Welcome to the Central Ontario Branch of the Western Front Association!
The Western Front Association perpetuates the memory, courage and comradeship of those, of both sides, who served their country in France and Flanders (Belgium) during the Great War. The WFA has about 6,000 members worldwide with branches in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States. Our branch meets regularly in Newcastle, Ontario.
We aim to meet four times a year – Normally at the Newcastle Community Hall CLICK HERE or see HEADQUARTERS LINK ABOVE.
We are recruiting! Click the image below to join up
On November 11 – Mayor of Toronto John Tory mentioned Ronald Mackinnon, the uncle of our secretary Gordon Mackinnon (at 4:00 of the clip)
A talk given by David Fuller for the East Toronto Beach Historical Society, Nov. 21, 2017 at the Beach Library
The photo is of the 3rd Field Ambulance baseball team at Poperinge in July 1916. The WD says they were on R&R at Poperinge for a sports day.
Sports in the CEF, the Sportsmen’s Patriotic Association and the 180th Battalion
By David Fuller
David Fuller is speaking at the Beach East Toronto Historical Society, Nov. 21 at the Beach Library, 7pm. Address 2161 Queen Street East.
As we learned from Rod Henderson’s fascinating article in the Fall 2017 edition of The Maple Leaf, the Canadian Corps saw sports competition as an important activity for building morale and demonstrating Canadian unity and pride. That enthusiasm for Canadian athletic prowess was also given credence by Lieutenant-Colonel R. H. Greer, KC, who made it a central feature of his recruiti ng drive for a Toronto battalion comprised of athletes.
Greer was a Toronto lawyer and avid sportsman, who hit upon the idea of recruiting a battalion of fellow athletes, and formed the Sportsmen’s Patriotic Association to further that goal, raise funds for the war effort and to assist soldiers and their families. His efforts paid off in the creation of the 180th “Sportsmen’s” Battalion that eventually left for England as a unit in 1916.
COBWFA member and Maple Leaf managing editor David Fuller will be giving a talk on Sports in the CEF, the Sportsmen’s Patriotic Association and the 180th Battalion, to the Beach East Toronto Historical Society at the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Public Library, 2161 Queen Street East, on Nov. 21 at 7pm. If you’re in town that Tuesday night, please stop by for the presentation, which will include photos of Corps sports activities and a description of the large recruiting rally at Scarboro Beach in August 1915 and information about the life and career of local resident Richard Haliburton Greer.
And, for those who want to make an evening of it, some of us will be repairing to the Salty Dog pub, just down the street, for Tuesday jazz night, featuring some of the city’s best players.
Photo Cutline: Photo of the 3rd Field Ambulance ball team at Poperinge in July 1916. (Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-000227)
Tactical Communications – The “Fuller Phone”
Resistance: a Diary of the Armenian Genocide 1915-1922
This book is the only seven-year, primary source documentation of the Armenian Genocide and the beginning of the 1917 Russian Revolution written by a resistance fighter who kept a daily diary of the events he participated in or witnessed. It is a front-line report on the period from 1915, when Misak Seferian’s village, in historical Western Armenia, was invaded by the Ottoman Turks, to 1922 when he escaped from a Bolshevik prison.
Misak Seferian came to Canada in 1923 and immediately began to write from his notebooks. Hundreds of his articles were published in serial form in the Armenian edition of The Hairenik newspaper in the 1930s and early 1940s. This book is a translated and edited version of those writings.
The Allies sent the Dunsterforce to BAKU Azerbaijan in 1918. Read about it here. It included a large group of Canadian Veterans of the Western Front. Forty Canadians also served in a third Russian theatre. In the summer of 1918 they joined a British Mission known as “Dunsterforce” which occupied the Caspian port of Baku to protect the oil fields from the Turkish enemy.
Get your copy!
Read about Dunsterville and his men here. Lionel Dunsterville was Stalky of Kipling Fame.
- The Adventures of Dunsterforce by L.C. Dunsterville
- DUNSTERFORCE: COALITION WARFARE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1918-1919 (Canadian Army Journal)
- Dunsterforce’s top ranking Canadian officer, Lt. Col. John Weightman Warden
- Australians and Canadian Cavalry troopers battle Turks driving Armenian Refugees
- Stalky’s Forelorn Hope – LGen Stanley Savidge writes of the famous actions for which he received the VC saving Armenian Refugees
While 2017 is a big year for the memory of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, it was also the subject of a 1945 visit by Diane Johnson’s father, who was serving with the 5th Canadian Division during a visit to the Vimy Ridge Monument. A photo gallery of souvenir post cards follows. You see Canadian and German lines before the days of the modern monument. Click to advance the show of 20 images. Thanks Diane!!
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM A MAP ?
The War That Made the World We Live In
William A. Alldritt: POW in Germany
Ten months in a life, August 1914 – May 1915
Click picture – Wm Alldritt was one of 1500 Canadians captured at Ypres April 25, 1915
Andy Robertshaw visited on 23 October
The BBC produced a 26 episode series on the Great War Enjoy it here
Don’t forget latest items are at the Current Month Archive to the right.
Update – as of 6 January 2017