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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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Herbert D'Alton Bolster was born in Lancaster, Ontario and later moved to Saskatchewan where he worked as a teacher and later as a railway mail clerk. He enlisted in September, 1914, served overseas until he was discharged in 1918, and then returned to Moose Jaw in 1919. The collection consists of one letter and one photograph.

Earl Bolton was born in Ingersoll, Ontario in 1889 and then later moved to Detroit, Michigan where he was employed as a grinder. He returned to Canada and enlisted in London, Ontario in February, 1918. Bolton saw service in France beginning in August, 1918. He was wounded and died October 9, 1918. The collection currently consists of three letters.

Iden Bonds was born in Yorkshire, England in December, 1882 and moved to Norwood, Ontario prior to the war.  Bonds enlisted in January, 1916 in Peterborough, Ontario and served overseas with the 93rd Battalion CEF until his return to Canada at the end of the war.  The collection currently consists of twelve letters.

Percy Lytton Bonsall, MC, was born in Poltimon, Quebec in May, 1891.  Bonsall enlisted in Montreal, Quebec in April 1916 with the Canadian Railway Construction Corps.  He rose to the rank of Major before being demobilized and returning to Canada at the end of the war.  The collection currently consists of three letters.

Thomas Lytton Bonsall was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1871.  He attested with the 238th Battalion in July, 1916 and served overseas with that Battalion until he was demobilized and returned to Canada in 1919.  The collection currently consists of three letters.

Joseph Richard Boucher was born in Kent County, New Brunswick, in December, 1885. Boucher enlisted in March, 1915 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He served overseas and was wounded twice before returning to Canada in 1919. The collection currently consists of a family record and a diary of his service.

Harold Sidney Bowler was born in Hazlemere, England in July, 1885.  Prior to the war he was living in Vancouver, British Columbia but attested in Le Treport, France in May, 1915.  Bowler served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in France until he was invalided back to Canada in late 1917 due to illness.  The collection currently consists of his paybook, postcards, and a large collection of photographs.

Frederick Boyt was born in Poole, England in December, 1893. He enlisted in Toronto, Ontario on July 26, 1915. His brother William was born in Poole, England in February, 1896. William enlisted on the same day as his brother. The collection currently consists of four photographs and one postcard.

Maurice Wilfred Bracewell was born in Yorkshire, England in March, 1895. Bracewell moved to Vancouver, British Columbia prior to the war, where he enlisted in December, 1915. Bracewell fought at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, where he was wounded. He died in Vancouver in 1973. The collection consists of an undated memoir of his participation at Vimy Ridge.

Edward Bracey was born in London, England in July, 1883 and sometime before the war emigrated to Montreal, Quebec. Bracey enlisted in Montreal in July, 1915 and served overseas as a Lance Corporal with the 73rd Highlanders. Bracey was killed November 2, 1916. The collection consists of two postcards.

Melville Alexander Bradshaw was born in Toronto, Ontario in August, 1898. While still a student, Bradshaw enlisted in November, 1916 in Toronto, Ontario with the 67th O.S. Depot Battery, C.F.A. The collection currently consists of two photographs, and his diary from 1918.

Thomas Edward Brady was born in Lindsay, Ontario in November, 1896. He enlisted in Kingston, Ontario in November, 1914 and served overseas with the Canadian Forestry Corps. Brady died in October, 1918. The collection consists of several photographs of Brady and some postcards.

Raymond Harlan Brewster was born in Boston in 1893 and later moved to Victoria, British Columbia. At the time of his enlistment in May, 1917 his father, Harlan Brewster, was the Premier of the province. Brewster served overseas and was killed November 1, 1918. The collection consist of three letters and four photographs.

Jeannette "Nettie" Drysdale Bridges was born in August 1889 in Saint John, New Brunswick.  Drysdale served as a V.A.D. in England during 1918 and into 1919.  The collection currently consists of more than thirty letters and an extensive photograph album.

Captain Tillman Alfred Briggs, MC, was born in Victoria, British Columbia on June 12, 1887. Prior to enlistment he was worked as a doctor at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria.

Capt. Briggs was commissioned in Victoria on November 23rd, 1915, with B Section of the No. 1 Field Ambulance, Canadian Army Medical Corps (C.A.M.C.). Shipping for England aboard the S.S. Lapland on March 11, 1916, Briggs initially trained and worked with the C.A.M.C. at Sandgate. In December he proceeded to France where he served with several units including No. 3 Canadian General Hospital and No. 9 Canadian Field Ambulance. Briggs received the Military Cross  (awarded for acts of exemplary gallantry  during active operations) in January of 1919, for attending to the wounded while under fire with the 116th Battalion Canadian Infantry, 2nd Central Ontario Regiment.

He was demobilized February 16, 1920.

External links:
Capt. Briggs’ Service Record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
The announcement awarding Briggs the Military Cross was published in the London Gazette on January 11, 1919 (supplement #31119, pg. 653).

[Editor’s Note: All diary transcriptions (including annotations within these transcriptions) in the Briggs Collection have been provided by the collection donor.]

Private Thomas William Brightwell (known as “William”) was born in Norwich, England, into a large family of 13 children. Few details about his life prior to the war are known, but he was by then a father – his son Herbert was born on November 11th, 1913.

He enlisted on August 26th, 1914, with the Norfolk Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, and by the fall of that year he was overseas on active service in the trenches in France. Information on his Medal Card held by the British National Archives shows he was discharged on December 24th of 1917 under Army Order 265 (the Order applicable to soldiers discharged for reasons of illness or injury).

There are two letters in the Brightwell collection, both written to his sister Ethel Victoria Brightwell. Ethel had emigrated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1914, and it is through her family that the letters have been passed down over the years. There is also a photo of William’s brother Herbert Brightwell who served in the Navy during the war (William writes of Herbert’s experiences aboard the H.M.S. Glasgow in his first letter).

The remarkable letter of February 6th, 1915, is a rare Christmas Truce letter, containing Pte. Brightwell’s firsthand account of a Christmas Day spent together with the German soldiers from the trenches across from their own.

External links:
Information on Private Brightwell’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 3/8149) with the British Expeditionary Force is not available.
Brightwell’s Medal Card can be accessed through the British National Archives’ Medal Card Index, but requires the creation of a free user account.

George Albert Charles Broome was born in London, England in 1897 and emigrated to Melfort, Saskatchewan sometime prior to the war. Broome enlisted in March, 1915. He went to England in the fall of 1915 and then to France early in 1916, where he was wounded. He returned to active duty and was wounded at Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917. Broome was paralyzed and invalided back to England, where he died in a military hospital November 7, 1917, at the age of 20. The collection consists of 27 letters both from and to George Broome, three photographs, and miscellaneous related materials such as telegrams, his personal effect certificate, and his CEF death certificate. The materials cover the period from 1915 to 1921.

William Lester Broome was born in Renfrew County, Ontario in June, 1897. He was farmer in Saskatchewan before he enlisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba in April, 1917. The collection consists of ten letters, some postcards, and one photograph of Broome.

Jack Malcolm Brown was born in Ontario in 1895. His only sibling, Olga Brown was born in 1903, and the two of them were orphaned when Olga was about one year old. The two children were then split up, with Jack going to live with a family in Lyndhurst, Ontario, and Olga going to live with her aunt in Frankville, Ontario. When Jack was eighteen he moved west to Saskatchewan to homestead. He worked as a teamster and enlisted at Prince Albert in December, 1915. Brown served overseas in France and returned to Canada in 1919. The collection consists of over fifty letters written by him to his sister between 1914 and 1918.

Robert Gordon Brown was born in Beamsville, Ontario in March, 1896, and enlisted at Kingston, Ontario in January, 1916 while a student at Queen's University. He went overseas in 1916 as a gunner but later joined the Royal Flying Corp, with which he served until the end of the war. He returned to Canada in 1919 and finished his education, graduating from Queen's in 1920. The collection consists of more than one hundred letters covering the period from 1916 to 1919, as well as diaries and photographs from his service.

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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