The War to End All War

November 2018 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War. A century later, the conflict continues to affect us — even if we don’t fully realize it. Below is our collection of articles, audio, images and video about the Great War from the past ten years.

October 10, 2018

Canada's Great War Album Video Series

The Great War — Battle of Ypres

April 22–May 5, 1915: When deadly German gas attacks send others running, the Canadians hold their ground.

The Great War — Battle of the Somme

September 15–November 11, 1916: A century after the battle, the incredible cost in human lives remains controversial.

The Great War — Battle of Vimy Ridge

April 9–April 12, 1917: For the first time, all four Canadian divisions attack together, with tremendous results.

The Great War — Battle of Passchendaele

October 26–November 10, 1917: Hard lessons are learned amid the mud and blood in Belgium.

The Great War — Hundred Days Campaign

August 8–November 11, 1918: A series of battles during which Canadian and Allied forces pushed the German Army into retreat led to the end of the war.

The Aftermath and the Legacy

The Breakthrough

How, after years of stalemate, did the Allies manage to win the war?

Children of Conflict

Young Canadians worked, worried, and waited during the First World War.

Grey War, No More

Colourization project breathes new life into First World War images.

Belgian Town Honours Canadian Soldier

A rose christening marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.

 

Articles | Podcasts | Photo Galleries

Voices of Vimy

Listen to the stories of soldiers who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the loved ones back home who cherished them.

War of Words

Learn how propaganda was used to sway public opinion during the First World War.

The Raid on Blécourt

Courageous Canadian action results in mass capture of Germans during the 100 Days Campaign.

Indigenous Soldiers

Thousands of Indigenous people served both overseas and on the home front.

Roots: Discovering the Details

Public records and family letters allow us to tell nuanced stories about Great War combatants.

Beyond the Trenches

Remembering the Great War through historic sites on the home front.

Down Time

Alison Nagy speaks with Tim Cook about how life in the trenches provoked a variety of creative impulses which helped Canadian soldiers cope with and endure the horrors of war.

Conflicting views

Exhibition places First World War under a lens. 

The Red Baron on Film

Although a century separates us from the First World War, footage of the legendary German flying ace brings him as close as a computer screen.

Valour Sold

When Canadian war medals are auctioned, everyone pays a price. 

Forgotten Victory

The Hill 70 Memorial Project seeks to educate and commemorate overlooked First World War victory.

Victory at Vimy

How training, timing, and new battle tactics helped Canada capture Vimy Ridge. 

Remembering the Great War

A special digital-only edition of Kayak aimed at Grades 2–6. You will find stories about the major battles, about kids’ lives back home, and about how anger around conscription divided the country.

Doughboy Jack & Handel's Messiah

Fascinating histories of two very different music recordings: A popular love song from the First World War that centres around a romantic encounter involving doughnuts; and an excerpt from a classic recording of a baroque masterpiece that had originally been released for the phonograph as a monstrous 36-disc set.

Remembering Beaumont-Hamel

July 1, 2016, marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of a devastating battle that remains seared in the collective memory of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.  

First World War Soldier from Sharbot Lake Remembered

Family and Children’s Services honours First World War soldier from Sharbot Lake, Ontario, for Remembrance Day.

Who Do You Think I Am? A Story of Tom Longboat

A legendary athlete, he was adored and celebrated as the finest runner of his time. But journalists of the day could never reconcile such brilliance with his First Nations origin. Yet even when their discomfort turned to slurs and condescension,Tom Longboat's dignity remained intact.

War on Truth

Censorship and propaganda were realities for Canadians on and off the battlefield during the First World War.

Wartime Women Drivers

The idea that women could drive an automobile — let alone drive around the shell holes of the frontlines — was rather revolutionary at the outbreak of the Great War. But nicety was soon driven out by necessity.

The Hidden History of the Poppy

How a First World War poem about poppies blossomed into an annual Remembrance Day campaign raising $14 million each year to assist veterans.

Great War costume exhibition seeks Canadian submissions

An international costume exhibition about women who served in the First World War is looking for Canadian submissions.

John McCrae’s War

How a First World War Canadian army doctor came to write a poem that, a hundred years later, continues to stir the hearts of people around the world.

Love During the Great War

Soldiers’ letters show that love triumphs over battle.

Remembering McCrae

In 2014, Guelph, Ontario honoured John McCrae as a physician, poet, and soldier with a provincial plaque on Remembrance Day. 

Nellie McClung and the Great War

A champion of women’s rights, Nellie McClung also supported pacifism — until her eldest son signed up to fight.  

Tracking World War Veterans

Database recognizes veterans named on school memorials.

Dear Mother

A First World War soldier assures his mother he will return as “good a boy as when I went away.”

Witness: Canadian Art of the First World War

That tension is palpable in an impressive travelling exhibition from the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

Soldier Eager to Enlist in Great War

A Canadian soldier was so keen to enlist after the First World War broke out in 1914 that he neglected to tell his sweetheart. Read his letter of explanation.

A Tale of Two War Animals

On a farm in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia are the graves of two animals who held a special place in the heart of a Canadian officer who served in the First World War.

Canada’s War Animal Memorial

Canada’s war memorial commemorates the animals who have served in wartime.

Park Prisoners

Few Canadians realize that much of our parks system was built with forced labour — prisoners of war, enemy aliens, conscientious objectors, and an army of jobless men.

Shell Shock Through the Wars

No one knew how to treat soldiers suffering from shell shock in the First World War, so doctors tried everything including shaming, blaming, and electric shocks. 

Spy on the wall

The anti-German and anti-Kaiser sentiment that was prevalent in Canada during the First World War can be found on a wall carving on Canada’s Parliament Building in Ottawa.

History Idol: Sir Arthur Currie

The Americans have their MacArthur and Patton, the British, their “Monty.” Canadians, whether they know it or not, have Sir Arthur Currie.

Are you man enough?

As the war machine chewed up unit after unit, officials became increasingly desperate to find new recuits. A powerful tool in their recruiting arsenal was the use of propaganda to shame men into fighting.

WWI: The Great War of the Mind

Military historian Tim Cook explores the history of shell shock, also known as the "storm centre" of military medicine.

100 Years for Canada's Navy

Throughout 2010, the Canadian Navy Centennial celebrated the rich history and legacy of the navy. Captain John Pickford spoke with editor Mark Reid about these festivities.

Books

No Man’s Land

Book Review:  In No Man’s Land: The Life and Art of Mary Riter Hamilton, Kathryn A. Young and Sarah M. McKinnon provide a rich biography of one woman who was compelled to paint the battlefields in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

Embattled Nation

Book Review: The authors of this exhaustive and engaging new volume chose 1917 as the absolute rock bottom in Canadian history.

Mobilizing Mercy

Book Review: In Mobilizing Mercy, a well-researched history of the Canadian Red Cross, social historian Sarah Glassford describes how, during the course of the 1914–18 conflict, the organization blossomed from a small committee of military and medical men in Ontario, with loose ties to a handful of inactive branches, into an active, accomplished national agency.

This Small Army of Women

Book Review: Linda J. Quiney’s This Small Army of Women focuses on the long-buried story of nearly two thousand women from Canada and Newfoundland who signed up to be Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses, or VADs, in the First World War.

Canada's Dream Shall Be of Them

Book Review: To visit the First Word War cemeteries along the Western Front, or in the hundreds of other locations around the world, is to feel the grief of silenced and shattered dreams. 

One in a Thousand

Book Review: Alfred Edwin “Eddie” McKay lived a brief life. He was born in 1892 and was killed in action in 1917 at the age of twenty-five.

Filling the Ranks

Book ReviewFilling in the Ranks traces the development of the Canadian Army during the First World War, from its militia roots and enlistment criteria, through to the training of reinforcements. 

The Vimy Trap

Book Review: The Vimy Trap, from historians Ian McKay and Jamie Swift, is a biting critique of how Canadians remember the First World War.

The Frontier of Patriotism

Book Review: In The Frontier of Patriotism: Alberta and the First World War, co-editors Adriana A. Davies and Jeff Keshen have created a compelling collection of essays that provides a more regional view of the Great War, illustrating in great detail the many ways it changed Alberta and Albertans.

Her Darling Boy

Book Review: The story of Private Archibald John Polson, like many stories from the First World War, is heartbreaking. A collection of letters to and from Polson’s family during the war, many of the letters are translated from Icelandic and provide a unique perspective into the Icelandic community in Manitoba during the war.

Remembered in Bronze and Stone

Book Review: Alan Livingstone MacLeod presents a remarkable look at the many ways we honoured our war dead, and he explores the symbolism found in these often lonely monuments. Dozens of colour photographs finely illustrate the meticulous care and craftsmanship that went into sculpting these memorials. Long after the two world wars, they remain standing as a reminders of the true human cost of war.

Capturing Hill 70

Book Review: Capturing Hill 70 is an excellent publication that explores one of Canada’s least-well-known major battles of the First World War. Coming on the heels of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Hill 70 took place from August 15 to 25, 1917. More than 8,500 Canadian soldiers were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. It was also the first time the entire Canadian Corps was commanded by a Canadian — Sir Arthur Currie.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Great War

In this presentation, Melanie Martin shares how Newfoundland and Labrador plan to commemorate their role in the Great War.

A Time Such as There Never Was Before

Book Review: Bowker has done us a service in exploring the turbulent postwar years and in unravelling the intricacies of the war’s impact on Canada and Canadians.

Merry Hell

Book Review: Great War veteran Robert Clements starts his book with these lines: “There is not any such thing as a nice, clean polite war. War is always a mean dirty business.”

Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight

Book review: The exploits of Canada’s top pilot, Billy Bishop, are relatively well-known but often overshadow the achievements of other exceptional flyers. Roger Gunn’s book, Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight, profiles Canada’s number two ace flyer.

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