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Bernard Freeman Trotter fonds
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1.36 m of textual records
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Name of creator
Bernard Trotter was born in Toronto on June 16, 1890. He attended the Horton Academy in Wolfville and completed his high school work at Woodstock College. In the fall of 1907 he went to California to improve his health, accompanied by his older brother, Reginald. He first worked at a lemon ranch and then taught privately for two years before returning to McMaster University in Toronto in 1910. In the late summer and fall of 1912 he helped design and build "Valhalla", the Trotter summer place on Lake Cecebe. Trotter obtained his B.A. from McMaster in 1915 and began graduate work at the University of Toronto before leaving for England in March 1916. Ill health had prevented him from being accepted for military service in the Canadian army; determined to serve, Trotter won a commission in the British army. After training, he crossed to France with his Leicestershire Regiment in December 1916. On May 7, 1917, he was killed by a shell just as he and his men were completing their final transport convoy of the night. Trotter was buried the next day in the Military Cemetery at Mazingarbe. He was 26 years old.
Trotter had been active in student life, serving for a year as editor of the McMaster Monthly, the journal in which some of his poems first appeared; a poem was accepted for publication in Harper's Magazine in 1914. His themes were often chosen from nature; they evoke the Nova Scotia of his boyhood, California and Northern Ontario. His father, the Baptist minister and McMaster Professor Thomas Trotter, collected his poems and they were published in 1917 by McClelland and Stewart as A Canadian Twilight and Other Poems of War and Peace.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of correspondence, manuscripts, a presentation copy of A Canadian Twilight, and printed material, as well as additional material related to Trotter.
Immediate source of acquisition
Fonds was acquired from Bernard Fisher Trotter, Bernard Freeman Trotter's nephew, with the assistance of Charles Johnston, in October 2000, December 2004 and January 2009.
There have been three accruals. The first accrual (37-2000) consists of 8 series: letters written from Britain and France; manuscript notebooks; printed instructional materials; printed training manuals; a presentation copy of A Canadian Twilight; pamphlets from Baptist churches and photocopied background material. The second accrual (29-2004) consists of 2 series: correspondence, literary works and documents; printed material. The third accrual (01-2009) is arranged into two series: literary and material relating to Bernard Trotter.
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Availability of other formats
Series 1, Box 1, F 1-15 is available in the Digital Archive.
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There are no access restrictions.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Further accruals are not expected.
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