From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War
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In August 1914, Canada found itself jolted from its splendid isolation by the onrush of a European catastrophe. In Victoria, British Columbia, five hundred youth who had been educated at Victoria High School went to war and were forever changed by the experience.
From Classroom to Battlefield follows the experiences of this cohort through the Second Battle of Ypres, when Canadians suffered terribly from the German use of poison gas; the horrors of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Amiens; and, at last, victory at Mons. It weaves Victoria High Schools idealistic hopes into the realities of the pain, suffering, and death in faraway fields of fire, while examining legacies of the conflict at home. This is a poignant book about war, memory, and sacrifice from one of Canadas preeminent writers of historical nonfiction.
R. S. Wilson L. Cpl. Robin Wilson Lt. W. Winsby Capt. A. Wood Driver Douglas Wood F. A. Wood Pte. Frank Wood Pte. Fred Wood* Lt. J. E. Wood Pte. Leslie Wood L. Cpl. Edward Wootton Lt. Harry Wootton Pte. F. Wright Pte. A. W. Wylie Pte. Arthur Yates Pte. R. S. Yates Pte. Emsley Yeo Sgt. Sam Youlden Pte. Stanley Young Pte. Frank Youngs Lt. Shirley Yuill Appendix 3 VICTORIA REGIMENTS AND THE CANADIAN ARMY ORGANIZATION, 1914–1918 As of November 1918, the Canadian Corps, with a strength of 156,441, all ranks, consisted of the following: CANADIAN CORPS HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY—3 regiments, 1 squadron ARTILLERY—4 field brigades, 1 anti-aircraft battery, 3 brigades garrison artillery ENGINEERS—5 army troops companies, 1 searchlight company, 1 tunnelling company, 1 survey section, 2 tramways companies MACHINE-GUN CORPS—2 motor machine-gun brigades ARMY SERVICE CORPS—7 motor transport companies MEDICAL CORPS—8 general hospitals, 6 stationary hospitals, 4 casualty clearing stations, 2 field ambulance units RAILWAY TROOPS—13 battalions, 1 railway construction unit LABOUR—4 infantry workshops companies, 5 area employment companies Each of the 4 infantry divisions consisted of the following major units: ARTILLERY—2 brigades field artillery, each of 3 field batteries and 1 howitzer battery INFANTRY—3 brigades, each of 4 infantry battalions and a trench mortar battery Each battalion had a strength of approximately 1,000 men, and a Canadian division had a total strength of approximately 21,000.
Sargison Lt. Blayney Scott* Cpl. Chester Scott Gnr. Douglas Scott Capt. Gilling Scott Pte. Matthew Scott Lt. William Scott Pte. Clement Sears Sgt. Cyril Sedger* Pte. Reginald Sedger Pte. Joseph W. Shakespeare Pte. Alexander Shaw Pte. Edward Shaw Pte. H. Sherwood Sig. E. P. Sidall Sgt. Gus Sivertz L. Cpl. C. Sivertz Sgt. Henry G. Sivertz* Lt. H. Skelton Gnr. Ralph C. Smethurst Pte. P. M. Smith Pte. Thomas Smith Pte. Southerland Spr. Alan Spencer Lt. Evan D. Spencer* Pte. Norman Spencer* Nurse Sara Spencer Pte.
Even the cenotaph in Victoria, erected in 1924, was made possible only by public subscription. ) In the circumstances, funds for the school Memorial Tablet had to be raised from the staff, students, alumni, and citizens. And what sort of design should be selected? The tendency of the age was to give an indication of sacrifice, quiet remembrance, and grief—all brought together in a Greek classical style. Clarke’s selection of a female figure to demonstrate motherhood and sisterhood, and the strong maternal characteristics of the age, was entirely in keeping with the times—and, more, the message.
A. Pascoe; Private Horace “Tod” Paul; Private Harold Roe; Sergeant Cyril Sedger;14 Sergeant D. V. Stevens; Private William Stewart; Private F. Thompson; and Lieutenant Conrad Blackadder Wilson. By war’s end, that number would more than triple. Each of these deaths has its own story. Readers of The Camosun learned of their late friends recently departed. One of them, Sergeant Fred Copas, campus favourite, had left the school to join the 103rd Battalion, with which he went overseas. At school he had been prominent on the rugby pitch under Mr.
On selling out, he established Marine Iron Works, later managed by his son James. He was a keen angler and golfer and died in 1923. 34. Camosun, February 1918, 14 (which prints his In Memoriam). Also correspondence with, variously, Rear Admiral William Hughes, 2003, including commemorative information; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Veterans Affairs Canada Remembers Project, (Virtual War Memorial); letter of James Gray to W. Hughes, n. d. , and Ministry of Defence (RAF Records) to W. Hughes, November 15, 1978; copy, tracing records of Lieutenant George Robert Gray and Captain James Gray, all in Gray file, VHS Archives.