comic Art and the First World War

      2 Comments on Comic Art and the First World War

By Sarah Glassford, Christopher Schultz, Nathan Smith and Jonathan Weier As ActiveHistory.ca regulars know, comic book writers and artists sometimes find inspiration in history (see posts by Mosby, McCracken, and Carlton).  This is certainly true of the First World War, which has offered material for interpretation in this artistic medium just as it has in poetry, fiction, or film.  And… Read more »

A Canadian Observing the Great War Centenary in London, UK

      1 Comment on A Canadian Observing the Great War Centenary in London, UK

By Christopher Schultz A kangaroo burger beckoned from the menu. It was a small taste of the exotic in London’s Mile End area, which is known primarily today as the site of Queen Mary, University of London’s main campus. After the third of four long days discussing “Perspectives on the ‘Great’ War,” an exotic burger seemed like a nice reward…. Read more »