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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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John Gillies was born in Scotland in September, 1882.  He emigrated to Canada prior to the war and enlisted in July, 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba with the 78th Battalion.  Gillies went overseas but was discharged in December, 1916 on compassionate grounds, and died in Winnipeg in November, 1918.  The collection currently consists of three photographs and his discharge certificate.  See also the collection of James Gillies, his brother.

Albert James Gilmore was born in Wooster, Ohio in February, 1884. He later lived in Toronto, Ontario where he worked as a linotype operator for the Toronto Star. Gilmore enlisted in Toronto in August, 1915. He served overseas with the Canadian Field Artillery and was killed September 15, 1918. The collection consist of one letter, a photograph of Gilmore, and a newspaper death notice.

Born in 1889 in Ontario, Wilbert Gilroy studied dentistry and in 1911 moved to Winnipeg to take over a practice. He enlisted in Winnipeg in 1914 and was sent to France in 1915 with the Canadian Dental Corps. In 1917 Gilroy had himself attached to the Royal Flying Corps and flew with them during 1917 until wounded in October of that year. He returned to England and then subsequently to Canada where he continued to practice dentistry. The collection consists of 130 letters written from 1911 to 1917.

Major (Chaplain) Alexander MacLennan Gordon, DSO, MC, was born in Ottawa, Ontario on May 26, 1873, to parents Dr. Daniel Miner Gordon and Eliza Simona Gordon (née MacLennan).

A Presbyterian clergyman, Gordon was serving as a member in the Non-Permanent Active Militia at the time of his mobilization for Active Service with the 5th Regiment, Royal Highlanders of Canada (R.H.C.), in September of 1914. He attested at Valcartier Camp in Québec on September 23, 1914, and was appointed as Chaplain to the 13th Battalion, R.H.C.

Gordon embarked for England with the First Contingent that October, aboard the SS Alaunia. Proceeding to France with the 3rd Infantry Brigade in January of 1915, he was then transferred to the No.1 Canadian Field Ambulance.  In July of 1916 he was appointed as Senior Chaplain of the 4th Division, Canadian Chaplain Service.

Wounded in August of 1918, Gordon was treated in England before being invalided back to Canada in June of the following year. He was demobilized in September of 1919.

Content notes:
Gordon’s informative and expressive letters were written between October of 1914 and April of  1915. The earliest, written during his crossing to England aboard the SS Alaunia, is particularly notable for the amount of descriptive detail conveyed.
Among the family names appearing in the letters are references to Gordon’s brother Major George Huntly Gordon, OBE, (“Hunt”), his sister Wilhelmina Gordon (“Min”), and his father, Daniel Miner Gordon (“the Principal”), who was Principal of Queen’s University at that time. Mentions of “Canon Scott” are to Lt. Col. (Canon) Frederick George Scott, CMG, DSO, FRSC, noted poet and author of the 1922 memoir The Great War As I Saw It.

External links:
Major Alexander Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Major George Huntly Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) at Library and Archives Canada.
Lt. Col. (Canon) Frederick George Scott, service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) at Library and Archives Canada.

Major George Huntly Gordon, OBE, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November 16, 1882 or 1883 (both dates appear in his military records), to parents Dr. Daniel Miner Gordon and Eliza Simona Gordon (née MacLennan).

An engineer prior to the war, Gordon attested at Valcartier Camp in Québec on September 29, 1914, with the Canadian Army Service Corps (C.A.S.C.), and sailed to England as part of the First Contingent in October of 1914, aboard the S.S. Franconia. Following time spent at the front in Belgium and France with the C.A.S.C., Gordon returned to Canada, where the 4th Canadian Divisional Ammunition Sub-Park, C.A.S.C., was organized under his command, at Toronto, in April of 1916. They proceeded to England the following month, and later that August to France, with Gordon commanding what eventually became the 4th Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company, formed in April of 1918 through the amalgamation of of No. 4 Canadian Divisional Supply Column and No. 4 Canadian Divisional Ammunition Sub-Park. Gordon survived the war, and demobilized in June of 1919.

Content notes:
The single letter in the collection was written by Gordon to his father on April 27, 1915, following the 2nd Battle of Ypres. Also included is a hand-written Nominal Roll of other ranks of the 4th Div., M.T. Co., C.A.S.C., from January of 1919.
Collection materials were donated together with those of Gordon’s brother, Major (Chaplain) Alexander MacLennan Gordon, DSO, MC, who served during the war with the Canadian Chaplain Service.
Spelling variants of both “Huntley” and “Huntly” appear in Gordon’s service file, and in his Library and Archives Canada record. However Gordon himself signs his Attestation Paper as “Huntly,” and this is the spelling used by his brother Alexander in his correspondence; as such it is the spelling used here.

External links:
Major George Huntly Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# unassigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Major Alexander Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) at Library and Archives Canada.

Cadet Douglas (“Dug”) Moncrieff Goudie was born in Liverpool, England, on May 8, 1895. Immigrating to Kamloops, British Columbia, prior to the war, he was a member of the Militia’s 102nd Regiment at the time of his enlistment with the 48th Battalion in Victoria, B.C., on April 19, 1915.

He shipped for England in July of 1915, and then to France in March of 1916 with the 3rd Canadian Pioneer Bn. (redesignation of the 48th Bn, January 1916). At his own request he transferred to the 29th Bn. in April of 1917. In July of the following year he joined the British Royal Air Force and was still in training as a Cadet when hostilities ceased (hence his final rank as “Cadet” in his service history, despite his previously held ranks of Private and Lance Corporal within the Canadian Expeditionary Force). Following his return to Canada he was demobilized at Kamloops on June 15, 1919.

The materials in the Goudie Collection were donated as part of the Sydney Winterbottom Collection. Goudie and Winterbottom had been friends in Kamloops before the war, and following Goudie’s transfer to the 29th Bn. in April of 1917, they served together in France until Winterbottom’s death at Passchendaele that November. In the letter section of the Goudie Collection is a letter that he wrote to their mutual friend Adrian Thrupp following Winterbottom’s death, as well as a reference list of links to the numerous letters by Winterbottom in which he writes about Goudie.

External links:
Cdt. Douglas Goudie’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 430974) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Earle Shaw Grant was born in Hyndman, Ontario in September, 1896 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia around 1907. Earle enlisted in July, 1917 with the Canadian Army Medical Corp, and then later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He survived the war and returned to Vancouver where he taught school. The collection consist of four photographs and an extended letter. The letter is comprised of type written excerpts from Earle's letters to his brother Harry, who compiled them in the present form.

Pioneer John Grant was born in Fort Augustus, Scotland, on October 19, 1886, to parents Charles and Margaret Grant. Prior to enlistment he was living in Ladysmith, British Columbia, working as a carpenter. He enlisted with the 1st Pioneer Battalion in Victoria, B.C., on September 22, 1915.

Arriving in England on November 30, 1915, Grant proceeded to France in March of 1916. He was killed in action on June 13, 1916, in the trenches between Ypres and Mount Sorrel. His body was never found and he is commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.

Grant’s name is listed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph along with forty other soldiers who were born, lived, or worked in Ladysmith, B.C., and who died during the First World War. Seven of these soldiers, including Grant, had wartime letters published by The Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper (see links below). 

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

External links:
Pioneer Grant’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 154184) 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 Grant can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Pnr. Grant is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium, and his name is inscribed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph, Rotary Memorial Peace Garden, Ladysmith, B.C.
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.

William Edward Grassie was born in Smithville, Ontario in 1893 and was a student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario when he enlisted in March, 1916. He returned to Canada at the end of the war and taught high school in Port Credit, Ontario. The collection consists of two letters written to his friend Helen Davis. Other correspondents to Davis include the Daniel Austin Lane Collection, the Gordon Shrum Collection, and the Fred Nickle Collection.

Charles Robert Gray was born in Kent, England in March, 1891. Sometime prior to the war he emigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto, Ontario. Charles enlisted in Toronto in April, 1915. After training in Canada and England he was sent to France. Charles was killed on June 3, 1916. Walter Henry Gray was the younger brother of Charles. He was born in Kent, England in June, 1895. Sometime prior to the war he emigrated with his family and settled in Toronto, Ontario. Walter enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in April, 1915, the same day as his older brother. He served overseas with his brother and was seriously wounded in the same attack in June, 1916 that killed his brother. He was discharged in December, 1916 and returned to Canada. The collection consists of twenty five letters as well as several photographs. The original collection was donated by the Gray family to The Ontario Archives in Toronto.

Private John Gray was born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on April 13th, 1874. The middle of nine children, John emigrated to Canada with his younger brother Edgar in 1903. Prior to his enlistment he was living in Oak Bay, Victoria, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with his wife Edith (née Dyson) and their four young children Alex Dyson, Olive Emmie, John Harvey, and Edna Jean. He worked as an upholsterer for David Spencers Co.

On March 23rd, 1916, he enlisted in Victoria with Canadian Army Medical Corps. Shipping for England on board the S.S. Olympic in July of 1916, he was sent to the Cheriton C.A.M.C. Training Depot before proceeding to France in September of 1916. On arrival he was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital, C.A.M.C. where he served out the remainder of his time overseas until his demobilization on May 24th, 1919.

The letters in the collection were written during the war by John Gray to his daughter Olive who would have been between the ages 5 and 8 at the time. The typed transcriptions of the diaries and notebook were done by Olive Collington (née Gray), most likely in the early 1990’s. In "Collection Contents" below the diaries can be read under the "Diary Entries" heading, and the notebook under "Memoirs"; Gray's "Active Service Canadian Pay Book" is under "Printed Matter."

External links:
Pte. John Gray’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 524785) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Victor Arthur Green, DCM, was born in Kent, England in January, 1895. Green emigrated to Canada prior to the war and enlisted in Victoria, British Columbia in November, 1914 with the 88th Fusiliers. He was wounded three times, including at Vimy Ridge, and was awarded the DCM. The collection currently consists of sections of his pay book, telegrams, a newspaper clipping, several photographs, and an undated memoir of his service experiences.

Ralph Frank Greenard was born in Toronto, Ontario in December 1896.  Greenard enlisted with the 103rd Battalion in Victoria, British Columbia in January 1916.  His unit sailed for England in July 1916, and when in France he served in the 29th Battalion.  He suffered a gun shot wound at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, and after hospital treatments in France and England he returned to Canada in October 1917.  He was discharged as medically unfit due to the complications of the wound. It would appear that in the confusion of the attack he was hit by one of his own machine guns from behilnd.  For that information see his Medical Board sheet in the collection which can be found in his CEF Service File.  The collection currently consists of one letter written while in hospital in May1917 as well as the information from the Medical Board.

Elwood Silverman Greenleese was born in Thurso, Quebec in 1899 and enlisted in Montreal in September, 1916. Greenleese died in 1922. The collection consists of four letters and one photo.

Samuel Greenway, from Cedar (Nanaimo) British Colulmbia was born in May, 1889 and enlisted in Vancouver in January, 1918. He served overseas with the 7th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (British Columbia Regiment) until his death in September, 1918. The collection currently consists of fourteen letters, several photographs, telegram, and some official correspondence.

Ephraim Gregory was born in Doves Holes, Derbyshire, England in 1889. He emigrated to Toronto, Ontario sometime around 1910 to be with his sisters. Gregory enlisted in Toronto in August, 1915 and served overseas until the end of the war. He returned to Canada at the end of the war, but later returned to England where he died in 1978. The collection currently consist of one photograph of Gregory.

Gudmunder Frederickson Gudmundson was born in Iceland in August, 1891. Prior to the war he emigrated to Mozart, Saskatchewan. Gudmundson enlisted in June, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The collection currently consists of one postcard from France, three photographs, and a display of his medals.

William Roy Gullen was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1881 and enlisted in Brantford in December, 1915. He served overseas in France and was killed in action May 3, 1917. The collection consists of more than 100 letters and three photos.

George Caldwell Haddow was born in Milton, Ontario in August, 1894.  Haddow enlisted  in March, 1916 in Toronto, Ontario with the 4th Divisional Cyclists and served overseas with the 3rd Machine Gun Company.  He was demobilized and returned to Canada in 1919.  The collection currently consists of more than fifty letters.

The materials in this collection belonged to Emily Hager, the youngest of a family of nine. Four of her brothers served overseas during WWI. The collection consists of a photograph of her brother Wesley Hager who enlisted in Saskatoon in January, 1916, and was killed in France in November, 1916, a Christmas Day 1917 menu for Canadian troops training in England, and two letters sent to her during the war. One letter is from her brother Allen who was born in February, 1892 and enlisted in November 1914. and the other is from a family friend, Harold Panabaker, who fought at Vimy Ridge and describes in his letter his experiences of the attack.

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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