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Pre-1914

These collections contains all materials prior to World War One, including the Riel Rebellion and the South African War. It also contains materials relating to he service of Canadians outside of Canadian forces, such as the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War. External links in collection descriptions are to online attestation papers at Library and Archives Canada.

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William J. Macdonald, a medical student, enlisted in Toronto on December 29, 1899, with the 9th Toronto Field Battery. He was 24 years of age. Macdonald served overseas with "C" Field Battery, Royal Canadian Field Artillery until he was discharged in January, 1901.

Alexander Matier was born in 1880 and raised in New York City where in May, 1898, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War. He saw service in Cuba and returned to New York. In 1915 Matier enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and saw service overseas, where he was wounded in Belgium in the spring of 1916.

He spent more than two years in convalescent hospitals in England and Canada before he was discharged in September 1918. He died in Winnipeg in 1920. (More information about this time period is available in his Service File in the National Archives, which is unusually detailed about his medical history, including time spent at the Tuxedo Military Hospital in Winnipeg, receiving treatments such as galvanism, faradism, electric current baths and ionization (radiation).

The collection consists of two letters written home from Cuba in 1898 and an extended eighteen page letter written in 1918 detailing his wounding and convalescence. 

Please note: Because of the way files are organized on the website, letters written by one author but across multiple wars may not always be visible together (the pages will look very similar, only the headings above the name and the # of letters in the "Collection Contents" list below will be different. If needed, the following links can be used to move between the two time periods of the Matier collection:

Click here to go to the Spanish-American War letters from 1898.

Click here to go to the WWI letter from 1918.

 

Walter Hill Moodie was born in Quebec, PQ.  In October, 1899 at age 28 Moodie enlisted in Kaslo, British Columbia with the 2nd Bn. RCR.  He served overseas in South Africa until his discharge in October, 1900.  The collection currently consists of a series of letters that he wrote during that time back to the Kaslo newspaper, The Kootenaian.

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