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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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Wallace Aubrey Reid was born in Peterborough, Ontario in 1891 and moved to Vermillion, Alberta with his family in 1911. Reid enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta in September, 1915 and served overseas in France. The collection consists of one letter written to his mother in 1916, which was subsequently reprinted in The Peterborough Review in February, 1917, as well as one photograph.

Sydney Rhodes was born in Mansfield, England in May, 1888. Prior to the war Rhodes emigrated to
Canada, where he enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in November, 1914. Rhodes served overseas with the 20th Battalion. The collection currently consists of postcards and photographs.

Norman Sydney Richards was born in Bristol in 1897 and emigrated to Salmon Arm, British Columbia, in 1914. He returned to England to enlist and went to France in 1917, where he was severely wounded and remained in England. recovering until 1919. In 1919 he married a woman who had worked as a V.A.D. in the hospital and together they returned to Salmon Arm in 1919. Richards died in 1986 at the age of 89. The collection consists of miscellaneous documents relating to his life and service.

Ralph Richards was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1889. He emigrated to Canada sometime before the First World War, and enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Sydney, Nova Scotia in September, 1915. The collection consists of one photograph and one long memoir, writtten sometime during World War II, which recounts his experience during World War I as a prisoner of war.

Charles Douglas Richardson was born in Grenfell, Saskatchewan in December 1891 and graduated from the Manitoba Agricultural College in 1915. Richardson enlisted at Regina, Saskatchewan in October 1915 and reached the front in the spring of 1916. While serving with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, he was severely wounded in the Ypres sector in June 1916, returning to the trenches in December. Richardson took part in the assault on Vimy Ridge and died on April 9th or 10th, 1917. The collection consists of more than sixty letters written by Richardson to his family.

George Ridgeway was born in Cheshire, England in April, 1887. He emigrated to Canada around 1912 and moved to Saskatchewan to farm. Ridgeway enlisted in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in January, 1916 with the 128th Battalion, and served overseas in France and Belgium with the 49th Battalion. Wounded in 1917 he was invalided back to the military hospital in Moose Jaw, and discharged in 1919. After his discharge he returned to England. The collection currently consists of fifteen images.

Charles Frederick Ritchie was born in Trois Riviere, Quebec in October, 1888. Ritchie enlisted in Montreal in October, 1914 and served overseas until his return to Canada with the 24th Battalion, Victoria Rifles of Canada, in 1919. Ritchie returned to Canada with the rank of Lt. Col., as well as being awarded the DSO and an MC. The collection consists primarily of photographs, including photos of Canadian participation in a victory parade in London, England.

George Malcolm Roach was born in Boston, Mass., USA in February 1894*.  Roach first enlisted with the Canadian Grenadier Guards in November, 1915 in Cowansville, Quebec.  He was subsequently discharged as medically unfit in February, 1916 but re-enlisted  in May, 1916 with the 117th Eastern Township Overseas Battalion in Magog, Quebec.  Roach served overseas and was wounded at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917 and due to his wounds discharged near the end of the war as medically unfit.  The collection currently consists of a large collection of post cards sent home to Canada by Roach. *(on his attestation papers of 1916 his year of birth is given as 1895).

Charles Eric Robertson was born in Walkerton, Ontario in April 1889.  After taking private flying lessons he was given a commission in the Royal Flying Corps on December 7, 1915.  At the time of his death on July 12, 1917 he was commanding the 11th Sqdn. RFC.  The collection currently consists of 121 letters, as well as  photographs and other miscellaneous items. Although the original letters have been lost, these transcriptions are from a typed version of the letters done following the war.

David Robertson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in September, 1890 and emigrated to Canada sometime prior to the war. Robertson enlisted in September, 1914. He was severely wounded and taken prisoner in 1915, repatriated, and then discharged in 1916 as medically unfit for service. The collection currently consists of several letters, postcards, personal items, and the first issue of Maple Leaf Magazine.

Gordon Stuart Robinson was born in Fort William, Ontario in August, 1897. Robertson enlisted in April, 1916 in Fort William with the 94th Overseas Battalion. The collection currently consists of eighteen letters, as well as several photographs and postcards.

John Hill Robertson was born in Wellington, British Columbia in June, 1898. Robertson was recruited in October, 1917 and served overseas in England and France until he was demobilized and returned to Canada in 1919. The collection consists of more than thirty letters, as well as postcards, photographs, and his paybook.

This collection consists of one letter and five photographs. The letter is from Norman Robertson to his parents in 1918 commenting on the death of one his brothers in France in light of the death of his own infant daughter.

Joseph William George Robinson was born in Camden East, Ontario in August 1889.  Prior to enlistment Robinson had worked as a salesman and had served one year with the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles.   He enlisted in the CEF with the 59th Battalion in Brockville, Ontario in February 1916 and went overseeas on the S.S. Olympic in April of 1916.   Robinson served overseas with the 60th Battalion as a Lieutenant until he was killed on September 16, 1916 and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.   The collection currently consists of one letter Robinson and one letter from Robinson's commanding officer to Robinson's mother.  See also the Laurence Slack collection which contains a letter describing Robinson's death to a Miss McGammon.

Walter Thomas "Tommy" Robus was born in Shoreditch, England in August of 1893. Robus was the first man to enlist from the town of Norwood, Ontario. He enlisted in August of 1914 with the Second Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, arriving in France in February of 1915. Robus served in France for the duration of the war as a member of the colloquially-named “Suicide Club” First Canadian Contingent bomb squad, and saw the Second Battle of Ypres and The Somme. Robus was wounded on four occasions, returning to France each time before his final return to Canada in December of 1918. This collection currently consists of Robus’ letters written to Rev. A. M. Irwin of Norwood, Ontario and newspaper articles written after his death.

 

Richard Roe was born in Greenock, Scotland in August, 1895. Sometime prior to the war he moved to Victoria, British Columbia where he was employed as a carpenter. Roe enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia on March 12, 1915 and served overseas with the 28th Battalion. Roe was killed on October 8, 1915 by the accidental discharge of a rifle from his own troops. The collection consists of one letter of condolence to his parents.

Albert Edward Roscoe was born in Belfast, Ireland in December, 1890 and then came to Canada as a Barnardo boy and lived with the Bateman family near Stirling, Ontario. Prior to the war he moved to the west and took up farming. Roscoe enlisted September 24, 1914 and served with the 5th Bn., Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment). He was killed May 24, 1915 and his name is one of the over 11,000 names found on the Vimy Memorial of Canadian soldiers whose graves are not known. The collection consists of two letters and one photograph.

Nursing Sister Barbara Argo Ross was born in Brussels, Huron County, Ontario, on March 27, 1890, one of five children to Reverend John and Elsie (née Watt) Ross.

Already fully trained as a nurse, she enlisted in Toronto on March 4, 1917, with the Base Hospital (Toronto), Canadian Army Medical Corps. Shipping for Liverpool on May 29, 1917, Ross was stationed at No. 16 Canadian General Hospital (Ontario Military Hospital), Orpington, Kent, England. She later served with the No. 16 Can. Gen. Hospital in France. Following her return to Canada Ross was demobilized April 3, 1919.

Within the Ross Collection is the autograph book that was given to her as a Christmas present by fellow Nursing Sister Agnes Oliver Wharrey while stationed at Orpington in December of 1917. Over the following months Ross collected messages, drawings, poems, and other mementos while working at the No. 16 Can. Gen. Hospital. Many of the contributors to the book were Canadian service members, and where possible their names and a link to their service records have been included below. The jpgs and transcriptions of Ross’s book have been divided into five consecutive parts of approximately ten pages each.

External links:
Nursing Sister Ross’s Service Record can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Identified contributors to the Autograph Book (an asterisk before the name indicates that the location of the soldier’s service information has not been established):

Pg. 1: Nursing Sister Agnes Oliver Wharrey, C.A.M.C., Service Record.
Pg. 2: *A.M. Brown, 50th Battalion, page 2.
Pg. 3: Sapper Harmon Leslie Cleveland, Canadian Engineers, Service Record.
Pg. 4: Private George Martin Farrow, 173rd Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 5 : Private Edward Boyd, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Service Record.
Pg. 9: *Sergeant A. Green, 75th Battalion.
Pg. 11: Corporal John Ernest Rodgers, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Service Record.
Pg. 14: Private John Cecil Kinross, 51st Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 15: Private John Street, 87th Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 17: Private Fred Kowalski, 102nd Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 17: Private Harry Gittleson, C.A.M.C., Service Record.
Pg. 19: Private David Henry McCann, C.M.G.C., Service Record.
Pg. 23: Signaller Joseph Laird Dowgray, 13th Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 27: *Signaller R. Howe, Canadian Field Artillery.
Pg. 28: Private Oliver Andrew Ferguson, 98th Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 37: Private William Albert Pappa, 46th Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 38: Private Charles Crawford Hutchins, Royal Canadian Regiment, Service Record.
Pg. 39: Private Walter Mellick Wood, 134th/48th, Service Record.
Pg. 40: Sapper Harmon Leslie Cleveland, Canadian Engineers, Service Record.
Pg. 41: Private Sydney Wallace Kenderdine, 123rd Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 43: Private Edward Allan Edson, 244th Battalion, Service Record.
Pg. 44: Captain Willmot Edward Lenox Sparks, C.A.M.C., Service Record.
Pg. 45: Gunner Thomas Hatherton Howard Fortier, 4th Canadian Siege Battery, Service Record.

Gladys Hope Sewell Ross was born in Hastings, Ontario and trained as a nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. She graduated in 1914. At the outbreak of WWI she volunteered as a nurse at the Hospital for Soldiers in Orpington, England. It was at Orpington that she met her future husband, Dr. James Wells Ross, whom she married in 1915. The collection consist of several photographs and scans of her medals. See also the James Wells Ross collection for WWI (her husband) and the Colin Sewell Ross collection for WWII (her son).

Harold James Ross was born in Toronto, Ontario in June, 1898. Ross was a student when he enlisted in Toronto in July, 1915. He served overseas with the 75th Battalion until his death on August 9, 1918. The collection consists of one letter to his brother and 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