Fighting

Grenades in trench warfare

One lesson of trench warfare was that "bombing" (or using hand grenades) was much more important in capturing and clearing enemy trenches than had been imagined before the war. As a result, training manuals like this one by James Ferris, who joined the 63rd Battalion in Edmonton in July 1915, were published as a way to pass on new tactical knowledge.

Don't be neutral!

Did Canadians really enlist in the First World War to help Belgium? The Hamilton Recruiting League obviously thought so, and used Belgium as the subject of one of its recruiting cards.

"Assigned Pay will be discontinued"

One of the few drawbacks of returning to Canada after the First World War was the end of the separation allowance and assigned pay that had been remitted to one's next of kin.

Conducting of Troops

The complexities involved in moving large numbers of soldiers in an orderly fashion are outlined in this booklet, which was printed not long before the end of the First World War.

A nurse and her patients

British nurse Sarah Arnold kept a diary while she worked at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading during the First World War but instead of writing in it herself, she asked her patients (including some wounded Canadian soldiers) to write of their experiences. After the war, Arnold married John Bridgman of Aberdeen, Saskatchewan, one of the soldiers she had nursed.

View PDF: PDF icon Arnold diary.pdf

The Canadian War

This masthead of this First World War magazine told readers everything they needed to know about its editorial position: "Patriotism - Union - Victory ; Written and Edited Without Remuneration ; Devoted Entirely to Propaganda for the War."

Recruiting in Toronto

Before the First World War was twelve months old, citizens' recruiting groups had swung into action to ensure that there were sufficient numbers of volunteers coming forward to reinforce Canadian units at the front.

A souvenir of Valcartier

The first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force came together at Valcartier, Quebec, in September 1914 - and enterprising entrepreneurs were quick to produce souvenirs to sell to a willing public.

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered financial instructions and allowances, the Reserve of Officers, the Fort Garry Horse, and the disbanding of certain CEF battalions.

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered military funerals, the Military Police, the Canadian Ordnance Corps, and decorations and medals.

Militia General Orders, 1917

General Orders, promulgated to Canada's Non-Permanent Active Militia by the Minister of Militia in Militia Council, addressed a range of administrative and functional matters. This one covered minor changes to regulations regarding pay, rations, depot battalions, medical services, and other organizational issues.

A journalist's impressions

Journalist Fernand Rinfret, later a member of parliament and mayor of Montreal, took part in a press junket to Britain and France in 1918, and wrote about his impressions of the war zones in an Ottawa newspaper, "Le Canada."

Henri Bourassa and the war

His opponents twice prevented newspaper editor Henri Bourassa from giving this speech, in which he argued that the duty of Canadians was to stay clear of involvement in the First World War, so he elected to publish it as a booklet instead.

View PDF: PDF icon Duty of Canada.pdf

The war according to Borden

This pamphlet collected some of Prime Minister Borden's statements on conscription, the Union Government, and what Canada must do to win the war.

Can Germany win the war?

Foster, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, addressed two critical questions in this talk: did Britain do everything possible to keep out of the war?; and, can Germany win the war?

View PDF: PDF icon Some Phases.pdf

The Union Government in power

A year after the 1917 election, Newton Rowell, president of the Privy Council in the Union Government, surveyed its achievements, including the institution of conscription, and applauded the Liberals (like himself) who went over to the Union side.

Freedom or despotism?

In this wide-ranging speech, Sifton, the chairman of Canada's Commission of Conservation, placed the First World War in the context of the long struggle for freedom that went back to Demosthenes, the Everlasting League, Magna Carta, and England's Glorious Revolution.

View PDF: PDF icon Sifton address.pdf

Vote against the Union Government

In this booklet published during the 1917 election campaign, Boyd called for Canadian voters to reject the Union Government and "shatter the trenches of deception, special privilege, political autocracy and narrow-minded fanaticism."

View PDF: PDF icon Fair Play.pdf

The war so far

In this speech, the former Ottawa Member of Parliament and member of the Senate gave a brief outline of the Allied war effort over the first two years of the war.

The removal of Sir Sam Hughes

After Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was ousted from the government of Sir Robert Borden in 1916, the federal Liberal Party published a series of letters that attempted to discredit the government's conduct in the episode.

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