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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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Gordon Budd Irving was born in Toronto on 16 May 1888, the only son of Mary Maude Irving and William Henry Irving, of the legal firm of Kilmer, Irving, and Davis. He worked for the National Trust Company in Toronto before joining the Royal Flying Corps in May 1917. After training at Camp Borden, Gordon Irving was sent to England in July 1917, and then to France, where he was posted to 19 Squadron. He rose to the rank of Captain, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and was credited with twelve enemy aircraft downed. On 11 August 1918, he was reported missing, believed killed in action. His body was never recovered. The correspondence consists primarily of letters from Gordon to his father and his sister Fern (Mrs. M.C. Purvis). There is also official correspondence from military authorities, and letters from one of W.H. Irving's business associates in England.

Herbert Laurier Irwin was born in Weston, Ontario in 1896. Irwin enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in October, 1915 with the 41st O.S. Battery and served overseas in France and Belgium. The collection consists of twelve letters, four postcards, and two photographs.

Arthur Mansell Irwin was born in July of 1867 in Dalyrimple, Ontario and came to Norwood, Ontario between 1913 and 1914 as Pastor of Norwood Methodist Church. As a church and community leader, Irwin mentored Norwood's youth and maintained diligent correspondence with many young men serving overseas during WWI. Irwin's son Karl also served overseas, leaving Norwood in 1917. This collection consists of multiple clippings and articles pertaining to Canadian servicemen from Norwood, as well as one letter and two telegrams. Irwin's correspondence with numerous Canadian soldiers from Norwood comprise multiple collections on this website and are linked to this collection.

Raymond Ellsworth Ives enlisted in 1916 and served overseas in France, including Vimy Ridge. The collection consists of four letters, ten photographs, and a short personal memoir from enlistment to Vimy.

Hartley Samson Ivey was born in Campbellford, Ontario in June, 1894.  He enlisted with the 73rd Battalion in Kingston, Ontario in February 1917 and served overseas until his return in 1919.  Ivey was one of the correspondents to Reverend Arthur Mansell Irwin from Norwood, Ontario, whose collection is also contained in this project.  The Ivey collection currently consists of one letter and one newspaper clipping.

Henry Harry Jackson was born in Cumberland, England in November, 1893. He moved with his family to Namaimo, British Columbia sometime after 1901 and enlisted in September, 1915 with the 72nd Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders. He trained in England in the summer of 1916 and was in Belgium for only a few weeks before he was killed on September 16, 1916. The collection consists of a photograph and note from Jackson, a family photograph as a young boy, and a letter of condolence to Jackson's family from his commanding officer.

John James Jackson was born in Dudley, Worcestershire, in 1883 and emigrated to London, Ontario, around 1911. He worked as a foreman in a brickworks and spent two years in a militia artillery unit before joining the 142nd Battalion in London on 14 December 1915. The collection consists of a long letter, written to his wife and children, describing the battalion’s voyage to England in 1916.

Thomas Frederick Jackson was born in London, England in November, 1876. At the time of his enlistment in Vancouver, British Columbia in September, 1915 Jackson was living in Vancouver and was married. Jackson served overseas with the 47th Battalion and was killed April 13, 1917. The collection consists of one letter and one photograph, as well as a thank you letter from Buckingham Palace.

William Harry Jennings was born in Forest, Ontario in 1883. He enlisted in August,1914, and served overseas in France where he was wounded in 1915. He returned to Canada sometime before the end of the war and died in 1925. The collection consists of two letters and two photographs.

Lawrence Earl Johns was born in Elimville, Ontario in December, 1893. Johns enlisted at Exeter, Ontario on April 11, 1916 with the 161st Huron Battalion, C.E.F. He served overseas with the 58th Battalion and died September 12, 1917. The collection consists of more than one hundred twenty letter as well as a rich visual component of photographs, postcards, and other personal items.

Thomas William Johnson was born in April, 1877 and enlisted at Swift Current, Saskatchewan in March, 1916. The collection consists of more than sixty letters that he wrote to his future wife 'Lulu'.

William Hill Johnson was born in Montreal, Quebec in March, 1893. Johnson enlisted in Montreal in June, 1915 and served in France until he was wounded in the summer of 1917. The collection consists of seventeen letters, his diary, photographs, and some postcards.

Henry Johnston was born in Huntley, Ontario in May, 1895.  Johnston enlisted in June, 1915 in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) with the 52nd Battalion.  He proceeded overseas with the 52nd and was severely wounded in June of 1916, and subsequently invalided back to Canada.  The collection currently consists of one letter, one postcard, and one photograph of the "A" Coy, 52nd Bn. taken in 1915.

William Joseph Johnston was born in Victoria, British Columbia in March, 1875. Johnston enlisted in Victoria in January, 1916, with the 1st Canadian Pioneers, and subsequently served overseas with the 9th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. He was wounded in France and invalided back to England, where he died in October, 1917. The collection currently consists of thirty letters, several photographs, and a very large postcard collection.

David Bracegirdle Jones was born in Wales in 1896 and emigrated to Canada prior to World War One. Jones enlisted with the 6th Bn. 1st Canadian Contingent in September 1914 and served overseas with it until he transferred to the Royal Flying Corp. He served as a Second Lieutenant with the 84th Sqdn. of the R.F.C. until his death in 1918. The collection consists of one letter and one photograph.

James A. Jones was born in Lancashire, England in 1881 and later emigrated to Alberta, Canada. Jones enlisted at Medicine Hat, Alberta in May, 1916 and served overseas in France until his death in June, 1917. The collection currently consists of his diary from January, 1917 until his last entry in June, 1917.

Harold Gregg Keating was born in Kemptville, Ontario in February, 1892. Keating enlisted with the 72nd in Vernon, British Columbia in June 1915, and served overseas with the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. He was awarded the MM. The collection currently consists of numerous photographs and postcards, as well as some miscellaneous items.

George Hedley Kempling was born June 1, 1884 in Toronto, Ontario and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in August, 1915. He survived the war and returned to Canada in 1919. The collection consists of his diary entries from July 12, 1916 to October 7, 1916.

Erle Beavis Laing was born in Havelock, Ontario in August, 1895.  He was recruited under the Military Service Act and served in England until his return to Canada in 1919.   Laing was one of the correspondents to Reverend Arthur Mansell Irwin from Norwood, Ontario, whose collection is also contained in this project.  The collection currently consists of one letter.

Lakefield College School (or LCS or "The Grove") was originally a boy's preparatory school founded in 1879 near Lakefield, Ontario. During the war former students of the school corresponded with the headmaster, Rev. Alexander Mackenzie and his family. The collection consist of letters from student written during the war period, as well as numerous photographs.

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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