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First World War — Première Guerre mondiale

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Multiple Perspectives - perspectives multiple

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"The First World War remains by all odds the greatest event in Canadian history."
                                                                                                    C. P. Stacey

Cheer after cheer from the crowds of people who waited long and anxiously for the announcement of Great Britain’s position in the present conflict in Europe greeted the news that the Mother Country had declared war against Germany. Groups of men sang “Rule Britannia,” others joined in singing “God Save The King”; some showed their senses of the seriousness of the situation by singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”…
     Toronto Mail and Empire, 5 August 1914 














I'll Make a Man of You From Oh! What A Lovely War, Arthur Wimperis and Herman Finck, 1914

The Rooms St. John's NL NA - 11028


1914-20 Women and children prisoners of internment camp. Femmes et enfants prisonniers au camp d'internement de Spirit Lake, en Abitibi (Québec). PA-170620

Canadian Patriotic Indian Chiefs, Western Canada 1915,
Ronald R. Mumford/Library Archives Canada/PA-030224

Your Country Calls, Paul Giovani Wickson, 1915

Imperial War Museum collection, PA000863

1914-18 LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-471

Richard Jack, "The Second Battle of Ypres, 22 April to May 1915," Library and Archives Canada, C-014145



Gassed, John Singer Sargent, Imperial War Museum, 1919


1914-18 LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-4056

The Brooding Soldier, St Julien Memorial to the Canadian fallen. The inscription on the memorial is as follows: THIS COLUMN MARKS THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE 18,000 CANADIANS ON THE BRITISH LEFT WITHSTOOD THE FIRST GERMAN GAS ATTACKS THE 22ND-24TH OF APRIL 1915. 2,000 FELL AND HERE LIE BURIED. Frederick Chapman Clemesha, a wounded veteran who served with the Canadian Corps during the war. Unveiled on 8 July 1923

1914-18 LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-826


Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-2531 

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1989-378-1

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-834

Testing a Vickers machine gun. September, 1916. LAC PA-000635, September 1916

The battlefield after a Canadian charge, October 1916, LAC PA-000868

"The Canadians played a part of such distinction that thenceforward they were marked out as storm troops; for the remainder of the war they were brought along to head the assault in one great battle after another. When ever the Germans found the Canadian Corps coming into the line they prepared for the worst."
                                            David Lloyd George, after the Battle of the Somme, 1916

1916 Assembly Department, British Munitions Supply Co. Ltd., Verdun, P.Q. LAC, PA-024436

1916-17 Elders and Indian soldiers in the uniform of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Aînés et soldats indiens vêtus de l'uniforme du Corps expéditionnaire canadien. LAC, PA-041366

1916-1918 Unidentified Canadian soldier with burns caused by mustard gas.
Soldat canadien non identifié présentant des brûlures causées par de l'ypérite. LAC, C-080027

Robert Borden visits the wounded, Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada PA-1225

Two soldiers wearing gas masks examining a Lee Enfield rifle.  LAC PA-001027, W. I. Castle, March 1917

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, Jack Richard, Library and Archives Canada, C-000148

The Tank returns after the first time in action. July, 1917. LAC PA- 001481

[left, German ambassador to the US, Von Bernstorff; right, German general Von Hindenburg]

Troops returning to Vimy Ridge, W. I. Castle, Canada Dept. of National Defense,
Library and Archives Canada, PA001332

Vimy Ridge, 26th of July 1936

Vimy Memorial 1936 LAC PA - 066786

"[Before the conflict] we were content to be Colonials . . .  but Vimy Ridge was the first battle in which Canadian divisions fought as a whole, and it was purely a Canadian effort. [A] National spirit was born . . .; we were Canadians."
                                                                                    Corporal F. F. Worthington

"There they stood on Vimy Ridge that 9th day of April 1917, men from Quebec stood shoulder to shoulder with men from Ontario, men from the Maritimes with men from British Columbia, and there was forged a nation tempered by the fires of sacrifice and hammered on the anvil of high adventure."
                                                                                       Lord Byng of Vimy, 1922

Sir Robert Borden’s visit to Britain coincided with the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge. The victory was costly. The 10,000 dead or wounded made conscription necessary.

1917 24 May, Montreal, Anti-conscription parade at Victoria Square, Library and Archives Canada / C-006859


LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-79
Forward! For the King. For the Fatherland. For France. Your blood for humanity and freedom. To Arms! Sons of Montcalm and Chateauguay.

LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-776
"Canadians – it's time to act – Don't wait till the Jerries come spread fire and blood in Canada."

LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-281
"Canadians – it's time to act – Don't wait till the Jerries come spread fire and blood in Canada."

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-693

LAC a008158


1918 A Canadian sleeping in the front line. February, 1918. Soldats canadiens sur la ligne de front. PA-002468

Canadian and German wounded help one another through the mud during the capture of Passchendaele. November, 1917, Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada

Wounded Canadian being taken to a Field Dressing Station. July, 1917. Canada. Dept. of National Defence, LAC PA-001545

A wounded Canadian and wounded German in the mud on Passchendaele, light up. Canada. Dept. of National Defence, LAC PA-003683, November 1917

Case of trench feet suffered by unidentified soldier. Cas de pieds des tranchées (soldat non identifié). LAC PA-149311, 1917

"Mr. Prime Minister [Lloyd George], I want to tell you that if ever there is a repetition of the battle of Passchendaele, not a Canadian soldier will leave the shores of Canada as long as the Canadian people entrust the government of their country to my hands."
                                                                                           Robert Borden, diary

John McInnis was a miner and business owner. He was also a member of the Socialist Party that opposed the war.

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1963/135


Canadian sisters at a Canadian hospital during the voting, Dec 1917, Dept. of National Defense, Library and Archives Canada, PA-002365

Scenes at Canadian hospital during the voting, Dec 1917, Dept. of National Defense, Library and Archives Canada, PA-005593

Scenes at Canaian hospital during the voting, Dec 1917, Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-905

1918 rehabilitation LAC Acc. No. 1983-028 X PIC e010697117-v8

Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-Establishment, Employment for All Discharged Soldiers. LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-695, 1914-18

Invalided Soldiers Commission, Artificial Limbs. LAC Acc. No. 1983-28-699, 1914-18

Artillery, Captain Kenneth Keith Forbes, CWM19710261-0142

Lieut. McKean, V.C. "Painting". Lt. George B. McKean had been awarded the Victoria Cross, for actions storming German positions in April, 1918. He is wearing the ribbon for the V.C. and what appears to be one for the Military Medal he had previously been awarded. He would also receive the Military Cross for his actions in Sep., 1918, where he sustained the wounds that he is depicted recovering in England from. He was also still reportedly suffering the effects of shell shock when Varley painted him. Canada. Dept. of National Defence, LAC PA-006219, Frederick Varley, 1918-1919

Nurses and Men, LAC 011157200-8

For What? Frederick Varley, CWM/MCG8911, 1918

"I'm mighty thankful I've left France - I never want to see it again. This last trip over has put the tin hat on it. To see the land half cultivated & people coming back to where their homes were is too much for my make up. You'll never know dear anything of what it means. I'm going to paint a picture of it, but heavens, it can't say a thousandth part of a story. We'd be healthier to forget, & that we never can. We are forever tainted with its abortiveness & its cruel drama - and for the life of me I don't know how that can help progression. It is foul and smelly - and heartbreaking. Sometimes I could weep my eyes out when I get despondent... To be normal, to be as those silly cows & sheep that do naught but graze & die, well, it's forgetfulness."
                                                                  Fred Varley, letter to his wife, May 1919

Intervention in the USSR


Canadian National Exhibition Toronto : national exhibition held in Toronto from August 23rd to September 6th, 1919. LAC Acc. No. 1983-29-111


"In Germany we honour all heroes no matter their nationality. In the pages of Germany's History of the Great War, General Currie is mentioned as the greatest General the war produced. Had it not been for you Canadians, and the far-seeing tactics of Sir Arthur Currie, victory would most certainly have been ours."
                                                                                                  German officer