The First World War of 1914–1918 was the bloodiest conflict in Canadian history, taking the lives of more than 60,000 Canadians.
The first major battle fought by Canadian troops in the First World War took place from 22 April to 25 May 1915, outside the Belgian city of Ypres (now known by its Flemish name, Ieper).
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, composed largely of British-born former regular soldiers, had gone to Flanders in December 1914 in advance of 1st Canadian Division as part of the British 27th Division.
Few words conjure the futility and the staggering losses of the First World War like the Somme. In the summer of 1916 the British launched a major offensive against German lines. The battle lasted five months, killed or wounded approximately 1.2 million men, and produced little gains.
Mount Sorrel was the objective of an important battle between Canadian and German soldiers in the First World War.
The Battle of Passchendaele is a vivid symbol of the mud, madness and the senseless slaughter of the First World War. In the late summer of 1917, the British launched a series of failed assaults against German forces holding the plateau overlooking the city of Ypres, Belgium.
The capture of Hill 70 in France was the first major action fought by the Canadian Corps under a Canadian commander in the First World War.
Canadian and Allied troops won a major victory against Germany at the Battle of Amiens between 8 and 11 August 1918.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, during the First World War, is Canada's most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April, 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war – but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,500 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic white memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves.2
The First World War generated an abundance of writing, which in its entirety presents a complex and varied picture of the war. The popular point of view within Canadian literature, however, generally depicts an overtly patriotic and unified perspective of Canada’s involvement in the war.
Internment, detention or confinement of a person in time of war. In Canada, such persons were denied certain legal rights, notably habeas corpus, though in certain cases they had the right to appeal their custody.
How does memory speak to us? Each November, over 13 million poppies blossom on the jackets, dresses and hats of Canadians.
Buckam Singh, labourer, soldier (born 5 December 1893 in Mahilpur, Punjab, India; died 27 August 1919 in Kitchener, ON). There is little information published about the role of Sikhs in Canadian military service during the First World War. The discovery of Buckam Singh’s Victory Medal led to his reclamation by his community, which commemorates him with an annual Remembrance Day service
On 1 July 1916, Allied forces launched a major offensive in France during the First World War. The opening of the Somme offensive turned into one of the deadliest days in the history of modern warfare.
Canada, as part of the British Empire, found itself at war on 4 August 1914. Yet Canadians would decide the extent of their commitment to the war.
The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), of some 630,000 men during the Great War of 1914–18, consisted almost entirely of civilian soldiers.
The Canadian Corps, a force of 100,000 soldiers by late 1916, fought for the entire war on the Western Front, along a static trench system that ran 700 kilometres from Switzerland to the North Sea.
The vast majority of Canada's eight million people fought the Great War at home.
The Great War forever changed Canada. Some 630,000 Canadians enlisted from a nation of not yet eight million, and more than 66,000 were killed.
“The aeroplane is an invention of the devil, and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of the nation,” thundered Canada’s Minister of Militia and Defence, Sam Hughes, at the start of the First World War.
The Battle of Festubert was the second major engagement fought by Canadian troops in the First World War.
The Canadian attack on the French village of Courcelette, during the Somme offensive of the First World War, resulted in thousands of battlefield casualties.
The Battle of Cambrai in northern France took place from 27 September to 11 October 1918, during the First World War.