The Frontier of Patriotism

With the centenary of the First World War, communities across Canada arranged commemorations of the war experience to honour local servicemen who, through their triumphs and sacrifices, were
presented as laying the foundation for a free and independent country. Often overlooked are the triumphs and sacrifices of those who supported those soldiers, and the war effort in general, back at home. The Frontier of Patriotism provides an in-depth look at all aspects of Alberta’s involvement in the war, reflecting Albertans’ experiences both on the battlefield and on the home front. Contributors of the 40 essays all draw heavily on national and local archival resources. The war is seen through the letters, diaries and memoirs of the individuals who lived through it, as well as through accounts in local newspapers.

Readers will come away from this collection with a deeper appreciation of the different ways that the First World War, and its aftermath, shaped the lives of Albertans. For many, these four tumultuous years represented a time of individual valour and of communities pulling together and sacrificing for a noble cause. Yet, for others, the war left disillusionment and anger. Exploring these regional and local stories, as well as the national story, helps us understand the commonalities and distinctiveness of what it means to be Canadian. The Frontier of Patriotism is the most comprehensive treatment of Alberta during these critical, transformational years.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Series page 3
Full title page 4
Copyright page 5
CONTENTS 6
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 10
INTRODUCTION 12
TIMELINE 24
SECTION ONE: Albertans at War: The Military 30
Colour Insert 34
An Old Soldier Fades Away: Major General Sir Sam Steele in the First World War 50
Raymond Brutinel and the Genesis of Modern Mechanized Warfare 60
While You Were Away: Alberta’s First World War Aviation History 76
Building on the Home Front: Armouries and Other Infrastructure 86
Aboriginal Alberta and the First World War 96
The Experiences of Lethbridge Men Overseas, 1914–1918 126
Sid Unwin’s War 138
Alberta Remittance Men in the Great War 148
The Effects of the First World War on the Franco-European Immigrants of Alberta 160
The Little Institution that Could: The University of Alberta and the First World War 178
The Gospel of Sacrifice: Lady Principal Nettie Burkholder and Her Boys at the Front 188
Medical Contributions of Albertans in the First World War: Rising to the Challenge 206
Harold and Emma McGill: A War-Front Love Story 232
Private Stephen Smith and His Trench Art Belts 242
SECTION TWO: The Home Front: Context and Meaning 246
Enthusiasm Embattled: Alberta 1916 249
Ordinary Life in Alberta in the First World War 264
“O valiant hearts who to your glory came”: Protestant Responses to Alberta’s Great War 276
Alberta Women in the First World War: A Genius for Organization 290
Armageddon: Alberta Newspapers and the Outbreak of the Great War, 1914 308
Edmonton’s Local Heroes 324
Voices of War: The Press and the Personal 332
From Local to National: Pictorial Propaganda in Alberta during the First World War 342
The Great War and Labour in Alberta 352
The Great Western Garment Company during the First World War 364
The Bosworth Expedition: An Early Petroleum Survey 370
SECTION THREE: Communities at War 380
Edmonton and the Great War 384
The First World War as a Local Experience: Mobilization, Citizen Voluntary Support, and Memorializing the Sacrifice in Lethbridge, Alberta 400
Red Deer and the First World War 414
Threads of Life: The 1917 Waskatenau Signature Quilt 428
Calgary’s Grand Theatre in the Great War 448
Student Life on the University of Alberta Campus during the First World War 460
Mobilizing Mount Royal: Capturing Campus Contributions to the Great War 478
Under Siege: The CEF Attack on the RNWMP Barracks in Calgary, October 1916 488
Canada’s First National Internment Operations and the Search for Sanctuary in the Ukrainian Labour Farmer Temple Association 504
Conscientious Objectors in Alberta in the First World War 520
SECTION FOUR: Aftermath 528
War, Public Health, and the 1918 “Spanish” Influenza Pandemic in Alberta 530
Applying Modernity: Local Government and the 1919 Federal Housing Scheme in Alberta 554
Soldier Settlement in Alberta, 1917–1931 562
First World War Centennial Commemoration in Alberta Museums 572
APPENDIX 582
CONTRIBUTORS 586
INDEX 590
Back Cover 610