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WWI

These collections contains any material relating to Canada from 1914 to 1918 from either the home front or the battlefront. External links in collection descriptions are either to online attestation papers at Library and Archives Canada or casualty and burial information at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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This collection contains nearly 300 letters from World War One published in The Cobourg World, a local newspaper published in Cobourg, Ontario. Newspapers across Canada regularly printed letters home from overseas, either letters written directly to the newspaper by the soldiers, or first written to the family and then contributed to the paper by the family. Collections such as those from The Cobourg World provide a fascinating look at the relationship of community and war as played out in the pages of the local newspaper. All letters in the collection have been previously published in the newspaper and were also later collected by local historian Percy Climo in a work entitled "Let Us Remember". The dates for which the letters are listed represent the dates on which they were published, as the original dates of the letters are not always indicated. Where the original date of writing is known it will be part of the letter text. Introductions to the letters and editorial comments as they appeared in the newspaper have been left as published. All transcriptions have been taken from copies on microfilm and as such there are no scans for this collection.

Robert G. Combe was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1880. He emigrated to Moosomin, Saskatchewan where he worked as a chemist. He enlisted at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in April, 1915. [note: there is a discrepancy between his attestation papers which date his enlistment as 1915 and other records which date his enlistment as 1916] He was killed on May 3, 1917 and has no known grave. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. The collection consists of one letter to his grammar school magazine and his citation for bravery.

Robert Conners was born in 1890 and lived in Montreal where he worked as a locomotive engineer. He enlisted in Montreal in 1917 and served overseas with the railway battalion. The collection also consists of additional letters from Kelvin, who appears to have been his cousin and who enlisted sometime in 1915. The collection consist of six letters, as well as numerous postcards and photographs.

Allan Matheson Conquergood was born in Kincardine, Ontario in May, 1872. He enlisted in July, 1916 in Winnipeg with the 239th Battalion, the Railway Construction Corps and served overseas. The collection currently consists of his diary from 1917.

Arthur John Cook was born in Chelmsford, England in 1892 and emigrated to Canada prior to the war. Cook enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in November, 1914. He served overseas until the end of the war. The collection currently consists of his 1918 diary and one photograph.

Ernest Corbett was born in Orangeville, Ontario in February, 1893 and later resided in Wellington, British Columbia.  He enlisted in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in March, 1916 and served overseas with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles.  Corbett was killed August 21, 1917.  The collection currently consists of one letter and one photograph.

Arthur Donovan Corker was born in February, 1894 in Victoria, British Columbia. Corker enlisted in September, 1914 and was part of the First Canadian Contingent. He was serving with the 7th Battalion when he was taken prisoner during the Second Battle of Ypres on April 24, 1915. As a prisoner, Corker attempted to escape six times, was recaptured, and finally succeeded in his seventh attempt in 1918. The collection consists of one letter written shortly after he made his escape to Holland. As well, Corker did an interview in 1983 describing his escape, which is part of the University of Victoria archives. To listen to Corker, click here.

Frank Clifford Cousins was born on October 24, 1893 in Belmont, Ontario. He began his university studies at the University of Toronto in 1911, and then moved west to the Regina area where he taught school and attended university. Cousins enlisted in Regina, Saskatchewan in July, 1917 and arrived in England in December of that year. In April 1918 he was sent to France where he took part in the Battle of Amiens in August. Later that month he was wounded and sent to England for surgery and to recuperate, and remained in England until the end of the war. Upon returning to Canada he resumed his teaching and his university studies, received his L.L.B. in 1924, and was called to the bar in 1926. He was a partner with the future Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in the firm of Diefenbaker, Cousins & Godfrey. Frank Cousins died in his sleep in June, 1927.This collection consist of ninety letters and other miscellaneous materials.

John (Jack) Arthur Cowles was born in Oxford, England in March, 1893. He was a member of the Balliol Boys Club, a club run by the students, graduates, and tutors of Balliol College in Oxford. It was under the Club's auspices that Jack came to Canada in 1913. Jack enlisted with the Canadian forces in Saskatchewan in 1914. Cowles served overseas with B Coy. 28th Battalion and he was killed June 6, 1916. The collection consists of several letters to his sister and to the Balliol Boys Club, three postcards, four photographs, and a letter of condolence from Sam Hughes.

Bertam Howard Cox was born in the Barbadoes in 1894. He emigrated to Canada and prior to the war and worked as a bank clerk in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cox enlisted in Winnipeg in March, 1916. The collection consists of nearly forty letters from 1916 to 1919.

Jack Crawley was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in October, 1893.  He enlisted in December, 1914 in Brandon, Manitoba and served overseas with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Crawley was killed June 5, 1916.  His photograph is also a part of the Perry Sanderson collection.  Sanderson mentions him in his letters and he was killed one day after Crawley.  The collection currently consists of one photograph.

Keith Bruce Crosby was born in Carleton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia in 1897. He enlisted in August, 1915 and arrived in France on April 7, 1916. He was killed April 11, 1916. The collection consists of three letters and one photograph.

Herbert Cunliffe was born in Lancashire, England in 1885 and his brother William was born in 1891 and both emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war. Both brothers, Herbert and William, enlisted at Niagara, Ontario in September, 1915. Herbert was killed October 18, 1916, leaving behind a wife and infant daughter. The collection consists of more than twenty letters from Herbert to his wife, a few letters from William, and two photographs.

William Cunliffe was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England in August, 1891.  Prior to the war he emigrated to Canada and enlisted in September, 1915 at Niagara, Ontario with the 109th Battalion.  Cunliffe served overseas with the 84th and then with the 75th Battalion until his return to Canada in 1919.  The collection currentlly consists of several letters, postcards, a photograph, and miscellaneous personal items.

William Howard Curtis was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, where he served in the 57th Regiment. He was in Alberta when the war broke out and joined the 9th Battalion in Edmonton in August 1914. After brief training at Valcartier, Quebec, Curtis went to England with the 1st Contingent and shortly after arrival transferred to the 2nd Battalion. He later served in the battalion's machine gun section, was three times wounded in action, and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field. Lance-Sergeant Curtis was killed in action on 8 October 1916 in the closing stages of the Battle of the Somme. The collection consists of eighteen letters from Curtis to his mother and sister, and three letters to the Curtis family sent after his death.

Harold Keith Davey was born in Enterprise, Ontario in July 1897. Davey enlisted with the 4th Battalion Canadian Engineers in Toronto in June of 1916. He served in France before being discharged and returned to Canada in May 1918. This collection currently consists of two diaries, two photograhs, three postcards, and a letter.

John (Jack) Davey was born in Somerset, England in September, 1888. He emigrated to Canada 1911-1912 and enlisted in September, 1914. Davey was wounded and taken prisoner in April, 1915. While a prisoner he had his leg amputated, and then was later returned to England during a prisoner exchange. The collection consists of more than fifty letters between himself and his wife Kate.

Victor Leslie Davidson was born in September, 1892 in Chippawa, Ontario. Davidson enlisted in November, 1914 in Toronto, Ontario and went overseas with the 20th Battalion. In 1916 he married Emelia Sears, a nurse in England. The collection currently consists of postcards and photographs, as well as an autograph book kept by Emelia Sears from the hospital in which she was working.

Harry Davies was born in Hamilton, Ontario in December, 1897. He enlisted in March, 1916 in Hamilton, Ontario with the 205th Battalion. Davies went overseas in 1917, was wounded in August, 1918, and invalided back to Canada in early 1919. The collection currently consists of his diary from December, 1916 to June, 1919, as well as several photographs.

Robert Davis was born in London, England in 1896 and enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in London, in September, 1915. Davis served in France and he was killed April 9, 1917 in the assault on Vimy Ridge. The collection consists of two letters and one photograph.

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Latest Readings from World War One collections

James Moore

Reads a 09/21/1916 Letter by Drader, Eugene Robert from World War One collections. View full Letter

RH Thomson

Reads a 07/06/1917 Letter by Mayse, Amos William (Will) from World War One collections. View full Letter

RH Thomson

Reads a 07/05/1917 Letter by Mayse, Amos William (Will) from World War One collections. View full Letter