The Canadians and the Fall of Cambrai

Following their success at the Canal du Nord, the Canadian Corps could now turn their attention to Cambrai. Situated in the Nord-Pas de Calais region, Cambrai was a key logistical centre that was surrounded by an elaborate network of canals. The area was heavily occupied by a retreating German army who showed no signs of […]

Crossing the Canal du Nord: the ‘linchpin’ of the Hindenburg Line

After crashing the Drocourt-Quéant Line on 2 September, the Canadian Corps could take a well-deserved rest and begin preparations for their next obstacle: The Canal du Nord. While allied forces continued their operations throughout September, Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Currie needed to develop a strategy to cross the heavily fortified canal where enemy positions were […]

The Beginning of the End: Canadians at Amiens

August 8th marked the centenary of what came to be known as the “last hundred days”, a string of Allied offensives that eventually led to the demise of the German Army and the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918.

Listening to 1918: Popular Songs on Canada’s Home Front

As we commemorate the centenary of the First World War’s final year and attempt to better understand Canadian wartime views and experiences, music offers us a way of ‘hearing’ the past. The lyrics, music, and cover art of popular songs reflected the changing attitudes of Anglo-Canadians on the home front between 1914 and 1918. In […]

Unveiling Women in War: The Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War

When Canadian men rushed to the recruiting stations in 1914, professionally trained nurses could enlist with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC); the first contingent, composed of 101 nursing sisters, sailed for England as early as September 1914. [1]  For women who were not trained nurses, however, there were relatively few opportunities to actively participate […]

Travelling Exhibition 2018: Parallels

Women representing the Great War in Canada and Newfoundland Image: Mary Riter Hamilton. Sanctuary Wood, Flanders. 1920. Oil on Plywood, 59.100 x 45.700 cm. Mary Riter Hamilton Fonds, Library and Archives Canada. Acc. No. 1988-180-21.

Gault's Light Infantry: Raising the Patricias in 1914

For over a century, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry has been one of the most celebrated regiments in Canadian history, in part for its earned reputation as “first in the field.” [1] Privately founded and raised by Montreal businessman A. Hamilton Gault, the regiment would bear the name of the Governor-General’s daughter, Princess Patricia. In an […]

A 'White Man's War' No More: Black Volunteers in the CEF

At the outbreak of the Great War, Canadians from Nova Scotia to British Columbia flooded to the recruiting offices as a patriotic fervour swept across the nation. A large number of Black volunteers, however, were turned away from what they were told was a “white man’s war.” [1] As we enter February and make an […]