Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Canadian Foresters in Windsor Park, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

The Canadian Forestry Corps was formed in 1916 to provide lumber for the war effort. Recruiting posters soon called for “Bushmen and sawmill hands wanted for the Canadian Forestry Units overseas.”

Lumber was needed for diverse uses like trench construction, railway ties, tent poles, buildings, axe handles and fuel. At first, the thought was that trees would be cut in Canada and shipped overseas. But space on ships was limited, so the Corps went to the wood in the UK and France. The Corps produced about 70% of the lumber used on the Western front. They were occupied in all aspects of the trade – from felling trees and dressing lumber to actual construction. They cleared sites for aerodromes. Some of the wood was fashioned into wooden crosses for graves. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital at Doullens, Ottawa

This painting by Gerald Moira hangs in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. It is part of the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art.

In late 1916, after seven months in Boulonge, No 3 Stationary Hospital was sent to Doullens, north of Amiens, France. It was housed in a 15th century citadel outside the town, well away from military and railway installations for fear of bombing attacks. During the Allied retreat in the spring of 1918, the hospital was very active. It was bombed on the last two days of May. Two surgeons, three nursing sisters, four patients, and sixteen orderlies were killed.