Guest post: Lieutenant Henri Hervé Moreau

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We’re very excited to bring a guest post to you today, in advance of the centennials of the battles of Thiepval and Regina Trench, by Diane Moreau Hemmings, the niece of Lt. Henri Hervé Moreau of the 22nd Battalion (Canadien-français).   Continue reading

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“The Spirit of the Troops is Wonderful”: The Legacy of the Battle of Courcelette

Canadians returning victorious from battle of Courcelette.

Canadians returning victorious from battle of Courcelette. [Battles of the Somme] September, 1916. Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada.

Major Agar Adamson of the PPCLI wrote the quote above to his wife Mabel on 16 September 1916, the day after the Canadian Corps had taken the village of Courcelette. He went on to say that casualties had been significant but “We have them now back to their last line and I firmly believe on the run” (220).  Continue reading

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War Portraits: Elsie Holloway and the Newfoundland Regiment

[Newfoundland] Regiment Drum and Bugle Band. [1916-1917] Courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division,  MG702, Item B 1-138.

[Newfoundland] Regiment Drum and Bugle Band. [1916-1917] Courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division, MG702, Item B 1-138.

We’re excited to explore the wartime activities of another interesting woman this week; the portraitist and businesswoman Elsie Holloway. Along with her brother, Bert, Elsie established Holloway Studio in 1908, the first portrait studio in Newfoundland. Both siblings were accomplished photographers, with Elsie focusing on portraits and Bert on landscapes.  Continue reading

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Spoils of War: Canadian Battlefield Trophies

"A captured German Machine Gun at the exhibition grounds at Toronto" [ Captured German artillery, c1919]. CCGW/CCGG 2016.1.111 Gift of E.McCann.

“A captured German Machine Gun at the exhibition grounds at Toronto” [ Captured German artillery, c1919]. CCGW/CCGG 2016.1.111 Gift of E.McCann.

We received this photograph recently and immediately loved it. It’s not immediately apparent from the image, but this artillery gun is very large! The woman pictured is actually standing in between the two arms of the gun carriage, which gives an idea of the size of the artillery pieces used in the Great War. Continue reading

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The Landships: Tanks in the First World War

The 5th CMR returning on a tank. Amiens. August 1918. Seeton Collection. CCGW/CCGG 2015.10.13.01

The 5th CMR returning on a tank. Amiens. August 1918. Seeton Collection. CCGW/CCGG 2015.10.13.01

The centenary for the Battle of Courcelette is coming up next month, the first of three for the Canadian Corps on the Somme. Courcelette represents not only the first outright success that the Corps had after two years of largely unsuccessful fighting at Ypres, but also the first use of Haig’s latest weapon; the tank.  Continue reading

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“Suitable Memorials”: The War Sculptures of Frances Loring

Frances Loring, [no date]. Image courtesy Exhibition Place, Toronto.

Frances Loring, [no date]. Image courtesy Exhibition Place, Toronto.

While doing research for another project on the war memorial in St Stephen, New Brunswick, I stumbled across the name of the artist who sculpted the bronze statuette that topped the monument; Frances Loring. Intrigued, I started to look further into this mysterious person, and stumbled upon one of the pre-eminent Canadian sculptors of the early 20th century.  Continue reading

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“Vegetables for Victory!”: Canadian War Gardens during the First World War

Victory Garden on front lawn, Crescent Road. [c1916]. William James Family Fonds, City of Toronto Archives, F1244.

Victory Garden on front lawn, Crescent Road. [c1916]. William James Family Fonds, City of Toronto Archives, F1244.

By 1916 the war had dragged on for two long years, and it was becoming obvious even to the most intractable optimists that the war was likely to last for several more. The fight was no longer a question of a breakout or total victory, but which side could outlast the other. Mass mobilisation for the war effort in Canada meant that communities were involved in the war effort as never before. Continue reading

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