Poetry

Dedicated to fellow stretcher-bearers

Albert Drummond was a nurse in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in December 1916. He eventually served overseas with the 15th Canadian Field Ambulance. Judging by the titles of the poems, this volume was probably published in 1917.

From Ypres to victory

These souvenirs cards, with original art by Lewis E. Smith, were produced in 1919 to mark significant events of the First World War, using the poems they inspired.

"Poems tragic, poems nostalgic"

The Second World War was a less poetic war than the First had been, but there were enough amateur poets in the Canadian army in Italy to fill this collection of poems, all of which had originally been published in the military newspaper "The Maple Leaf."

Rhyme & Reason.pdf (4.52 MB)

America's Answer to "In Flanders Fields"

John McCrae's famous poem inspired countless responses, including this one by R.W. Lillard, reprinted in a leaflet distributed at an exhibition of captured war trophies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A returned soldier - poet

Already nearly fifty years of age when he enlisted in the 193rd Battalion, Stanley Fullerton of Amherst, Nova Scotia, was plagued by ill health while in uniform and never got closer to the front than England.

The Irish Soldier Poet

Al Pat or "the Irish soldier poet" had served in the infantry in the First World War, and wrote about his experiences in a collection called "Rhymes of an Old War Horse." A sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, he also published this volume of rough doggerel about life on various Canadian airfields.

Bang.pdf (8.21 MB)

A little known war poet

Nova Scotian John Bradford served as a conducting officer during the First World War, but his poetry turned to more unusual subjects, such as Armenian refugees and the story of a horse that was killed in action at the front.

Blind Soldier.pdf (4.27 MB)

"A fighting navy that holds our foe at bay"

At the end of the Second World War, this amateur poet from Nova Scotia published a verse tribute to the Royal Canadian Navy, and to its political chief, Angus L. Macdonald.

Calling Canada.pdf (12.9 MB)

The Hun-Beating Proverb Book

"Containing Many Proverbs that Point to the Destruction of Arrogance, Tyranny, Villainy, Vice and the Monstrous Militarism of which Germany has been Guilty."

A railway journey

This simple poem captures a First World War soldier's thoughts as he travelled on a train bound for leave in Britain.