WWI

Category: WWI

We no longer have any veterans of the First World War still with us, and so we have lost that direct connection with their stories – of the tragedy of war; of the reasons why they enlisted to fight; of the impact of the war on them, their families, and their country. And so it is up to us, a century later, to remember and to learn their stories.

We usually think that war is decided by mighty battles and often it is. In the Second World War such battles as El Alamein, Stalingrad and Midway all had decisive effects on Allied victory. However, I wanted to write the book Ten Decisions to show that if you stand back and look at the Second World War, many of the decisions that mattered most, ones which were the most far-reaching, were not always made on the battlefield.

A group of women wrapped in furs and warm winter cloaks stands on the quay at Boulogne. Around them surges a blue, red, and khaki sea of French, British, and Belgian soldiers. White-veiled nurses run alongside patients being carried on stretchers onto waiting ships. There are shouts, marching orders, and whistles as the women stand silently watching, absorbing the details of what they are seeing, overcome by the reality that they are on the doorstep of the Great War.

They are the first party of female Canadian journalists allowed into France to visit the lines of communication.

When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, women from across the nation went to war on the home front. They stepped up, doffing their aprons and donning factory uniforms to bridge the gap with a sombre commitment to do whatever was required to bring their men home. Battles on the frontlines raged while women in Canada braved hardship, managed food rations, raised their families, and often worked in highly dangerous conditions.

Interview with Roger Gunn, author of Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight thumbnail

Today on the blog we have an interview with Roger Gunn, author of Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight. Roger has been a student of history since he was a young boy. When not reading about or researching the history of the First World War, he is an instructor of Human Resources Management at the JR Shaw School of Business at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. He currently lives in Edmonton.