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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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Amos William (Will) Mayse was born in Lincolnshire, England in March, 1880. Mayse served in South Africa with the York and Lancaster Regiment Imperial Forces, where he was twice wounded and discharged with the rank of corporal. He later emigrated to Canada and was a Baptist clergyman in Manitoba before he enlisted in January, 1916 in Emerson, Manitoba. Mayse served overseas in France and Belgium until the end of the war. Mayse later settled in Nanaimo, British Columbia where he continued his work as a clergyman. The collection consists of more than two hundred letters, as well as other personal items.

James Douglas McAdam was born in Beeton, Simcoe, Ontario in June, 1892. McAdam was a teacher at the time of his enlistment in Toronto, Ontario in January, 1917.and served overseas in Siberia as a member of the Siberian Expeditionary Force. The collection currently consists of four letters and one photograph.

Thomas William McAloney was born in River Hebert, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia in August 1889.  McAloney enlisted with the 89th Battalion in November 1915 in Calgary, Alberta.  He served overseas with the 89th, was twice wounded, and returned to Canada at the end of the war.  The collection currently consists of an untranscribed diary from November 1918 to January 1919, his discharge certificate, and two photographs.

John Alexander McArthur was born in Poplar Hill, Ontario in 1893 and enlisted in the 134th Battalion at London, Ontario in January 1916. He was wounded in 1918 and spent time in a convalescent hospital in England until he returned to Canada. The collection consists of more than forty letters written by McArthur from 1916 to 1918.

Corporal William Alexander McArthur was born in Grey County, Ontario, on September 17th, 1891. On February 2nd, 1916, he enlisted in Owen Sound, Ontario, with the 147th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Shipping for England on board the S.S. Olympic in November of 1916, he was called-up to action in France with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles in April of 1917. Following the end of the war McArthur returned to Canada and was demobilized on March 19th, 1919.

The McArthur Collection was created through the donation of the Private W. Nelson Campbell Collection, which contained the letter written by William McArthur to Essie Douglas, cousin of Nelson Campbell.

External links:
Cpl. McArthur's Service Record (Reg/Ser# 838777) is available online through Library and Archives Canada.

Joseph McCartney was born in Liverpool, England in 1882 and emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war. He enlisted in Calgary, Alberta in May, 1916. McCartney had worked for the Allin family near Whitby, Ontario, and continued to corresponded with their daughter Curtie during the war. He was killed in France on April 8, 1918, age 36 years, and is buried in the Thelus Military Cemetery at Vimy Ridge. Three of the letters were written by Joe to Curtie, and one letter was from Curtie to Joe. That letter of March 8, 1918 was returned to Curtie following Joe's death in France. One letter is from his brother in England to Canada requesting the return of Joseph's personal effects. This collection consists of five letters written between December 1917 to September 1918.

Alexander McCheyne, MM, was born in Scotland in April, 1893, and sometime before the war he emigrated to Manitoba where he worked as a farm labourer. McCheyne enlisted in January, 1915 at Virden, Manitoba. He served overseas and was awarded the Military Medal for his actions on October 30, 1917 at Passchendaele Ridge. The collection currently consist of thirty six letters he wrote to his sister Mary.

Harry Austin McCleave was born in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia in February, 1892. McCleave won the Rhodes Scholarship for Nova Scotia in 1915 and admitted to Balliol College, Oxford University. Unfortunately due to the war he was unable to enroll. He enlisted in September, 1915 in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the 64th Overseas Battalion. Oversead McCleave served overseas with the 13th Battalion until his death in October, 1916. The collection currently consists of his diary from 1916 and a newspaper clipping announcing his death.

Private Frank McCoy was born in Mossend, Scotland on August 15, 1885 (possibly 1886). Prior to the war he was living with widowed mother, Mary McCoy, in Ladysmith, British Columbia, working as a boat builder.

He initially enlisted at Vernon, British Columbia, with the 62nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on August 23, 1915, but was soon discharged on December 15th on the grounds (as described in his service record) of “not being likely to become an efficient soldier.” McCoy appears not to have agreed with this assessment as by the following day he had made his way to Vancouver where he enlisted again on December 16, 1915, with 11th Regiment Irish Fusiliers of Canada (The Vancouver Regiment).

Shipping for England as part of the 121st Battalion on board the S.S. Empress of Britain, McCoy was sent to France the following December with the 54th Battalion. Fighting at Vimy Ridge on March 1,1917, he suffered severe gas poisoning as well as shrapnel wounds, and was evacuated to hospital in England. He was returned to Canada and discharged on medical grounds on December 8, 1917.

The letters in the McCoy Collection were published in his hometown newspaper The Ladysmith Chronicle , and were compiled along with those of other local WWI soldiers through the work of the Ladysmith & District Historical Society (links shown below).

The complete list of soldiers in the can be found in the Ladysmith and District Historical Society collection.

External links:

McCoy’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 760583/463934) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.

Victor McDonald was born on Prince Edward Island in 1895. He enlisted in December, 1915 and served overseas during WWI. Due to exposure to gas during the war he spent the rest of his life in hospital in Nova Scotia after his return to Canada. He died in hospital shortly after the war ended. The letters are to his brother Leo, who was at the time studying to be a teacher in Charlottetown. The collection consists of twelve letters written by Victor to Leo, both during his time of service and from the hospital shortly after his return.

John Alexander McDougall was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1892 and later moved to Calgary, Alberta. He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in December, 1915, and served overseas in France. The collection consists of more than twenty letters and several photographs covering the period 1915 to 1918.

Harold Bruce McLagan was born in Carluke, Ontario in September, 1884.  McLagan enlisted in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in January, 1916 with the 128th Battalion.  He served overseas with the 9th Canadian Machine Gun Corps until his death on November 4, 1917.  The collection currently consists of fourteen letters from McLagan.

David McLean was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1880. He emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario on January 16, 1916. McLean served overseas in France with the 48th Highlanders and was killed April 20, 1917, leaving behind a wife and infant son. David McLean appears to have been a prolific letter writer for according to his 1916 Vest Pocket Reference Annual where he noted each letter, he sent over 150 letters and other forms of notes from August 31, 1916 alone. It is also noted that from November 17, 1916 onwards he received 55 letters and packages. The collection consists of more than fifty letters and one photograph.

John McLean was born in Sault St. Marie, Michigan, in 1894. He later moved to Echo Bay, Ontario, where he enlisted in January, 1916 and then served overseas in France. He was killed in action February 2, 1917. The collection consists of more than thirty letters.

Private William Menzies McLeish was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on December 12, 1891. Having immigrated to Canada with his family prior to the outbreak of WWI, he enlisted at Valcartier, Québec, on September 25, 1914, with the 5th Regiment Royal Highlanders of Canada.

Shipping for England on board the S.S. Alaunia in October of 1914, he proceeded to France on April 1, 1915, as part of the 13th Battalion Canadian Infantry, 1st Division. He was captured on April 24, 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, and interned at the Münster (Rennbahn) Prisoner of War Camp in Westphalia, Germany.

McLeish remained at Rennbahn until repatriated following the Armistice in November of 1918. He returned to Canada and was demobilized on March 29, 1919.

The McLeish Collection includes rare materials from the Rennbahn P.O.W. Camp, including photos and programmes of prisoner theatrical performances of works such as Roll on Blighty, as well as miscellaneous items from both his time prior to and following imprisonment, such as postcards of England’s Salisbury Plain Flood in January of 1915.

Private George Buford Williams, who is listed among the performers of Roll on Blighty in the McLeish Collection, is also connected with the Private Ralph Clement Gale Collection. Like McLeish, Pte. Gale also spent time as a German P.O.W. in the Rennbahn Camp, and Pte. Williams was among the fellow prisoners whose correspondence with the Gale family was preserved.

External links:
Pte. William Menzies McLeish’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 24446) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Pte. George Buford Williams, Service Record (Serv/Reg# 16487)

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[Editor’s note: Collection checked/updated February 18/2022. Some additional materials have been added and some changes to categorization of Collection Contents have been made; no materials have been removed.]

Sapper Ivan Donald McLellan was born on Pelee Island, Ontario, on October 19th, 1895.   He enlisted with the Canadian Engineers Training Depot in Windsor, Ontario, on November 27th, 1916.

He embarked for England on board the S.S. Grampian in February of 1917. Called-up to action in France beginning in June of 1917, he was transferred in October to the 4th Division Engineers where he remained until returning home for demobilization on June 23rd, 1919.

External links:
Spr. McLellan's Service Record (Reg/Ser# 506473) is available online through Library and Archives Canada.

WIlliam John McLellan was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1894 and was a student at The University of Alberta at the time of his enlistment in February, 1916. The collection consists of more than one hundred letters and more than twenty photographs.

Francis Harold McLorg was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, worked as a barrister,and then enlisted for overseas duty in October, 1914. He saw duty in France, where he was wounded in 1916. McLorg recovered and continued to serve until the end of the war, by which time he had been promoted to the rank of Captain. The collection consists of eight letters, telegrams, and photographs.

Lieutenant John Ernest McLurg was born in Prospect Hill, Ontario on April 12, 1875. Prior to his enlistment in WWI, John and his wife (Annie Allan née Corry) lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where he worked as a sales manager and served in the Militia with the 51st Sault Rifles.

He enlisted in Valcartier, Quebec, on September 22, 1914, and was commissioned with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Division. Once overseas McLurg served in both France and Belgium before being wounded and taken prisoner at the Second Battle of Ypres on April 24, 1915. As a P.O.W. in Germany he was initially sent to Siegburd until fully recovered from the gunshot wound to the head he had suffered at Ypres, and then was transferred to the Camp at Heidelberg in July of 1915, and later to Soltau in June of 1916.

On August 12, 1916, he was transferred to the P.O.W. camp in Mürren, Switzerland (an agreement between the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government allowed many sick or injured POWs to be interned in Switzerland until eligible for repatriation), where he was joined by his wife Annie in November of 1916. Their daughter, Margaret Gillespie McLurg, was born in nearby Vevey, Switzerland, on October 26, 1917. Shortly thereafter John was repatriated, travelling with his family to England in late December of 1917, and then on to Canada where he was medically discharged from service on April 20, 1918.

The McLurg Collection has two main components. The first is a book of drawings and messages created by McLurg’s fellow prisoners at Heidelberg as a gift to him at the time of his departure from the camp in August of 1916. The second is a set of 27 photographs documenting his time at Mürren, Switzerland. Also included are a small number of other items such as John’s bullet-pierced Maple Leaf Badge, and Annie McLurg’s Visa for transit with their daughter through the United States while returning to Canada in 1918.

External links:
Lt. John Ernest McLurg’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# unassigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

[Editor’s note: Collection reviewed/updated May 2022. Some additional materials have been added and some changes to categorization of Collection Contents have been made; content descriptions have been reviewed and in many cases expanded to provide more information. No materials have been removed but duplicate postings, if present, will have been corrected.]

Howard John McMaster was born in Norwood, Ontario in February, 1891.  McMaster enlisted in Peterborough, Ontario in December, 1915 and served overseas with the 52nd Battalion until his return to Canada at the end of the war.  He is the brother of William McMaster.  The collection currently consists of twelve letters and several postcards.

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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