District Highlights

#FridayReads: Remembering the contributions of Canadian veterans

Garibaldi Secondary School teacher-librarian Keith Thomson recommends For King and Kanata, The Corvette Navy, War on Our Doorstep, and The Regiment for Indigenous Veterans Day (Nov. 8) and Remembrance Day (Nov. 11).

This November 8th and 11th, as we remember those who have fought and died for Canada over the years, I encourage you to pick up a book and find out a bit more of their story.  There are many books about the First World War and the Second World War, but until recently, there were not as many books talking about the Canadian role in these wars. This has been changing, though slowly, with the publication of some excellent histories by Canadian authors including Mark Zuehlke, Terry Copp, Tim Cook and J.J. Granatstein.

The following four recommendations are a few of the lesser-known books available that touch upon some of the parts played by Canadian service persons and illustrate the range of Canadian involvement in both wars.

For King and Kanata by Timothy C. Winegard is about the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada during the First World War and the changes that followed when they returned home. This is particularly relevant for November 8th, Indigenous Veterans Day.

The Corvette Navy by James B. Lamb tells the Second World War stories of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Battle of the Atlantic.  This is one of the most crucial theatres in the war, and one in which Canadians played a significant role. Lamb served as an officer on several corvettes, eventually commanding HMCS Camrose.

War on Our Doorstep by Brendan Coyle is the story of the war in the North Pacific from the Aleutian Islands invaded by the Japanese, the shelling of a Canadian lighthouse, the torpedoing of a Canadian ship in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the balloon bombs that drifted across the Pacific.

The Regiment by Farley Mowat is the story of the Hastings and Prince Edward regiment in which Mowat served during the Italian campaign in the Second World War. This covers the regiment’s experience from the start of the war in Canada, the trip to Britain, the invasion of Sicily, and the fight up Italy (the Moro river, the Liri valley and the Gothic line) until the battalion was transferred to the First Canadian Army in Northwest Europe. This year is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Italian Campaign and I would encourage you to also read the histories of Canadian battles in Sicily, Ortona, Cassino, the Moro River and the Gothic line.

The book covers of "For King and Kanata," "The Corvette Navy," "War on Our Doorstep," and "The Regiment."

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