Posts tagged ‘canadian war history’
In the first part of this two-volume series by Canadian historian Tim Cook, we follow Canada’s Citizen Soldiers through the first three years of World War I. Cook helps the reader understand almost 100 years later what made regular Canadian farmers and shopkeepers willingly leave their homes and families to take up arms for Britain.
In this volume, we follow Canada’s enlisted men from training at Valcartier and Salisbury Plain to their first combat at the Second Battle of Ypres, then through St. Eloi, Mount Sorrel and the Somme. Many British soldiers thought the Canadian men were unruly colonials, but the Canadians soon proved themselves as fierce warriors against their German enemies.
Cook not only follows the battles, but also gives the reader some insight as to what daily life in the trenches was like for the average soldier. The soldiers went days without sleeping, living in mud amongst rats, corpses and constant artillery barrages. From the innovations against chemical warfare to the introduction of helmets, the reader also learns how commanders and infantry needed to adapt to wage war on the Western Front. At the Sharp End is an important read for any Canadian wanting to understand the road leading up to the battle at Vimy Ridge that forged Canada’s national identity.
Everyone here at Explorica would like to take a moment to wish all our upcoming Vimy Ridge travellers well. Our exclusive Return to Vimy 2012: 95th Anniversary Tours give Canadians the opportunity to experience the life of a soldier during this important event in our nation’s history. We thank you for your dedication to history, and for your commemoration of those who fought to forge our nation.
As a tribute to the impact of a visit to Vimy Ridge, we post the following note in full from Mark Shannon, Calgary school teacher and Explorica Group Leader:
As a child, I was always drawn to stories about war history. By the time I was able to enrol in post-secondary school, this drive was such as to have me transfer to history full time. By 1993 I had completed two degrees in military history, specializing in the First and Second World Wars. At this time, my father showed me the diary of his uncle, Percival Roy Shannon, who fought and died in the First World War. His medals and his story were very compelling and it left me with an intense desire to visit the battlefields where he fought.
Explorica, a company creating educational tours that connect students to new cultures, languages and people through educational travel, has been chosen as the exclusive educational tour operator for 70th anniversary tours commemorating the Canadian role in “Operation Husky”. The company was chosen by “Operation Husky 2013”, a memorial campaign organized by Canada Company Québec Chapter President Steve Gregory and designed to honour those who fought and fell in this historic Canadian military effort.