Tag Archives: Military History

The Active History of Canada’s First World War: A Thematic Guide

By Sarah Glassford and Nathan Smith The “Canada’s First World War” series launched on ActiveHistory.ca with a Call for Blog Posts, published on 4 August 2014. It concluded in the Fall of 2019, with a total of 78 posts, including this post. The series editors during this five-year run were: Mary Chaktsiris, Sarah Glassford, Christopher Schulz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan… Read more »

Poppies, Cherries, and the mis-Meaning of Remembrance Day

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By Owen Griffiths As most everyone knows by now, Don Cherry was fired recently for saying that “you people” should wear a poppy on Remembrance Day. Love him or hate him, and with Cherry there is no middle ground, he has been known throughout his broadcasting career for his unequivocal championing of Canadian players and his denigration of those foreign… Read more »

History Slam Episode 139: Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/History-Slam-139.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham The outstanding Canada’s First World War series here at Activehistory.ca wrapped up on Friday after five years of producing exceptional content. As Jonathan Weier pointed out in one of the series’ post earlier this year, the historical focus on major narratives like Vimy that focus on nationalist mythology limits the discussion… Read more »

Remembering what we forget: Memory, commemoration and the 1885 Resistance

Two rectangular stone blocks frame the entrance to a cemetery. Both blocks have text inscribed on them. The shorter one on the viewer’s left has French text, while the one on the right has Michif text.

Matthew McRae Every 11 November, Canadians gather to remember those who served their country in times of war and conflict. But are these same Canadians also gathering to forget? Memory, especially collective memory, tends to be selective. One particularly interesting case study of collective memory (and collective forgetting) is the Northwest Resistance of 1885. The conflict saw some 5,000 Canadian… Read more »

In Conversation VI: Making Sense of the Centenary of Canada’s First World War

By Mary Chaktsiris, Sarah Glassford, Chris Schultz, Nathan Smith, and Jonathan Weier   Preamble During the first half of 2019, we the editors of www.ActiveHistory.ca’s long-running series “Canada’s First World War” stepped back and reflected on the editorial work we undertook over of the course of four and a half years of Great War centenary commemorations, 2014-2019. In response to… Read more »

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 »