The Canadian National Vimy Memorial near Vimy, Pas-de-Calais, FranceThe First World War, or ‘Great War’ as it has often been referred to, was one of the seminal events of the 20th century. The world we live in today was greatly shaped by the outcomes of that war. Many political borders, our politics, ideologies and ways of thinking, technology, and even art were influenced by this massive four-year struggle.
The spark for war was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian thrones, on June 28, 1914 in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo. It quickly degenerated into a world-wide conflict of all the European great powers. Canada entered the war when Great Britain declared war on Germany and many enthusiastic Canadian volunteers went off to fight for ‘King and Country’. To a degree Canadian nationhood was shaped on the battlefields of Ypres, Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele among others.
Drawing on materials held at the University of Regina Archives & Special Collections this website documents the local contribution and sacrifice to the ‘Great War’. In 1914 Regina College, the precursor of the University of Regina, was a small Methodist college on the Canadian prairie. By the end of the war over 141 students and faculty members would go off to fight. What follows are their stories and others.