Cat No.: CA0300:A tribute to British Columbia Men who have been killed, crippled and wounded in the Great War.
This private publication was the brainchild of John Francis Bursill, the father of one of the war's victims. The first volume appears to have been John's way of dealing with the loss of his son. However, rather than concentrating on his loss he aimed his work at supporting those who survived and were engaged in the business of readjusting to a, now strange, civilian role. Amongst these the ones with the greatest adjustment to make were those who were injured, and must relearn their childhood lessons of mobility and dexterity. In a word, the amputees. And so this work is ostensibly dedicated to the members of the Amputation Club of British Columbia. I say ostensibly because in reading the articles it quickly becomes clear that many of the contributors were using their contributions as an excuse for recording the harsh realities of the previous years, perhaps in the hope that it would bring them to a catharsis.
The editor seems to have been a little surprised by the runaway success of the first volume and was clearly making plans for the production of a second volume even before the issue of the first. (A loose order form for Vol.2 was included with Vol.1.) And then in the introduction to Vol.2 there were references to plans being made for Vol.3. Vol.1 was published in time for it to be suggested as a Christmas gift and the plans for Vol.3 called it also to be published before Christmas, presumably of the next year, indicating that it might be more correct to date the series of publications as 1918-19.
The contributions take almost as many forms as there are contributors but they may be roughly categorized as art, poetry and prose. Much of the art comes in the form of cartoons, mainly about military life but also articulating some of the issues the returning soldiers faced as they once again took up their civilian lives. The remainder of the art comes in a wide variety of vehicles ranging from photography to sketches and paintings.
Poetry was the preferred means of expression of many of the soldiers with these contributions ranging from doggerel to epic.
Of course it is the prose contributions which provide us with our most valuable source of information. Many of the nonfictional contributions are first-hand recountings of episodes from the war, some in the form of histories of events, some in the form of personal recollections, while others are outpourings of pent-up emotion and flights of fiction. Add to this a number of invited, homegrown contributions describing the actions being taken in the relocation process, as well as expressions of thanks and good will.
Possibly most important of all the contributions are the memorials placed by companies, organizations, communities, and even individuals, recording their Honor Rolls. There are dozens of such memorials spread through the pages of the three volumes ranging in form from a simple printed list to photographic records of standing civic memorials. In this reproduction we have taken great pains to make our reproductions of these memorials as readable as we can, in some cases causing a degree of detriment in the depiction of the architecture of the memorial itself. It seems to us that, in these cases, the names are more important than the detailed form of the memorial which carries them. While it has not always been possible, where we can, we have also made these photographed names computer searchable to better assist the reader in locating a person of interest.
A listing of the groups submitting honor rolls has been extracted and is available for reference as a free download.
This great book has been loaned to us by Marc Leroux. Marc has joined Chris Wight to undertake the mammoth task of making a biographical database of all the Canadians who took part in The Great War. This work will be underway for a long time, but the current data base contents have been made available and can be found at: http://www.canadianGreatWarProject.com/ Please visit their site so they know their work is being appreciated.
No. of CDs is: 1 ; Format is: PDF ; Searchable?: YES;
FastFind: Yes; ISBN No.: 978-1-897405-39-0 ;