Snapshots of Canada’s Past: Scenes from WWI

Snapshots of Canada’s Past: History is more than just words on a screen or from a textbook; this series is a thematic look back at Canadian history through visual imagery.

If there is a theme you would like me to explore, leave a comment!

Theme: Scenes from World War One

Although Canada declared war on Germany on August 5, 1914 it was not until March 1915 that Canadians experienced action on the Western Front. The 1st Canadian Battalion fought in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. This same battalion was later moved to reinforce Allied lines in the Second Battle of Ypres. This battle marked the first use of chlorine gas in the war and Canadians suffered over 6,000 casualties. Despite this our troops were the only division who were able to hold the line against the Germans. That pretty much sums up the Canadian WWI effort: success at a high cost.

* Regarding Canadian Pte. Sidney Halliday, his remains were recently identified in France. As part of the 78th Battalion, he fought at both Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. Halliday lost his life at the Battle of Amiens; the battle that marked the beginning of the end of the war as it was the final push back against the Germans. They were able to identify his remains by a locket Halliday wore around his neck. It contained the name of his girlfriend, Lizzie Walmsley. Many soldiers wrote wills during the war and researchers used these records to connect Halliday with Walmsley; she was beneficiary in his will.


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