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Archival description
First World War, 1914-1918
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Jane Abbott fonds

  • RC0584
  • Fonds
  • 1914

The fonds consists of Jane Abbott’s diary, dated 15 May 1914, to 17 September 1914. The diary is an account of the Abbotts’ visit to Europe, primarily Vienna. The highlights of the diary are the June 28 entry relating to the assassinations and the July 2 entry in which Abbott describes witnessing the return of the bodies to Vienna. The diary also details the Abbotts’ social life in Europe, including their interactions with other American visitors such as Dr. Russell M. Wilder and his wife. The fonds includes 7 documents that were found inside the diary. One of these documents is a letter, dated 26 April 1914, written by Jane Abbott while en route to Europe aboard the TSS Kaiser Franz Joseph I, and addressed to Ruth Abbott of Chicago, likely the sister of Dr. Abbott.

Abbott, Jane

Pelham Webb collection

  • RC0682
  • Collection
  • 1914

The fonds contains poem manuscripts and a single letter. The identity of Mrs. Russell, to whom the single letter in this collection was written and for whom the poems, addressed to "Lydia", were presumably composed, is unknown.

Webb, Arthur Pelham

John Gilbert Browne fonds

  • RC0395
  • Fonds
  • 1914

The fonds consists of detailed first-hand personal records written by Browne at Boulogne as well as classified printed documents heavily annotated, by Browne’s hand, which had been produced in extremely limited numbers.

Browne, John Gilbert

Nash's Magazine World War I collection

  • RC0592
  • Collection
  • 1914

This is a collection of fourteen letters, some addressed to the editor of Nash’s magazine, mostly written in August and September 1914, the beginning of World War I. One of the letters begins: “you have asked me for a message of encouragement to your readers in the dark hour of our country’s fortune.” The collection ranges from lengthy letters to a few lines. Literary contributors include Barry Pain, Louis Parker, Mrs. W. Desmond Humphreys, E. Temple Thurston. There are also letters from military figures (Major General Sir Henry Page Croft, Major General Sir Alfred Edward Turner, General Sir George Benjamin Wolseley). Other contributions are from Sir T. Vansittart Bowater, the Lord Mayor of London , the Archbishop of Armagh and the Bishop of Chicester.

Betty M. B. Houghton fonds

  • RC0555
  • Fonds
  • 1914-1915.

The fonds consists of two albums containing short accounts by soldiers at the hospital of their war-time experiences, as well as poems and addresses.

Houghton, Betty M. B.

E.S. Copeland letter

  • RC0578
  • Item
  • 1915

The letter he wrote is dated June 1915 somewhere in France and is addressed to Mrs. Newell. The letter concerns the death of her son, Lawrence Gunn Newell, on 23 April 1915 from wounds sustained during the advance on Ypres. The letter also concerns another son, Claude, and other soldiers from the Watford area. The Newell brothers were the sons of Thomas and Sarah Newell. Gunn Newell was the first Lambton County solider to die in the Great War. Copeland asks her to have the essence of his letter printed in the Watford newspaper.

Copeland, E.S.

HMS Carnarvon Fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1914-1915

There have been two accruals. The first accrual consists of two night order books, 1914-1915, 166 pages and 1915, 161 pages. The second accrual consists of a bound notebook (40 pages) containing a memoir written by George H.J. Hanks who was a Sick Bay Attendant on the Carnarvon. It was written in 1915 in Montreal while the ship was undergoing repairs and contains an extract from the ship's log for the Battle of Falkland Islands (p. 40). The fonds is supplemented by a transcript of the diary prepared by Robert K. Hanks, available in hard copy and on a CD. It includes additional documentation, including profiles of opposing fleets and maps

HMS Carnarvon

Richard Parr

  • RC0547
  • Fonds
  • 1914-1915

The fonds consists of Parr's journal, a bound manuscript, 90 pages in length. The first entry in the first section is 2 Aug. [1914] when he leaves home. The next day he boarded HMS Canopus. The last dated entry is 8 June [1915] which notes orders to proceed to Malta. The next section, titled "Our Food Supply" covers the same time period. The third section contains some reflections on the ship's officers.

Parr, Richard

J.N. Weekes fonds

  • RC0554
  • Fonds
  • 1914-1916

The fonds consists of Weekes's journal, a bound manuscript, 88 pages in length. The first entry is dated 4 August 1914 when the ship was "laying in Medway at Sherness". The last entry is dated [June] 9, 1916 when the ship left Brindisi.

Weekes, J. N.

James R. Allan fonds

  • RC0558
  • Fonds
  • 1915-1916

The fonds consists of letters that he wrote to his mother in London, Ont. One of the letters contains detailed information on military actions.

Allan, James R.

Shipboard engines fonds

  • RC0545
  • Fonds
  • [1914-1916]

Fonds consists of a notebook on shipboard engines kept by unidentified person, 172 p. with diagrams. The notebook begins with "Working and Installing Boldiners Crude Oil Engines". At the end of the notebook, the note-keeper turned it over and began a new section titled "Notes on Starting Running and Maintenance of Bon-Accord Paraffin Engine Pumping Set".

Otto and Ada Hartmann fonds

  • RC0489
  • Fonds
  • 1915-1917

The fonds consists of 26 letters, dated between March and October 1915 and five postal receipts. It has been arranged in chronological order, the letters in folders numbered 1-26 and the receipts in a separate folder. Four of the letters were sent by Ada Hartmann to her husband, the remainder being sent by Otto to her. His letters reflect various experiences in the war, with many references to his company's movements and activities, to the transportation and work duties of the prisoners, and to the ranks, salaries, uniforms and weapons of the Prussian Army. He also touched on non-military topics, including singing, cigars, and other social matters. Among the people named in his letters were: battalion commander Major [Flienitz?]; Oberstleutnant Kuntzel; Vizefeldwebel Vick; Victor Ansaux, a prisoner at Münster; and the family of Paul Voss. Most often comprising only one folded page, his letters were sent by Feldpost, the postal service of the German Army. The letters from Ada, which were typically longer, often concerned various household purchases, payments into the Militärdienst-Versicherung (military service insurance – see receipts below), and such events as a trip with the children to Hagenbeck Zoo. Both wrote in the Spitzschrift or Kurrentschrift form of handwriting typical of the day, though Ada's writing was more flourished and regular than Otto's. Due to water damage and poor paper quality, the letters and envelopes are extremely brittle and are in places very difficult or impossible to decipher.
Note: Although encapsulated, the letters are still extremely fragile and easily damaged. Researchers are asked to use the photocopies provided wherever possible to avoid further damage.

The five Posteinlieferungsscheinen [postal receipts], are postmarked in Minden and presumably obtained by Ada Hartmann. Each consists of a printed form filled out in ink. Three blue-green receipts were issued for small deposits made in 1916 and 1917 to an account with the Deutsche Militärdienst-Versicherung of the Hanover branch of Berlinische Lebens-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Berlin Life Insurance Company). The remaining two receipts were issued for larger amounts sent by postal order in the same period to Gotthard Luch in Homberg an der Ohm, Oberhessen (Upper Hesse).

Hartmann, Otto

Maintenance Log Book for M-Class Destroyers in the British Royal Navy

  • RC0855
  • Item
  • 1917

Bound log book titled “Information concerning P.V. Gear in 13th Flotilla”. There is an index of the 26 ships listed in the log: Medway, Moresby, Narborough, Nepean, Nictator, Nereus, Norseman, Obdurate, Octavia, Oracle, Onslow, Oriana, Orpheus, Oriole, Orsis, Oberon, Pelican, Paladin, Penn, Petard, Pigeon, Paisley, Pylades (all Admiralty M-Class); Nerissa and Rival (Yarrow M-Class) and Patrician (Thornycroft M-Class). Following the index, beginning on page 100 are entries about each ship. Paravanes (P.V.) are devices towed behind a vessel at a regulated depth, so that the cable to which it is attached can cut the moorings of submerged mines. It was a new weapon in World War I. In addition to information about the paravanes, the log also contains maintenance and circuit test notes. Two of the destroyers, Oracle (p. 149) and Pasley (p. 169) had collisions with submarines.

Gerald Blake fonds

  • RC0542
  • Fonds
  • 1914-1917

The fonds consists of letters that Gerald Blake wrote to his mother and to his brother, Clive Blake, of London, England, concerning his experiences on the Western front. There are also a few letters from Angus Macmillan to Clive Blake. Macmillan was also at the front.

Blake, Gerald John

Mrs. Bromley collection

  • RC0595
  • Collection
  • 1916-1917

The collection consists of the letter to Mrs. Bromley and well as two photgraphs of presumably Canadian troops. One is a postcard photograph. The other is identified as "C sub-section, A.S.C. Section, G.H.Q., 3rd Echelon" and was taken in Rouen, France in September 1916. On the verso of the photograph are signatures of the soldiers -- some of them have very small pasted photographs beside their signatures.

Bromley, Mrs.

Young Men's Christian Association of Canada

  • RC0566
  • Collection
  • 1917

The photographs have been pasted into a scrapbook. Some of the subject matter of the photographs is as follows: dugouts at Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and other locations, wounded soldiers being assisted, Trump-Line, Maple Leaf Concert Party, athletic events including a horse show, baseball, track and field, boxing, tug-of-war, General Currie, Little Theatre in London, and Khaki University of Canada (London Branch).

Young Men's Christian Association of Canada

World War, 1914-1918 trench map and aerial photograph collection

  • RC0306
  • Collection
  • 1914-1918

The collection consists of trench maps and aerial photographs created during the First World War. The majority of the maps were created by the British Ordnance Survey for the Allied forces, although a few German, French and other maps purchased privately by officers exist within the collection. As the collection is almost exclusively made up of British mapping, coverage is limited to the British sector of the Western Front extending from the English Channel in the north to the vicinity of Reims in the south.

The aerial photographs were produced by the [British] Royal Flying Corps (renamed Royal Air Force when it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service in 1918). However, a few French and German examples exist within the collection. Approximately 350 photographs in the collection have hand annotations ranging from simple circles indicating the location of important features on the recto to full, textual descriptions on the verso. Approximately 90 additional photographs are mounted in an Album acquired from the University of Alberta.

Canadian military photograph collection

  • RC0565
  • Collection
  • 1916-1918

The collection consists of four photographs:
173th Battalion (Highlanders), Camp Borden, 1916 (oversize)
Mounted Rifles, Eastern Canada, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Hamilton, Ont., 25 January 1916 (oversize)
Lieut. Col. A.B. Carey and officers of the 54th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Belgium 1918
Canadian solider and officer holding unidentified flag.

World War, 1914-1918, communications collection

  • RC0587
  • Collection
  • 1914-1918

The collection consists of two collections of communications used during World War I. One collection is labelled “postal history”; the other is called “soldiers correspondence”. Both collections contain post cards of various types including official ones. The postal history collection is mounted on nine numbered sheets, and contains explanatory text typed on the bottom. It also has one letter. It may have been compiled by Keith Powell of the Guilford Philosophy Society, as his name is written on the back of each sheet. The soldiers correspondence collection is mounted on eleven sheets which are not numbered; it also has a title page. Explanatory text appears on each page; the text has been printed from a computer.

J. McQueen Moyes collection

  • RC0658
  • Collection
  • 1916-1918

This collection consists of:

  1. A poem written and illustrated by Moyes about the Second Battle of Ypres, at Saint Julien, Belgium. [1915].
  2. “Ready for the Trenches. Every man is now equipped with a splinter proof helmet before going to the Trenches.” 13th Can. Batt. Pen and ink illustration. 1916.
  3. “Map showing position of Rest Billets.” A pen and ink map of the area just north of Bailleul and Meteren, France, notes the location of the 13th-16th Battalions. On the back are listed five casualties are listed on the back. [1916?].

Moyes, John McQueen

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