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Article

Viscount Byng of Vimy

Field Marshall Julian Hedworth George Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, Commander of the Canadian Corps from 1915 to 1917 and Governor General of Canada from 1921 to 1926 (born 11 September 1862 in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom; died 6 June 1935 in Essex, United Kingdom). Byng led the Canadian Corps to victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War. As governor general, he is best known for his role in the King-Byng Affair, when he formally refused Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s advice to dissolve Parliament and call a federal election.

Article

Canadian Women and War

Canada has been involved in various wars from the beginning of its colonial history. Just as the nature of these wars has changed over time, so, too, has their effect on Canadian women. Women have actively participated in war, from nursing and munitions manufacturing during the First and Second World Wars to the increasing involvement of Canadian women in the military.

Article

Margaret Ecker

Margaret Alberta Corbett Ecker, journalist (born 1915 in Edmonton, AB; died 3 April 1965 in Ibiza, Spain). Margaret Ecker was an award-winning newspaper and magazine writer. She was the only woman to serve overseas as a war correspondent for the Canadian Press wire service during the Second World War. She was also the only woman present at Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945. Ecker was made an officer of the Netherlands’ House of the Orange Order in 1947, making her the first Canadian woman to receive that honour.

Article

Documenting the Second World War

When Canada declared war on Germany on 10 September 1939, tens of thousands of Canadians enlisted to serve in the armynavyair force and supporting services. The military scrambled to buy equipment, train recruits and prepare for war. Little thought was given, at first, to documenting the war effort. By 1940, however, the military was recruiting historians, most notably Charles Stacey, to collect records and write accounts of Canadian operations. In the following years, artists, photographers and filmmakers also served with the various branches of the armed forces. Today, their diligent work provides a rich visual and written catalogue of Canada’s history in the Second World War.

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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.

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Stories of Remembrance: John Ralston Saul

In 2005, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Canadian celebrities spoke about the meaning of remembrance as part of the Stories of Remembrance Campaign, a project of CanWest News Service (now Postmedia News), the Dominion Institute (now Historica Canada) and Veterans Affairs Canada. This article is reprinted from that campaign.

Article

Harry DeWolf

Harry George DeWolf, naval officer and veteran of the Second World War, vice-admiral, Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Canadian Navy (born 26 June 1903 in Bedford, NS). DeWolf was best known as the commanding officer of HMCS Haida, one of Canada’s eight Tribal Class destroyers during the Second World War. DeWolf entered the navy in 1918 and retired in 1961. A new class of offshore patrol vessels has been named in his honour.

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Sir Peter Warren

Sir Peter Warren, naval officer (b c 1703; d at Dublin, Ire 29 July 1752). He commanded the Royal Navy at the 1745 siege of LOUISBOURG, where he was made governor. Warren recommended the deportation of Acadians and the fortification of Chebucto (Halifax) as early as 1739.

Article

John Nickinson

John Nickinson, soldier, actor-manager (b at London, Eng 2 Jan 1808; d at Cincinnati, Ohio 9 Feb 1864). He stimulated the development of theatre in Toronto and was father of an acting family.

Article

Sir Howard Douglas

Sir Howard Douglas, soldier, author, colonial administrator (b at Gosport, Eng 23 Jan 1776; d at Tunbridge Wells, Eng 9 Nov 1861). The son of a naval officer, Douglas finished military academy in time to see action in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars in Canada, Spain and Holland.

Article

Thomas Carleton

Thomas Carleton, British army officer, lieutenant-governor of NB (b in Ire c 1735; d at Ramsgate, Eng 2 Feb 1817), brother of Guy CARLETON, Baron Dorchester.

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John Lambert

John Lambert, British army officer, military figure in the WAR OF 1812 (b 1772; d at Weston House, Thames Ditton, Surrey, England, 14 Sept 1847). The son of a naval officer, John Lambert was commissioned as an ensign in the 1st Foot Guards in 1791.

Article

John Burgoyne

John Burgoyne, army officer (b in Eng 1722; d at London, Eng 3 Aug 1792). A distinguished cavalry officer and public figure, Burgoyne arrived in Québec in 1776 with large reinforcements, and served during the successful campaign of that year.

Article

Solomon Van Rensselaer

Solomon Van Rensselaer, military general (b at Greenbush, Rensselaer County, NY, 6 Aug 1774; d near Albany, NY, 23 April 1852). Solomon Van Rensselaer was the son of Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, a Revolutionary War general, and a member of a powerful Dutch patroon family.

Article

Sir William B. Thornton

Sir William B. Thornton, soldier (b at Ireland 1778 or 1779; d at Greenford, Middlesex, England, April 1840). William Thornton entered the British army as an ensign in the 89th Regiment of Foot in March 1796.

Article

Louis Levi Oakes

Louis Levi Oakes (also known as Tahagietagwa), Mohawk soldier, war hero, steelworker, public works supervisor (born 23 January 1925 in St. Regis, QC; died 28 May 2019 in Snye, QC). During the Second World War, Oakes was a code talker for the United States Army. Code talkers used their Indigenous languages to encode radio messages to prevent the enemy from understanding them. When he passed away at age 94, Oakes was the last Mohawk code talker. (See also Cree Code Talkers and Indigenous Peoples and the World Wars.)

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Elizabeth “Betty” Dimock (Primary Source)

Elizabeth “Betty” Dimock’s great ambition during the Second World War was to become a nurse. She registered in the South African army to treat wounded soldiers from the North African Campaign. Read and listen to Dimock’s story below.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.