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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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William Hill Johnson was born in Montreal, Quebec in March, 1893. Johnson enlisted in Montreal in June, 1915 and served in France until he was wounded in the summer of 1917. The collection consists of seventeen letters, his diary, photographs, and some postcards.

Henry Johnston was born in Huntley, Ontario in May, 1895.  Johnston enlisted in June, 1915 in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) with the 52nd Battalion.  He proceeded overseas with the 52nd and was severely wounded in June of 1916, and subsequently invalided back to Canada.  The collection currently consists of one letter, one postcard, and one photograph of the "A" Coy, 52nd Bn. taken in 1915.

William Joseph Johnston was born in Victoria, British Columbia in March, 1875. Johnston enlisted in Victoria in January, 1916, with the 1st Canadian Pioneers, and subsequently served overseas with the 9th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops. He was wounded in France and invalided back to England, where he died in October, 1917. The collection currently consists of thirty letters, several photographs, and a very large postcard collection.

David Bracegirdle Jones was born in Wales in 1896 and emigrated to Canada prior to World War One. Jones enlisted with the 6th Bn. 1st Canadian Contingent in September 1914 and served overseas with it until he transferred to the Royal Flying Corp. He served as a Second Lieutenant with the 84th Sqdn. of the R.F.C. until his death in 1918. The collection consists of one letter and one photograph.

James A. Jones was born in Lancashire, England in 1881 and later emigrated to Alberta, Canada. Jones enlisted at Medicine Hat, Alberta in May, 1916 and served overseas in France until his death in June, 1917. The collection currently consists of his diary from January, 1917 until his last entry in June, 1917.

Harold Gregg Keating was born in Kemptville, Ontario in February, 1892. Keating enlisted with the 72nd in Vernon, British Columbia in June 1915, and served overseas with the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. He was awarded the MM. The collection currently consists of numerous photographs and postcards, as well as some miscellaneous items.

George Hedley Kempling was born June 1, 1884 in Toronto, Ontario and enlisted in Toronto, Ontario in August, 1915. He survived the war and returned to Canada in 1919. The collection consists of his diary entries from July 12, 1916 to October 7, 1916.

Erle Beavis Laing was born in Havelock, Ontario in August, 1895.  He was recruited under the Military Service Act and served in England until his return to Canada in 1919.   Laing was one of the correspondents to Reverend Arthur Mansell Irwin from Norwood, Ontario, whose collection is also contained in this project.  The collection currently consists of one letter.

Lakefield College School (or LCS or "The Grove") was originally a boy's preparatory school founded in 1879 near Lakefield, Ontario. During the war former students of the school corresponded with the headmaster, Rev. Alexander Mackenzie and his family. The collection consist of letters from student written during the war period, as well as numerous photographs.

Daniel Austin Lane was born in Pelham Union, Ontario in December, 1894, and enlisted in April, 1916. At the time of his enlistment he was a student at the University of Toronto and while there had studied Arabic at Victoria College. Due to his Arabic studies he was recruited to join the South Persian Rifles by the British and arrived in the Persian Gulf in August, 1917.  Lane returned to Canada and practiced law in Calgary. He died in 1966. The collection consists of more than thirty letters written to his friend Helen Davis, as well as several photographs.

James Eldon Lane was born in Bruce County, Ontario in February, 1887. He later moved to New Westminster, British Columbia where he worked as a barrister. Lane enlisted in November, 1915 in Kingston, Ontario with the 50th Field Battery, Canadian Field Artillery. He was wounded in July, 1918 and invalided back to Canada in 1919.  The collection currently consists of one letter, three photographs, and a newspaper clipping.

Robert Wallace Lane was born in Belmore, Ontario in September, 1887. He later moved to New Westminster, British Columbia where he worked as a barrister. Lane enlisted in Kingston, Ontario in January, 1916 and served overseas with the 50th Battery, 13th Artillery Brigade.  Three of his brothers also served - James Eldon Lane, William Stanley Lane, and Walter Ross Lane.  The collection currently consists of two letters, a newspaper article, and more than thirty photographs.

Walter Ross Lane was born in Belmore, Ontario in April, 1893. Lane was a medical student at his time of enlistment in Toronto, Ontario in March, 1915. He served overseas in France but was discharged on medical grounds in August, 1916. Three of his brothers also served - James Eldon Lane, Robert Wallace Lane, and William Stanley Lane.  The collection currently consists of two photographs and one newspaper article.

William Stanley Lane was born in June, 1891. Lane was a law student at his time of enlistment in November, 1914 with the 29th Battalion. He served in France as signaller and was killed on April 6, 1916 in the Battle of St. Eloi. Three of his brothers also served - James Eldon Lane, Robert Wallace Lane, and Walter Ross Lane.  The collection currently consists of seven photographs, four newspaper articles, and several miscellaneous items.

Walter James Lantz was born on Prince Edward Island in 1891 and enlisted at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in October, 1915. He served overseas as a gunner in France and was killed July 12, 1916. The collection consists of a memory book of photographs compiled by one of his friends and fellow soldiers and sent to Lantz's parents following his death. The entire individual pages have been reproduced as well as individual photographs on those pages.

John William Law was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1892 and enlisted in Toronto in November, 1914. He served overseas until his discharge in 1919, first with the 19th Battn. and then later transferred to the Royal Flying Corp in 1917. The collection consists of more than fifty letters written between 1915 and 1919.

Melville Thomas Lean was born in Camborne, Ontario in October, 1895. He enlisted in Cobourg, Ontario in December, 1915 and served with the Cobourg Heavy Battery. The collection currently consists of seven letters.

Thomas James Leduc was born in Cache Creek, British Columbia in February, 1882. In 1911 he joined the B.C. Horse, and then enlisted in December, 1914 in Victoria, British Columbia. Leduc served overseas with the 2nd C.M.R. and returned to Canada at the end of the war with the rank of Major. The collection currently consists of five letters.

Hart Leech enlisted in Winnipeg in 1914 and served as a lieutenant with the 61st Battalion in France. He was killed in September of 1916. This collection consists of a letter by Hart to his mother written in 1916 just before his death but not found until 1928, a letter by his former captain to his father written in 1928, his obituary, an article published in 1928 which describes the circumstances of the delayed letter, and one photograph. All the written materials were published in The Manitoba Free Press.

Arthur Leighton was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England in 1880, and later moved to Manitoba where he found work as a farmhand. In 1901 he enlisted in the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and saw action in South Africa during the Boer War. Following the war he attended the University of Manitoba and was called to the Bar in 1908. In 1908 he married Alice Sophia Wright, born in Brittania Ontario in 1887. In 1912 they moved to Nanaimo where he practised law. In 1915 Arthur joined the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade as a commissioned lieutenant and was later promoted to captain. Alice followed Arthur to Europe, arriving in England in 1916, where she became a volunteer at St. Dunstan's Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors. Arthur was wounded in the knee and spent some time in England recovering before returning to France. They returned to Nanaimo in 1919 where Arthur continued to practise law and Alice became involved in many charitable societies. The collection consists of 125 letters, a large proportion of which are letters from Alice to Arthur. References in Alice's letters indicate that Arthur wrote to her everyday while in France from 1916 to 1918, but unfortunately that portion of the correspondence has not survived. Included as well are many non-correspondence items such as receipts and certificates directly related to their wartime experience.

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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