First World War | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    107th Timber Wolf Battalion

    The 107th (Timber Wolf) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, known officially as the 107th (Winnipeg) Battalion, was an infantry battalion established during the First World War. After it arrived in Britain, the unit was converted to a pioneer battalion and served on the Western Front in France and Belgium. It was later absorbed into an engineer brigade. About half the unit’s soldiers were Indigenous Canadians.

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  • Article

    Alan Arnett McLeod

    Alan Arnett McLeod, VC, pilot (born 20 April 1899 in Stonewall, MB; died 6 November 1918 in Winnipeg, MB). During the First World War, McLeod was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his heroic actions during and after an aerial battle with enemy fighters. He died shortly after returning to Canada, a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic that claimed the lives of millions worldwide, including some 50,000 Canadians.

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  • Article

    Albiny Paquette

    Joseph-Henri-Albiny Paquette, soldier, doctor and politician (born 7 October 1888 in Marieville, QC; died 25 September 1978 in Mont-Laurier, QC). Dr. Paquette served as a medical officer in Europe during the First World War and subsequently enjoyed a distinguished career in politics. He was the first Minister of Health of Québec.

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    Alexander George Edwin Smith

    Alexander George Edwin Smith, Cayuga contractor, soldier, war hero (born 14 August 1879 on the Six Nations Grand River Reserve, ON; died 21 August 1954 in Buffalo, New York), was a veteran of the First World War. He served as an officer in the pre-war Militia, was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and received the Military Cross (MC) for his heroic actions on the Western Front.

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    Andrew George Latta McNaughton

    Andrew George Latta McNaughton, army officer, scientist, diplomat (b at Moosomin, NWT [Sask] 25 Feb 1887; d at Montebello, Qué 11 July 1966).

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    Andrew Hamilton Gault

    Andrew Hamilton Gault, army officer (born in England 18 August 1882; died at Montréal 28 November 1958). Of Canadian parents, he attended McGill University. Commissioned in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, he served in the South African War and joined the Canadian Militia on return to Canada.

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    Archie MacNaughton

    John Archibald (Archie) MacNaughton, soldier, farmer (born 7 October 1896 in Black River Bridge, NB; died 6 June 1944 in Normandy, France). Archie MacNaughton fought in both the First World War and Second World War. MacNaughton rose to the rank of major and was a well-respected officer with the North Shore New Brunswick Regiment. When he was 47 years old, MacNaughton led North Shore’s “A” Company into Normandy on D-Day. He was killed in action while pushing inland from Juno Beach.

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  • Article

    Arthur Roy Brown

    Arthur Roy Brown, fighter pilot and ace, businessman, civil aviation pioneer (born 23 December 1893 in Carleton Place, Ontario; died 9 March 1944 in Stouffville, Ontario). Brown is credited with killing Germany’s top First World War ace, Manfred von Richthofen, the famed “Red Baron.” Richthofen may, however, have been shot down by two Australian army machine-gunners.

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  • Article

    Black Canadians and Conscription in the First World War

    In 1917, the Canadian government passed the Military Service Act, which made all male citizens (aged 20 to 45) subject to conscription. As the First World War (1914–18) dragged on, the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) desperately needed reinforcements, as the number of volunteers had nearly dried up. Earlier in the war, Black volunteers had faced resistance and opposition in their efforts to enlist. However, Black Canadians were not exempt from conscription and at least 350 were drafted into the CEF. Those who served overseas worked primarily with the Canadian Forestry Corps, although some also served on the frontlines.

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    Black Volunteers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force

    During the First World War, up to 1,300 Black men volunteered for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). While the men of No. 2 Construction Battalion are the best-known example of Black participation in the war, another 300 to 500 enlisted in other units of the CEF. Of these, about 100 served on the front lines. Black soldiers participated in all major battles of the CEF, from its arrival in France until the Armistice. (See also Black Canadians and Conscription in the First World War.)

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    George Morton and the Fight to Fight: Black Volunteers in the First World War

    Archivist Barbara M. Wilson explores the significance of a letter sent to Sir Sam Hughes by George Morton, a letter carrier, barber and civil rights advocate from Hamilton, Ontario. In his letter, dated 7 September 1915, Morton asked the minister of militia and defence why members of the Black community were being turned away when trying to enlist for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. (See also Black Volunteers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.)

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    Brock Chisholm

    George Brock Chisholm, CC, CBE, ED, psychiatrist, medical administrator, soldier (born 18 May 1896 in Oakville, ON; died 4 February 1971 in Victoria, BC). Brock Chisholm earned  honours for courageous service in the First World War, including a Military Cross (MC) and Bar. He obtained his MD from the University of Toronto in 1924 and became an influential psychiatrist following training at Yale University. He introduced mental health as a component of the recruitment and management of the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He directed the army’s medical services, served in the federal government as deputy minister of health, and became the founding director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). His vocal attacks on methods of indoctrinating children with societal myths made him a controversial public figure. He was an often provocative advocate of world peace and mental health.

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    Canadian Army Medical Corps Nursing Sisters

    More than 2,800 trained civilian nurses enlisted with the Canadian army during the First World War, becoming the first women in the modern world to hold military commissions as officers. As members of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC), the nursing sisters treated and cared for wounded soldiers overseas and at home. At least 58 died from disease or enemy action during the war.

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    Charles Gavan Power

    Charles Gavan Power, "Chubby," lawyer, politician (b at Sillery, Qué 18 Jan 1888; d at Québec C 30 May 1968). Power was seriously wounded in WWI and won the Military Cross for gallantry. He denounced military "brass hats" ever after.

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    Charles Gorman

    Charles Gorman, speed skater (b at Saint John 6 July 1897; d at St Martins, NB 11 Feb 1940). Despite suffering a shrapnel wound in one leg during WWI, Charlie Gorman's international success earned him the title of "the man with the million dollar legs.

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