Presentation November 2009
Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

 Vance’s ongoing research project of digitizing all the Canadian attestation forms, filled out by individual Canadian recruits when they enlisted, and how that statistical tool will aid our understanding.

Shoestring Soldiers book

He looked at the operational side of Canadian participation to question whether Vimy was really when Canada matured.  Was it only perhaps that Vimy, instead of the mud of Flanders, had the firm soil necessary to support Allward’s soaring monument to both Canadian victory and the Canadian dead.

As well, he considered some less famous Canadian contributions to the war such as railway building and forestry in Europe.  He fielded many questions, during the presentation, after, and on into the refreshment period.

Mark Jodoin thanked Andrew and presented him with a copy of Dora’s book and a complimentary Society membership.  

Twenty-eight members and guests met in the Carriage Shed, Manotick for our regular November meeting.  Our featured guest was Andrew Iarocci, Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian War Museum as well as lecturer in military history at the Royal Military College of Canada.  Andrew is the author of the critically acclaimed Shoestring Soldiers, a history of the 1st Canadian Division, 1914-1915.

Shoestring Soldiers book

Andrew chose to discuss not the book, but some significant themes of Canada and the First World War.  For instance, why did Canadians go to war?  Although the South African War set a precedent for Canadian participation in an imperial war, conscious Canadian political decisions were taken as to the form of that participation in 1914.

He also discussed changing Canadian identity during the war, and considered some of the difficulties of deciding who was a Canadian then.  He talked about Professor Jonathan

The Creation of the RCMP, Ottawa
and the Search for a Home

Presented by Dr. Andrew Iarocci
Article by Owen Cooke