Fighting

An Amish Mennonite at war

In December 1941 Earlus Gascho of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, declared himself a conscientious objector on the basis of his membership in the Baden-Wilmot Congregation of the Amish Mennonite Church. This correspondence deals with his arrangements for alternative service.

Gascho.pdf (93.3 MB)

A symbol of service

A service chevron (to be worn on the uniform sleeve) was awarded for each year of overseas service; the certificate was intended to combat the problem of the fraudulent veteran.

Using the Ross Rifle

The Ross Rifle was superb for target shooting, but left much to be desired in combat conditions - as the Canadian 1st Division learned to its peril at Ypres in April 1915.

Ross Rifle.pdf (3.06 MB)

Inside an artillery battery

Like most First World War unit publications, this magazine combined cartoons, jokes, amusing stories, and battery news. A regular feature was "Things We Would Like to Know", which included the question "Why is it we're always on the move? Can't we pay the rent?"

OPip Xmas.pdf (52.49 MB)

Preparing for war

Issued at the beginning of the Second World War, this British manual (reprinted for Canada) covered only the most basic elements of training for war, including a series of games that could provide instruction in field-craft.

ATM 24 War.pdf (2.72 MB)

A weekend at home

This pass allowed Fleetwood Berry of the Canadian Field Artillery to be absent from his base for a weekend - perhaps to visit his family in Meaford, Ontario.

The Royal Highlanders of Canada

During the First World War, the Canadian War Records Office planned to publish short histories of every Canadian infantry battalion. This history of Montreal's 13th Battalion, affiliated with the Black Watch, was one of the few to make it into print.

13th Bn.pdf (3.5 MB)

Unfit for service

During the First World War, young men were often pressured to enlist - and were grateful to have a certificate like this one, which proved that Thomas Robson had been willing to serve but had been rejected by the army.

Calisthenics for soldiers

The Second World War revealed an unexpectedly low level of physical fitness in Canadian men, leading military authorities to devote considerable effort to remedial action. Training brochures like this one were among the results of that effort.

PT Tables.pdf (66.54 MB)

Unfit for service

During the First World War, young men were often pressured to enlist - and were grateful to have a certificate like this one, which proved that Thomas Robson had been willing to serve but had been rejected by the army.