Tag Archives: Military History

Francophone Alberta: Deeply Engaged in the First World War

By Rebecca Lazarenko As news of impending conflict travelled across Canada on August 4, 1914, a monstrous manifestation in favour of the declaration of war was held in downtown Edmonton. Thousands of French and English residents marched up and down the streets of the city, proudly waving the French, British and Canadian flags, shouting “hourah!” in favour of the declaration,… Read more »

Remembering the Bombardment: Juno Beach 75 Years Later

The scope of French civilian casualties on the invasion beaches, as a result of the air and sea bombardment, is not something most interested in the D-Day invasion have considered. As we commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the attack, we should pause to consider the ineffectiveness of the preliminary bombardment, the price paid by the infantry in capturing positions that the air force should have neutralized, and the approximately 100 French men and women killed by these misplaced bombs.

The Dark Side of Disarmament: Ocean Pollution, Peace, and the World Wars

Alex Souchen On 11 November 2018 the world paused for a moment of silence to commemorate the end of the First World War. The solemn occasion offered people around the world an opportunity to honour the dead and pay homage to peace, freedom, and reconciliation. The theme of peace will likely continue as a prominent feature at future Remembrance Day… Read more »

“The town’s gone wild”: Sounds of Victory in Toronto, 11 November 1918

By Sara Karn Come along, be merry, join our Jubilee. Mars has got the knock-out, Peace is in, you see. Toot your little tooter, deck yourself with flags. Grab your feather tickler, be among the wags. Don’t forget the powder, sprinkle it around. Laugh-it will not hurt you; make you strong and sound. Show you are a human – be… Read more »

First World War Postscript: “Fed Up and Tired” in the Months Following the Armistice

Robert Alldritt Following the end of the First World War, representatives of the Allied and Associated nations agreed that a medal, which would be officially known as the “Interallied Victory Medal,” would be awarded in commemoration of victory over Germany[i].  In all, approximately fourteen million bronze medals suspended by distinctive double-rainbow ribbons symbolizing “calm after a storm” were distributed; their… Read more »

Embodying Anti-German Sentiment during the Great War: An Archival Moment

By Sarah Glassford Can toilet paper have archival value? Within the eclectic collections that comprise MC300 (York-Sunbury Historical Society) at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, we find just such an artifact. (I hesitate to call it a “document” although it is, in fact, ink on paper.) It is tantalizingly described in the finding aid as “#21 ‘Do Your Bit’… Read more »

Art as Prescience: Reflections on Sarah Beck’s 2001 ÖDE

By Laura Brandon Editors’ Preface Two new exhibits were recently opened at the University of Calgary’s Founders’ Gallery in The Military Museums. Gassed Redux is a live recreation of John Singer Sargent’s oil painting Gassed, which depicts victims of a 1918 gas attack on the Western Front.[1] The exhibit was mounted this past June 14th by artist Adad Hannah, and… Read more »

Indigenous Veterans, the Indian Act, and the Origins of National Aboriginal Veterans Day

Eric Story The inaugural National Aboriginal Veterans Day took place on 8 November 1993, and the monument of the same name was unveiled in Ottawa the following year. Since its inauguration, National Aboriginal Veterans Day has grown, as ceremonies are now being held in various cities across Canada with larger crowds each year. With that growth, however, disagreement has arisen…. Read more »

“The Equal and Respected Companions of Men”[1]: The Female Veteran of the Great War

By Eliza Richardson Three years ago, famed and controversial historian Jack Granatstein claimed that Canada botched the Great War centenary. Although numerous commemorative events were planned, institutions like Heritage Canada had fewer funds to organize them. Granatstein argued that to properly commemorate the war, the Canadian government needed to invest in “TV documentaries on the war and its battles and… Read more »

“He Will Again Be Able to Make Himself Self-Sustaining”[1]: Canadian Ex-Officers’ Return to Civilian Life

Brittany Dunn  With the end of the First World War in November 1918 and demobilization following soon after, hundreds of thousands of servicemen returned to Canada and civilian life. Veterans approached their relationships with the government as they applied for state assistance in various ways, but ex-officers typically wanted to avoid dependence on the state, feeling it compromised their status… Read more »