Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poetry and the first world war: Late starter | The Economist

A biography of Edward Thomas reviewed here:

Poetry and the first world war: Late starter | The Economist

Another book for my Shelfari list.

The Wellington Advertiser - Raid on Guelph novitiate drew national attention in 1918

First in a series, chasing shirkers in Canada,

Conscription seemed to add fresh fervour to the words and actions of the super-patriots, who were vocal in their characterization of Germans as heathens. They wanted the war pushed aggressively whatever the cost in dollars and human lives.

Much of their attention was directed at shirkers - young men who avoided military service by claiming to be agricultural workers (who were exempt from military service during the 1917 harvest), and those who faked physical incapacities to avoid service.

In the spring of 1918 they focused on a another target: the Roman Catholic novitiate at Guelph, which they believed was overrun with young men determined to avoid military service.

Charges that draft evaders had taken refuge at the college began to circulate in the spring of 1918. An article published in the Orange Sentinel, a paper published by the Orange Order, made the charge a much more serious one. That article was republished by several newspapers in Ontario.

That resulted in a visit by members of the military and government officials to the novitiate on June 7 at about 9:30pm. Major C. A. Macauley, who headed the group that included military personnel and Guelph police officers, presented their credentials.

The Wellington Advertiser - Raid on Guelph novitiate drew national attention in 1918

Art on the battlefield and a lost generation - Books - Yorkshire Post

More WW1 literature by a contemporary author.

Art and war collide in Booker Prize winner 
Pat Barker’s latest novel. The author talks to Yvette Huddleston about Toby’s Room.

“What I am interested in is why human beings slaughter each other on a mass scale,” says novelist Pat Barker.

“Most other animals don’t do that. What is it about the nature of human beings that we do?”

Barker’s latest book, Toby’s Room, focuses on the experiences of a group of young men and one young woman during the First World War. It is an era Barker has explored before, in the 1990s, in her powerful and moving Regeneration Trilogy – Regeneration, The Eye in the Door and the Booker prize-winning The Ghost Road. At the centre of the three novels was the pioneering work of Dr William Rivers in the treatment of the psychological trauma of war.

Barker was initially inspired to write about the First World War by family history. “My grandfather was bayoneted – he had a huge scar – and my step-father was gassed in the trenches at the age of 15,” she says.

What brought Barker back to “the war to end all wars” for Toby’s Room was writing one of her more recent novels, Double Vision (2003), which dealt with modern warfare and featured a photojournalist among its characters.

Art on the battlefield and a lost generation - Books - Yorkshire Post

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Grimsby Chums Memorial Projects

A site I’ll have to add to the links.

The Grimsby Chums Memorial Projects

Why we should celebrate the First World War as well as commemorate it | BBC History Magazine

Conclusion from Hew Strachen’s column,

In 1904 Britain and France came to an understanding which formed part of the reason why the British army went to Europe ten years later. The entente required Germany to see it as a hostile alliance for it to become one. It was a resolution of outstanding colonial disputes between two imperial powers, a continuation of old diplomacy between two great powers, more than it was a harbinger of the war which ushered in the modern world. But the Manchester Guardian, whose editor CP Scott would oppose Britain’s entry to the war in July 1914, welcomed "the new friendship" for ‘"the chance it affords of a genuine alliance between the democracies in both countries for the furtherance of a common democratic cause".

We need to reintegrate these ideas, which suggest that the First World War was fought for values that we also respect, as we approach its centenary. If we cannot admit competing and sometimes contradictory interpretations of the war, then its commemoration is unlikely to deepen our understanding, and so will prove as futile and wasteful as the stock clich├ęs about its appalling losses.

Why we should celebrate the First World War as well as commemorate it | BBC History Magazine

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First World War internment camps a 'difficult scar' for Canadian Ukrainians

Interesting link on internment camps in Canada during WW1

First World War internment camps a 'difficult scar' for Canadian Ukrainians
The Canadian government identified about 80,000 people as enemy aliens during the First World War and those who were living close to urban centres were required to report to the North West Mounted Police.

Nearly 8,600 were deemed to be a threat to Canada and sent to 24 internment camps across the country, four of which were in the Canadian Rockies. The majority of the prisoners were of Ukrainian descent.

While most people are aware of the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Second World War, the First World War camps are an often overlooked part of Canadian history.

The Harper government set up the $10 million Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund in 2008 to support projects commemorating the experience of the thousands of Ukrainians and other Europeans interned between 1914–20 and the many others who suffered a suspension of their civil liberties.

A new exhibit on the history of First World War internments in Canada is being built adjacent to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff, Alta. It is scheduled to open next summer.
"It is a very unknown story in Canadian history," said Parks Canada national historic sites manager Steve Malins.

The life of Ford Madox Ford

A TV adaption of Parade’s End. First I’ve heard of it, but I imagine will be seeing many more adaptions of WW1 novels as we approach 2014.

This year’s television adaptation of Parade’s End has led to an extraordinary surge of interest in Ford Madox Ford. The ingenious adaptation by Sir Tom Stoppard; the stellar cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Alan Howard, Rupert Everett, Miranda Richardson, Roger Allam; the flawlessly intelligent direction by award-winning Susanna White, have not only created a critical success, but reached Ford’s widest audience for perhaps fifty years. BBC2 drama doubled its share of the viewing figures. Reviewers have repeatedly described Parade’s End as a masterpiece and Ford as a neglected Modernist master. Those involved in the production found him a ‘revelation’, and White and Hall are reported as saying that they were embarrassed that their Oxbridge educations had left them unaware of Ford’s work. After this autumn, fewer people interested in literature and modernism and the First World War are likely to ask the question posed by the title of Alan Yentob’s ‘Culture Show’ investigation into Ford’s life and work on September 1st: “Who on Earth was Ford Madox Ford?”

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