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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History


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First World War
Troops and Traditions

Canada's Regions and the War: The West, Ontario, the Maritimes, Newfoundland

Canada's federal and regional nature has prompted a number of useful examinations of the war. For Nova Scotia, the explosion of the munitions ship Mont Blanc in Halifax harbour, killing over 1 600 outright and maiming and blinding thousands more, was perhaps the defining event of the war. Newfoundland was not yet a part of Canada and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment's experience, first at Gallipoli and then being virtually wiped out at Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme, provided a unique facet of the war. Joy Cave's book examines the impact of such catastrophic losses on the tiny Newfoundland outports.

Armstrong, John G. -- "Letters from Halifax : reliving the Halifax Explosion through the eyes of my grandfather, a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy". -- The northern mariner = Le marin du nord. -- Vol. 8, no. 4 (October 1998). -- P. 55-74

Cave, Joy B. -- What became of Corporal Pittman? -- Portugal Cove, Nfld. : Breakwater Books, 1976. -- Various pagings

Hunt, M.S., comp. -- Nova Scotia's part in the Great War. -- Halifax : Veteran Pub., 1920. -- 466 p.

In the morning : biographical sketches of the veterans of Victoria County, Cape Breton, that served in both World Wars. -- Edited by Bonnie Thornhill and W. James MacDonald. -- Sydney, N.S. : Univ. College of Cape Breton Press, 1999. -- 567 p.

Metson, Graham. -- The Halifax Explosion, December 6, 1917. -- Toronto : McGraw-Hill Ryerson, [s.d.]. -- 173 p.

Morrison, J. Clinton. -- Hell upon earth : a personal account of Prince Edward Island soldiers in the Great War, 1914-1918. -- Summerside, P.E.I. : Privately printed, 1995. -- 359 p.

Ontario and the First World War, 1914-1918 : a collection of documents. -- Edited by Barbara M. Wilson. -- Toronto : Champlain Society, 1977. -- 201 p. -- (The publications of the Champlain Society : Ontario series, 10)

Raynsford, William ; Raynsford, Jeannette. -- Silent casualties : veterans' families in the aftermath of the Great War. -- Madoc, Ont. : Merribrae Press, 1986. -- 175 p.

Scanlon, Joseph. -- "Source of threat and source of assistance : the maritime aspects of the 1917 Halifax Explosion". -- The northern mariner = Le marin du nord. -- Vol. 10, no. 4 (October 2000). -- P. 39-50

They served for freedom = À la défense de la liberté. -- Edited by the Wellington Legion War Veterans Club. -- Wellington, P.E.I. : The Club, 1986. -- 319 p.

  • Includes short biographies of the members of the Wellington, P.E.I. Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion from both World Wars.

Thompson, John Herd. -- The harvests of war : the Prairie West, 1914-1918. -- Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, 1978. -- 207 p.

Canada's Regions and the War: Quebec

The mechanism by which Sir Sam Hughes attempted to mobilize the country in 1914 was essentially in the English-speaking and British tradition. A perceived failure to rally Quebec to the Entente cause and the imposition of conscription, in 1917, on what appeared to be a recalcitrant French-speaking population, still draws historians' attention as, arguably, the most important Canadian political question of the war. Elizabeth Armstrong's study, although written before many of the primary documents became available, is still valuable.

Armstrong, Elizabeth H. -- The crisis of Quebec, 1914-1918. -- New York : Columbia Univ. Press, 1937. -- 270 p.

Dansereau, Bernard. -- "Montréal, le mouvement ouvrier et la Première Guerre mondiale". -- Bulletin d'histoire politique. -- Vol 8, no 2-3 (hiver/printemps 2000). -- P. 34-149

Filteau, Gérard. -- Le Québec et la guerre, 1914-1918. -- Montréal : Éditions de l'Aurore, 1977. -- 231 p.

Morton, Desmond. -- "The short, unhappy life of the 41st Battalion, CEF". -- Queen's quarterly. -- Vol. 81, no. 1 (Spring 1974). -- P. 70-80

Provencher, Jean. -- Québec sous la loi des mesures de guerre, 1918. -- Montréal : Les Éditions du Boréal Express, 1971. -- 147 p.

Vennat, Pierre. -- Les "poilus" québécois de 1914-1918 : histoire des militaires canadiens-français de la Première Guerre mondiale. -- Vol. 1. -- Montréal : Méridien, 1999. - 366 p.


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