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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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Captain John Roberts Gale was born in Youngs Cove, New Brunswick, on June 28th, 1890, to parents George Hamilton & Alma Kate Gale. Prior to enlistment John Gale worked as a school teacher.

He enlisted in Sussex, N.B. with the 64th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, on September 27th, 1915. Shipping for England in March of 1916, he soon proceeded to France where in July he transferred to the 25th Canadian Infantry Battalion, seconded to the 5th Trench Mortar Battery, with whom he served with for the majority of his time overseas.

He was injured or taken ill on several occasions, including gas poisoning from a shell early in 1917, trench fever in June of 1917, and a gunshot wound to his leg in 1918. Capt. Gale was demobilized on June 30 of 1920.

The letters and photo in the John Gale Collection were donated as part of his brother's, the Private Ralph Clement Gale Collection. Ralph Gale served with the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles and was captured in battle on June 2nd, 1916, and was held as a German Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) until his death on July 29th, 1918. Most of the John Gale letters relate to his brother’s P.O.W. status; many are from Evelyn Rivers Bulkeley, Head of the Prisoner of War Branch of the Canadian Red Cross. Also included are letters from a German acquaintance of Ralph who writes to John after the war describing conditions under Occupation in the Rhineland.

External links:
Capt. John Roberts Gale’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.

Private Ralph Clement Gale was born in Youngs Cove, New Brunswick on June 19th, 1895, to parents George Hamilton and Alma Kate Gale. Prior to enlistment Ralph Gale worked as a school teacher.

Having previously served in the 28th Dragoons Militia, Gale enlisted for overseas service at Amherst, Nova Scotia, with the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles on April 21st, 1915. He sailed from Canada in July of 1915 and after training in England arrived in France in October of 1915, where he transferred to the 4th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles in early January of 1916.

He was captured during the Battle of Mount Sorrel near Ypres, Belgium, on June 2nd, 1916, and was held as a Prisoner of War in Germany at the Friedrichsfeld Camp in 1916/1917, and the Munster II (Rennbahn) Camp in 1918. Just a few months prior to the Armistice he died in a P.O.W. hospital (most likely of influenza), in Dortmund, Germany, on July 29th, 1918. He was buried in the Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany.

The earliest letters in the Gale Collection were written by Ralph Gale to his mother and his sisters prior to his capture in 1916. Once he became a P.O.W. he continued to write from the prison camps in Germany. Also included is correspondence between various family members and from organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross Society, and two photos of Ralph taken while held at Friedrichsfeld. There are several letters written by Canadian soldiers who were interred with Ralph at the Friedrichsfeld and/or Munster II (Rennbahn) Camps, and who wrote to his family following his death. Links to their Service Records have been included below. (Among them is George Williams who is also connected to the collection of fellow Rennbahn P.O.W. William McLeish through their work together in camp theatrical productions.)

Ralph’s brother Captain John Roberts Gale was also in service overseas in World War One, including serving with 5th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery, 2nd Canadian. Division, France. As most of the correspondence to or from John Gale relates directly to his brother’s internment as a P.O.W., all of his letters have been included as part of the Ralph Gale Collection, although they can also be viewed separately in the Capt. John Roberts Gale Collection.

The letters from the Canadian Red Cross to the Gale family were through the work of Evelyn Rivers Bulkeley who as Head of the Prisoner of War Branch managed all requests for aid regarding Canadian P.O.W.’s throughout the period of Robert Gale’s internment.

External links:
Pte. Ralph Gale’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 111184) 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 Pte. Ralph Gale can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.

Service Records of the other P.O.W.'s with letters in the Ralph Gale collection, at Library and Archives Canada:

Gunner George Henry Flewelling, 1st Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column, Service Record, (Serv/Reg# 43719)
Private Arnold Garfield Griffin, 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Service Record (Serv/Reg# 111209)
Private John Paine Aitchison Hayes, 9th Canadian Mounted Rifles, Service Record (Serv/Reg# 114326)
Private George Buford Williams, 7th Battalion, Service Record (Serv/Reg# 16487)

Robert John Galloway was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in March 1898. He later moved to Cabri, Saskatchewan and enlisted in Swift Current, Saskatchewan in April, 1916. Galloway served with the 102nd Bn until his death at Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917.

Earnest George Gardner was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1894 and enlisted at Liverpool, Nova Scotia on March 1, 1916. The collection consists of one letter written in 1917.

John Gardner was born in Belfast, Ireland in October, 1890. He emigrated to Ottawa, Ontario, where he enlisted in November, 1915 with the 77th Overseas Battalion. Gardner served overseas with D Coy., 47th Battalion, and was killed January 3, 1917. The collection consists of two postcards and a newspaper article regarding his death.

Frederik Batts Garlick was born in Oxford, England in July, 1883.  Prior to the war he emigrated to Canada and enlisted in June, 1916 in Peterborough, Ontario.  He went overseas and was with the 93rd Battalion until he was injured during training and sent back to Canada in 1917.  The collection currently consists of three letters and three clippings.

Wesley Garrod, MM, was born in Ispswich, England in November, 1891, and sometime prior to the war he emigrated to Brownlee, Saskatchewan. Garrod enlisted in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in January, 1916. He served overseas as a corporal with the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery. Garrod was killed in September, 1918. The collection consists of one letter from Garrod to his brother.

Robert Andrew Garvie was born in Owen Sound, Ontario in November 1887.  Prior to the war the family moved west, and Garvie was recruited at The Pas, Manitoba in October, 1917.  He served overseas with the 9th Battalion Canadian Engineeers, was wounded in September, 1918 and returned to Canada in 1919.  The collection currently consist of an undated memoir and two photographs.

Clarence Reginald Gass was born in Bayfield, Nova Scotia in April, 1894. He enlisted in Halifax in November, 1915 and served overseas until the end of the war. The collection consists of more than forty letters, as well as photographs, telegrams and miscellaneous items related to the 85th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Nova Scotia Highlanders) with whom he served.

William Vincent Gauthier was born in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island in October, 1897 and enlisted in Charlottetown in 1915. Gauthier served oveseas Enland, France, and Belgium until his return to Canada at the end of the war. The collection consists of a memoir written by Gauthier sometime after the war.

Ralph Milton Gibson was born in Petrolia, Ontario in September, 1893.  He enlisted in December, 1915 in Montreal, Quebec with the 5th Overseas Universities Company and served overseas with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.  Gibson was killed April 9, 1917 and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.  The collection currently consists of one letter and a copy of his casualty form..

James Reid Gillies was born in Dundee, Scotland in October, 1895 and emigrated to Canada in 1906 .  He enlisted in May, 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and served overseas with the C.A.S.C.  The collection currently consists of two photographs, a Christmas card, and his discharge certificate.  See also the collection of John Gillies his brother.

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.

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.

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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