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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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Dr. Charles James McNeil Willoughby was born in Cookstown, Ontario in 1894. Willoughby joined the Royal Medical Corp in 1916 after graduating from the University of Toronto medical school. He was posted first to Mesopotamia, and then later served in England, France and Belgium. After the war he returned to Canada where he practiced medicine in Kamloops, British Columbia. Willoughby died in 1995. The collection consists of nearly two hundred letters as well as photographs.

Andrew Wilson was born in Brussels, Ontario in 1880, moved west in 1906, and enlisted in Rosetown, Saskatchewan in 1916. He served in France from October 1917 to September 1918 until being wounded, returning to Canada in December 1919. The collection currently consists of his diary from October 19, 1917 to December 31, 1917, and one letter home to his wife.

Horace William Wilson was born in Newport, England in February, 1896 and emigrated to Waseca, Saskatchewan prior to the war. Wilson enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba in April, 1916. The collection currently consists of photographs, as well as the diary he kept during the war.

Roger Wilson was born in Kendall, Westmoreland, England in April, 1896. Wilson came to Alberta, Canada in the spring of 1914 where he worked as a farmer. He enlisted in December, 1915 in Calgary, Alberta with the 89th Battalion and then later served overseas with the 31st Battalion. Wilson died on April 9, 1917 in the attack at Vimy Ridge. The collection currently consists of four letters written by Wilson and a newspaper notice of his death.

Alexander Windram was born at Eyemouth, Berwickshire, Scotland in February 1881.  Prior to the war he emigrated to Canada, and settled in Fraser Mills, British Columbia. Windram enlisted with the 131st Battalion in New Westminster, British Columbia in February, 1916.  He served overseas with the 7th Battalion and was killed at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.   Windram also had two brothers, William and John, who also served in the CEF and who were both killed in 1917.  The collection currently consists of seven postcards from Alexander Windram and one photograph.  Materials used with the kind permission of The City of Coquitam Archives.

[Editor’s note: The materials in this collection are currently being reviewed/updated. This may include changes such as the uploading of additional materials, corrections to transcriptions, editing/expanding content descriptions,  and changes to categorization of collection contents as needed. Some materials may be incomplete or inaccessible during this update period.]

Private Sydney Amyas Winterbottom was born in Calgary, Alberta, on November 22, 1895*, the first child of Arthur and Jennie (née Banister) Winterbottom.  Soon after Sydney’s birth the family moved to Kamloops, British Columbia, where siblings Helen, Keith, Joan, and John were born.

Winterbottom enlisted with the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles at Vernon, B.C., on July 15, 1915, and spent the following year training in British Columbia, first at the Vernon Camp, then at Connaught Barracks in Nanaimo, and finally at Willows Camp, Victoria. He was able on several occasions to return home on leave to Kamloops during this time period. Winterbottom sailed for England on board the S.S. Lapland with the 11th C.M.R. in July of 1916, and then proceeded to France in October of 1916 where he served with the 29th Battalion.

He was killed in action on November 6, 1917, in the Battle of Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres). Winterbottom is among the over fifty thousand men without known graves who died defending the Ypres Salient and are commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

The majority of the letters in the Winterbottom Collection were written home to Sydney’s parents and siblings, but also included are several written by other soldiers such as his close friend Pte. Adrian Cracroft Thrupp, who had also enlisted in August of 1915 with the 11th C.M.R. The two friends served together throughout the war until just shortly before Winterbottom’s death. Among the condolence letters is one written to Adrian Thrupp by Douglas Moncrieff Goudie (later a Cadet in the British Royal Air Force, but then still a Private with the 29th Battalion). More biographical information about Thrupp and Goudie can be found on their own individual collection pages, along with copies of the letters and photos that originated here as part the Winterbottom Collection.

When writing home Winterbottom would almost always include comments or news about other soldiers he was posted with or had grown-up with in Kamloops. Thirty-one of the soldiers mentioned in his letters were able to be identified and connected with their service files. Almost all were the sons of Kamloops families who enlisted during 1915-1916; over two-thirds initially enlisted with either the 11th Canadian Mounted Rifles or the 172nd Battalion. They have been listed below with links to their service records at Library and Archives Canada. A reference guide of names and letter dates has been posted under “Other Materials” in “Collection Contents” (using just the search tool to find names in the letters can be problematic owing to the variety of spellings used by Winterbottom in his letters). 

External links for Pte. Winterbottom:

Pte. Sydney Winterbottom’s service record (Serv/Reg# 116506) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Winterbottom can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Pte. Winterbottom is among those commemorated on the Kamloops Cenotaph in Memorial Hill Park, Kamloops, B.C., as are eight of the other identified soldiers in the collection: L/Cpl. Robert Roy Brown, Spr. Frank Alexander Busteed, Pte. Rupert Morley Duck, Pte. Ralph Vyvian Gordon, Lt. Noel George Harper, Pte. Frederick Lee, Lt. William Elmer Tait, Lt. William Elmer Tait, and Pte. Alfred Lewis Wain.

External links for other identified soldiers in the Winterbottom letters & photos:

L/Cpl. Charles Henry Irwin Akehurst, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/01/19. Serv/Reg# 687251
Pte. Arthur Trelawney Batchelor, 172nd Bn. & 18th C.M.G. Coy., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/04/03. Serv/Reg# 688066
Cpl. Harry Trelawney Batchelor, 54th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/08/11. Serv/Reg# 443171
L/Cpl. Robert Roy Brown, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/07/24. Serv/Reg# 688280  
Spr. Frank Alexander Busteed, 11th C.M.R., 54th Bn. & 4th C. Div. Signal Coy., enlisted at Vernon 1915/07/15,  service number changed with transfer to  54th Bn. in November 1915. Serv/Reg# 116505 & 443172
Pte. Harry Warren Campbell, 29th Bn., enlisted at Vancouver 1915/03/24. Serv/Reg# 76273
Lt. Frank Charles Clark, 172nd Bn & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/01/01. Serv/Reg# 687005
Pte. Francis Arthur Dempster, 11th C.M.R. & 7th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/07/15. Serv/Reg# 116507
Pte. Rupert Morley Duck, 172nd Bn. & 54th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/03/24.  Serv/Reg# 688016 
Pte. Wilfred Albert Duck, 172nd Bn. & 54th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/03/24. Serv/Reg# 688015
Capt. Eber Akin Dunfield, 1st Div. Ammo. Park, 1st Bn. & M.H.Q. Ottawa, enlisted at Valcartier 1914/09/22. Serv/Reg# 37064
Pte. Donald Scotney George, 11th C.M.R. & 7th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1915/07/15. Serv/Reg# 116508
Pte. Ralph Vyvian Gordon, 88th Bn. & 25th Bn., enlisted at Victoria 1915/11/08. Serv/Reg# 180779
Pte. (& R.A.F. Cadet) Douglas Moncrieff Goudie, 48th Bn., 3rd C.P. Bn., 25th Bn. & 29th Bn., enlisted at Victoria 1915/04/12. Serv/Reg# 430974. Joined the British Royal Air Force, 1918/07/25.  
Lt. Norman Goudie, DFC, British Royal Flying Corps (2nd Lt. 1916/04/22, Lt. 1917/06/01).
Pte. Paul William Jarvis Harmon, 62nd Bn., 48th Bn., 3rd C.P. Bn. & 7th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/07/31. Serv/Reg# 463629
Pte. Gordon Walker Harper, C.A.M.C., enlisted at Vernon 1915/07/24.  Serv/Reg# 400122
Lt. Noel George Harper, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/04/17. Serv/Reg# 688126
Pte. Senior Heaton, 172nd Bn. & 11th C.M.R., enlisted at Vancouver 1916/02/18. Serv/Reg# 687724
Lt. Herbert Jefferis, C.A.M.C. & 29th Bn., enlisted at Calgary 1915/05/01. Serv/Reg# 50597
Captain & Chaplain Alexander Ketterson, 80th Bn. & 6th Bde., commissioned 1915/11/02. Serv/Reg# not assigned
Pte. Frederick Lee, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/03/13. Serv/Reg# 687931
Pte. Robert Stephen MacKay, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/04/03. Serv/Reg# 688061
Pte. Wilfred McKinnon Maclean, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1916/07/06. Serv/Reg# 688263
Pte. Gordon Alexander McArthur, 172nd Bn. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Kamloops 1916/02/10. Serv/Reg# 687610
Cpl. J. Dallas Slavin, 11th C.M.R. & 47th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/07/15. Serv/Reg# 116504
Pte. Percy Wiggett Spaulding, 11th C.M.R. & 29th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/08/20. Serv/Reg# 116551
Lt. William Elmer Tait, 158th Bn. & 7th Bn. Serv/Reg# not assigned
Pte. Adrian Cracroft Thrupp, 11th C.M.R. & 29th Bn., enlisted at Vernon 1915/08/20. Serv/Reg# 116579
Lt. Desmond Odlum Vicars, DSO; 11th C.M.R., 172nd Bn., 72nd Bn., enlisted with 11th C.M.R 1915/03/08, and was appointed as Lt. to the 172nd Bn. 1916/02/02. Serv/Reg# 687308
Pte. Alfred Lewis Wain, 172nd Bn. & 2nd C.M.R., enlisted at Vernon 1915/11/06. Serv/Reg# 687786

 [*Editor’s note on date of birth: Winterbottom’s year of birth is recorded throughout his military records as 1896 but the collection donor’s genealogy information indicated the year was 1895. This earlier year is supported by the 1901 Census of Canada records and by the timeline needed to allow for his sister Helen’s birth in May of 1887.]

William John Wood was born in Ottawa, Ontario in May, 1877.  He later settled in Midland, Ontario where he enlisted in February, 1916 with the 157th Battalion the Simcoe Foresters.  Wood served in England and in France with the 20th Battalion until his demobilization and return to Canada in May, 1919.  Wood was also a noted painter and friends with the Group of Seven.  The collection currently consists of twenty five letters and two postcards.

Nelson Zelotist Woodruff was born in Elmvale, Ontario in October, 1894 and enlisted in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in July, 1915 with the 68th Battalion.  Woodruff served overseas with the 2nd Tramway Company until he was demobilized and returned to Canada in 1919.  The collection currently consists of one letter.

James Jackson Woods was born in Elimville, Ontario in June, 1890. Woods enlisted with the 161st Huron Battalion in Exeter, Ontario on April 11, 1916 and served overseas until the end of the war. The collection consists of eight letters and one photograph of Woods.

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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