Exploring the Conflict

Yukon Archives Photo/Oxford Historical Society Collection #84/78#112

On August 4, 1914, Canada entered into the First World War as part of the British Empire. The war that “would be over by Christmas” continued for another four years, and would eventually claim the lives of over 60,000 Canadians.

The First World War transformed Canada. The political, economic and social turmoil caused by the global conflict reached the Yukon. Over 600 residents volunteered out of a Territorial population of 5,000. Local womens’ groups helped raise money and knit socks for the war effort. The conflict also transformed the North’s relationship with more southern regions–North American tourists who had previously participated on Grand Tours of Europe now set their sights on more domestic destinations, including Alaska and the Yukon.

The centennary of the First World War offers an opportunity to better understand the relationship between the North and the conflict–until now a relatively unknown chapter of Yukon and world history.

In this section, you will find resources to help explore and better understand the impact of the First World War. New resources will be added as they become available–be sure to check back often.

Resources from the Yukon

The Northern Review #44 – The North and the First World War: papers presented at The North and the First World War conference, held May 9-12. 2016 and produced by YHMA and the University of Saskatchewan (International Centre for Northern Governance and Development), in partnership with Yukon College.

The Yukon and WWI: a documentary produced for Northwestel on the Yukon’s role in the First World War.

Local Yukon historian Michael Gates has published several articles based on his ongoing research into World War One:

Two Yukoners were awarded the Victoria CrossYukon News, Friday May 1, 2015
Let’s remember the Yukoners who fought at Vimy Ridge during the First World WarYukon News, Friday April 17, 2015
Mrs. Black goes to warYukon News, Friday April 2, 2015
Yukon women and the Great WarYukon News, Friday, March 27, 2015
Joe Boyle was one of the Yukon`s most heroic figuresYukon News, Friday, February 6, 2015
Robert Service, Country Joe and the Great WarYukon News, Friday, January 16, 2015
WWI letters detail lives of Yukonr recruitsYukon News, Friday, November 21, 2014
Yukon`s World War 1 soldiers are not forgottenYukon News, Friday, November 14, 2014
The amazing story of ‘Grizzly Bear’ ChristieYukon News, Friday, October 17, 2014
The Yukon machien gun battery in the fields of FranceYukon News, Friday, September 12, 2014
The Boyle Machine Gun Battery was filled with heroesYukon News, Friday, August 29, 2014
War is declaredin the YukonYukon News, Friday, August 1, 2014
Yukoners fought in the Great WarYukon News, Friday, November 8, 2013
One Yukoner`s WarYukon News, Friday, November 13, 2009


Online Exhibits and Other Resources

Canada’s History: Canada’s Great War Album

Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) service records: a searchable database of over 600,000 soldiers

Library and Archives Canada database: War Diaries of the First World War

Veterans Affairs Canada: the First World War (includes teaching resources)

Canadian Encyclopedia: the First World War

The Canadian Letters & Images Project

BC Remembers: Resources

University of Victoria Libraries: digitized military collections

Archives of Ontario: several online exhibits and research resources

Canadian War Museum (online, interactive exhibit, including Teacher Resources): Canada and the First World War

Imperial War Museum: First World War Centenary

Australian Government: The Anzac Centenary

New Zealand: WW100 New Zealand