War of 1812
The War of 1812 (which lasted from 1812 to 1814) was a military conflict between the United States and Great Britain. As a colony of Great Britain, Canada was swept up in the War of 1812 and was invaded several times by the Americans. The war was fought in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States. The peace treaty of Ghent (1814), which ended the war, largely returned the status quo. However, in Canada, the war contributed to a growing sense of national identity, including the idea that civilian soldiers were largely responsible for repelling the American invaders. In contrast, the First Nations allies of the British and Canadian cause suffered much because of the war; not only had they lost many warriors (including the great Tecumseh), they also lost any hope of halting American expansion in the west, and their contributions were quickly forgotten by their British and Canadian allies (seeFirst Nations and Métis Peoples in the War of 1812).
Wilfred Austin Curtis, air marshal (b at Havelock, Ont 21 Aug 1893; d at Nassau, Bahamas 7 Aug 1977). As chief of the air staff 1947-53, Curtis presided over unprecedented peacetime growth in the RCAF.
William A. White
William Andrew White, Baptist minister and army chaplain (born 16 June 1874 in King and Queen Court House, VA; died 9 September 1936 in Halifax, NS). William White was a leading member of the African Nova Scotian community. White was chaplain for the No. 2 Construction Battalion, making him one of only a few Black officers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
William Claus, government official, militia officer, military figure in the War of 1812 (b at Williamsburg, near present-day Amsterdam, NY, 8 Sep 1765; d at Niagara, Ont, 11 Nov 1826).
William Grant Stairs
William Grant Stairs, explorer, soldier (b at Halifax 28 Feb 1863; d at Chinde, Mozambique 9 June 1892). He was discoverer of one source of the Nile, the Semliki River, and the first non-African to climb Mount Ruwenzori.
William Hamilton Merritt
William Hamilton Merritt, soldier, businessman, politician (b at Bedford, NY 3 July 1793; d at Cornwall, Canada W 5 July 1862). "A Projector," as he styled himself, he epitomized what John Beverley ROBINSON called the defining characteristic of American society, the "anticipating spirit.
William Howe Mulcaster
William Howe Mulcaster, Royal Navy officer, military figure in the WAR OF 1812 (b 1785; d at Dover, Kent, England, 2 Mar 1837). William Mulcaster joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman when he was 10 years old and immediately saw action against the French.
William Moss Landymore
William Moss Landymore, naval officer (born 31 July 1916 in Brantford, ON; died 27 November 2008 in Halifax, NS).
William Neilson Hall
William Neilson Hall, seaman (born 25 April 1829 in Horton Bluff [now Lockhartville], NS; died 25 August 1904 in Horton Bluff). William Hall was the first Black, the first Nova Scotian, and the first Canadian naval recipient of the Victoria Cross.
William Neilson Hall: Victoria Cross Recipient
"For most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy." Such dry words to describe the courage and daring ascribed to the Victoria Cross (VC), the Commonwealth's highest decoration for bravery.
William Wasborough Foster
William Wasborough Foster, military officer, public servant, mountaineer (b at Bristol, Eng 1875; d at Vancouver 2 Dec 1954). Energetic, capable and good-humoured, Foster immigrated to Canada in 1894 to work for the CPR before becoming BC's deputy minister of public works in 1910.
Wilfrid Reid (Wop) May, OBE, DFC, aviator, First World War flying ace (born 20 March 1896, in Carberry, Manitoba; died 21 June 1952 near Provo, UT). Wop May was an aviator who served as a fighter pilot in the First World War. May finished the war as a flying ace, credited with 13 victories, and was part of the dogfight in which the infamous Red Baron was gunned down. After the war, May became a renowned barnstormer (or stunt pilot) and bush pilot, flying small aircraft into remote areas in Northern Canada, often on daring missions. May flew in several historic flights, carrying medicine and aide to northern locations and assisting law enforcement in manhunts, including the hunt for Albert Johnson, the “Mad Trapper of Rat River” in 1932.
Between February 1868 and September 1870, 7 contingents totalling 507 Canadians enrolled in the papal army (whose soldiers were known as Papal Zouaves) to help defend Rome from the Italian troops who wanted to bring about Italian unification.
Étienne Verrier, military engineer (b at Aix-en-Provence, France 4 Jan 1683; d at La Rochelle, France 10 Sept 1747). After 17 years with the engineer corps, Verrier served at LOUISBOURG as chief engineer 1724-45.