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Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Story Archive Index
The Yarmouth War Memorial Unveiling Address Captain John F. Cahan
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Captain John F. Cahan, of Hebron, delivered the unveiling address on June 9, 1923. It was a message to the living urging them to strive always be patriotic and to be in readiness to serve their country in the time of need.
WWI

The Background History of

World War I (1914-1918)

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The first World War (1914-1918) is often referred to as a people's war as it involved the total commitment by civilians as well as military personnel. The article provides an outline of the events that led to the declaration of war.
WWI

112th Battalion WWI

Wartime Connection

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

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The 112th was formed in Nova Scotia between November 1915 and April 1916. They trained near Windsor, Nova Scotia and sailed from Halifax on the SS Olympic for Great Britain on July 23 1916.
WWI

St. James Cemetery

Dover, Kent, UK

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St. James Cemetery lies on a rolling hillside beneath Dover Castle on the outskirts of Dover. Here one finds graves from branches of the services from World War I and World War II. Spread throughout are the final resting places of some eighteen Canadians.
WWI

Lee Blackadar

Searching for his Story

By Ruth Kirk, Ottawa Ontario. I wanted to know more about Lee. What did he do in his 28 years? What kind of person was he? What did he look like? I started to search for more detail close to his home and began in Yarmouth.
WWI

Photos of Yarmouth NS

Casualties (1914-1918)

During World War I, 183 men and women with connection to Yarmouth Town and County lost their lives. The page contains photos of casualties and links to Remembrance pages.
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Remembering World War I

Presentation at the Wedgeport

Legion - November 11, 1918

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Our history books tell us of battles, of officers, of numbers dead and wounded; but more often than not they tell us little of the enlisted soldier, the farmer, or fisherman, or labourer, store clerk, or bank clerk. (Talk by George Egan, Chairman of Wartime Heritage)
WWI

News Article

November 7, 2018

Wartime History ‘being lost’

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“On November 11 we go to the cenotaph and somebody may read the names, but it’s a name. The real story is behind the name. And there are stories behind names that are never even read because nobody ever put them on a monument. To me, when you’re reading the names, you don’t know: was that a 16-year-old or was that a 47-year-old? Did they serve in France or did they serve in Nova Scotia?”
WWI

News Article -

Knowledge of First World War

'fading away, lost to time,'

Wedgeport Legion told

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“War memorials list the names of those who died and in some cases those who served. If we walk the cemeteries of our communities, we find the gravestones of World War I veterans that give a name, perhaps a battalion, a date of birth and a date of death. But after 100 years, our knowledge of those who served – beyond a name – is fading away, lost to time.”
WWI

Letters From the Front

Corporal Charles Stingel

“The bullets are clipping the sand bags on the roof of our dugout. About every 30 seconds a sniper seems to have a line on this corner but one is perfectly safe as long as he keeps his head below the parapet. It is high enough so that a man has to get up on the firing steps to look over.”
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219th Battalion WWI

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Sailing from Halifax on October 13, 1916, to England on RMS Olympic, the battalion arrived in Liverpool England on October 19th and was based at Witney Camp and then Camp Bramshott.
WWI

85th Battalion WW I

Yarmouth Connections

1914-1918

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The 85th Battalion disembarked in France on February 10, 1917. The Battalion fought as part of the 12th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division, in France and Flanders until the end of the war.
WWI

Nurses of World War I

A Legacy of Compassion

and Caring

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Canadian women, from the Yarmouth, Digby, and Shelburne areas of Nova Scotia served as Nursing Sisters with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC), as American Red Cross Nurses, and with the United States Army Nursing Corps during World War I.
WWI

Soldiers of Springhaven and

Quinan, Yarmouth Co., NS

1914-1918

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Springhaven and Quinan in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia are two villages located about 20 minutes inland from the town of Yarmouth. During World War 1 some forty born in the two villages served in the Canadian Army.
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Remembering Earle R. Miller

A Voyage from Halifax to

England

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An account of the voyage from Halifax to England during the First World War. The fifteen page letter, written home, provides a detailed account of his wartime experience between the 11th and the 19th of October, 1916.
WWI

Remembering Earle R. Miller

A 7-Day Pass to London

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An account of his 7-day pass (on leave) to London. The twenty-four page letter, written home, provides a detailed account of his time in London, England during the First World War between the 3rd and the 9th of November, 1916.
WWI

Remembering Earle R. Miller

Return to Canada

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An account of the return to Canada (Wednesday April 16th, 1919 and April 24, 1919). “ On numerous occasions I have promised to write a description of this particular trip across the Atlantic. I intend to write it in the form of a diary and see it through a soldier’s eyes as a soldier for I am still a soldier although for not much longer. Thank God!
WWI

Remembering Caleb Goodwin

His Story

by Gwen Guiou Trask

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“My father Gerald W. Guiou was a tall man but Caleb Goodwin was taller –head and shoulders taller. Thus the origin of the name he was known by in the First World War when he was serving in France with the Princess Patricia s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) –“Sky” Goodwin.”

Remembering Vimy Ridge

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Vimy Ridge, 8 km north east of Arras was occupied by the German Army in October, 1914. The ridge rises gradually on its western side, and drops more quickly on the eastern side and provides a clear view for tens of kilometres in all directions. During the following years the area was heavily fortified by the German Army.

First Battle of the Somme

1916

Through the Camera Lens

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On the first day of the offensive The British casualties numbered some 58,000 troops, one third of that number killed in action. The attack was launched upon a 30 kilometre front, from north of the Somme river between Arras and Albert.

The Destruction of Arras

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The French City of Arras was at the forefront of major battles during World War I. The First Battle of Arras occurred between October 1 and October 4, 1914. By the end of 1914 armies had been brought to a halt as the opposing forces began to entrench themselves. Battles at Arras would continue throughout the war.

Through the Camera Lens

Photos from the Front

July 1917

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A collection of World War I photos taken at the front, July 1917.

World War I Photos

Yarmouth, NS

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A collection of World War I photos taken as recruits depart Yarmouth, NS

Canadian Convalescent

Hospital - Uxbridge

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A collection of photos and history of the hispital

The Youngest Recruits

Yarmouth Town and County

1914 - 1918

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Some ninety-seven under-age boys between the ages of fourteen and seventeen enlisted from the Yarmouth area. The youngest among these were three fourteen year old boys.

15 Year Old Recruits

Yarmouth Town and County

1914 - 1918

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On the first day of the offensive The British casualties numbered some 58,000 troops, one third of that number killed in action. The attack was launched upon a 30 kilometre front, from north of the Somme river between Arras and Albert.

Remembering

John Charles McLure

Veteran WWI and WWII

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Charles grew up on the family farm and was employed as a carpenter prior to his enlistment on May 27, 1918 in Charlottetown, PEI. to serve in WWI. During 1939 through 1945, the years of WWII, Charles served as an Air Observer Warden

Somewhere in the Atlantic

Ocean on the Troopship

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RMS Olympic had seven decks on which troops were quartered. Each soldier given a hammock. The two brothers were separated, each with their own Battalion; however, Alfred and Jimmy found one another among the four thousand that roamed the decks from time to time.

Remembering My Brother

Alfred J. Muise

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Names are engraved on tombstones, monuments, and memorials to be remembered; but a single drawing by a brother brings home the harsh reality of war and provides only not a reason to remember but also a reason to ponder.

Wounded on the Battlefield

Private Thomas Willard Smith

24th Battalion

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I fixed myself up and waited for darkness. Then I started crawling out. It was two miles and a half to the dressing station and they were shelling pretty heavy all the way

Killed in the Trenches of WWI

Letters and Photos

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For the student of wartime history one way to truly understand what happened between 1914 and 1918 in trench warfare can be found not in the history books, the regimental records, and diaries but rather in the letters written from the heart by young men to their mothers, fathers, wives and sweethearts and the letters written to families at the time of the soldier’s death.

Stretcher Bearer.

Two Men Hit …

Battle of Courcelette

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“I fell on my face and I thought I was done for. I could hear and think but could not move hand or foot. I could hear the others shouting, ‘Stretcher Bear. Two men hit’”. On the evening of September 15, 1916, the Canadians of the 25th Battalion had driven the Germans out of the town of Courcelette. Lindsay Rogers, a thirty-four year old soldier from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia was a Private with the Battalion.

A Letter From the Front

Keith Bruce Crosby

December, 1915

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Keith Crosby was born on April 25, 1897. He was initially with the 40th Battalion in England and was transferred to the 24th Battalion. He was killed at the St. Eloi craters south of Ypres, Belgium.

Remembering

Herbert Cunningham

1891-1982

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On April 12, 1915, at the age of 24, Herbert Cunningham enlisted in Yarmouth, NS with the 40th Battalion. Once overseas and with a desire to join the battle in France, he took a reduction in rank and joined the 60th Battalion in France.

Christmas Truce - 1914

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Reports of the truce first began to appear in the British press as they published Christmas letters home from soldiers at the front. All spoke of their amazement at the occurrence, and the joy of the day. The article contains a series of newspaper clippings that tell the story of the Christmas truce.

Christmas Card for Addie

1917

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In December of 1917, Adeline Marie Boudreau was twenty four. Rene Paul Gaudet was twenty-one. Both were from Melbourne, Yarmouth Co., NS. Throughout the war Rene wrote many letters to Addie.

The Battle of St Julian

24 April - May 4, 1915

The Story of Two Soldiers

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Raymond Saunders of Hebron, Yarmouth County, despite his enlistment papers recording his age as 18, was only 16 went he volunteered on September 24, 1914. Colin Palmer Campbell of Weymouth, Nova Scotia, was 20 when he enlisted at Fredericton, New Brunswick on December 4, 1914.

Life in the Trenches

Letters of

Private James Ricker

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You asked if I had ever been "over-the-top." I have not, nor have I ever been through a real heavy bombardment nor been in the line when it was attacked. I have not seen a man killed sense when I was hit a year ago. But I have crawled all over no man's land on patrol, looking for trouble near the enemy lines:
The wagon, filled with artillery shells being moved to the front, was being pulled by donkeys. As they slowly reached a hilltop, without warning the donkeys bolted and headed down the slope on the other side, where they stopped. Within minutes an enemy shell burst on the hill where, had the donkeys not bolted, James, the donkeys, and the shells would have been hit.

Remembering

Gunner James Louis Kemp

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Remembering

Emmett Bernard McLeod

85th Battalion

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Emmett was born in Prince Edward Island and enlisted on February 26, 1918. He arrived in England in April, 1918 and was assigned to the 85th Battalion in France. It was in the heavy fighting and chaos of a battle on November 6, in the face of the enemy artillery fire, machine gun fire, exploding shells and hand to hand fighting that Emmett McLeod severely injured was taken from the battlefield to the battalion aid station …
British 18 pounder gun team moves up during the Battle of the Canal du Nord, September 27, 1918 (IWM)

Arthur William Hood

World War I

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Corporal Arthur William Hood, was born on April 5, 1890 in Yarmouth Nova Scotia. Arthur was 24 years of age when he enlisted at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on November 18, 1914. He was eventually assigned to the Canadian Infantry 25th Battalion ‘C’ Company and served on the western front during World War I.

A Letter From the Front

Arthur William Hood

July 14, 1916

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“It is with the deepest regret I have to write to you regarding the death of your dear son, William. As you most likely know he and I had been the closest friends and I thought it only right that I should tell you all regarding his death.”

Four Cunningham Cousins

from Cape Sable Island

Serve at Vimy Ridge

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Four members of the Cunningham family of Cape Sable Island found themselves at Vimy Ridge and the following account remembers their stories and the sacrifices they made. The article was contributed to the website by Mike Cunningham

Photos from the Front

August 1916

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Viewing World War I through the lens of the camera. A collection of photos from the front, August 1916.

165th Battalion (1914-1918)

Yarmouth Connections

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The 165th (French Acadian) Battalion, CEF was a unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Based in Moncton, New Brunswick, the unit began recruiting in late 1915 throughout the Maritime provinces.

Timeline of World War I

August 4 - September 26, 1914

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A timeline of events from the declaration of war on August 4, 1914 and the first enlistments from Yarmouth Town and County through September 26, 1914

The Mystery of

Thomas D. Crowell

Yarmouth War Memorial

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Among the one hundred and seventy three names of Yarmouth’s First World War casualties listed on the War Memorial is Thomas D. Crowell. Who was this Yarmouth soldier who fought and died for his country? He is not listed in any database of casualties and there is no record of his service, his battalion or regiment, his death, or his place of burial.

The Battle of Mount Sorrel

June 1916

Private Amos Hilton Forbes

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The 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles, along with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, were manning the 3rd Division's front on June 2, 1916, when the German army launched an assault to take the last dominating observation position in front of Ypres.