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In August 1914, Canada chanced on itself jolted from its ultimate isolation through the onrush of a ecu disaster. In Victoria, British Columbia, adolescence who were expert at Victoria highschool went to battle and have been endlessly replaced by means of the event.

From lecture room to Battlefield follows the reviews of this cohort in the course of the moment conflict of Ypres, whilst Canadians suffered extraordinarily from the German use of poison fuel; the horrors of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Amiens; and, eventually, victory at Mons. It weaves Victoria excessive faculties idealistic hopes into the realities of the soreness, ache, and loss of life in far flung fields of fireplace, whereas analyzing legacies of the clash at domestic. it is a poignant ebook approximately warfare, reminiscence, and sacrifice from considered one of Canadas preeminent writers of old nonfiction.

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This was once Canada’s farthest west and the Pacific gateway to Asia. until eventually the Canadian Pacific Railway reached tidewater at Port Moody on Burrard Inlet, British Columbia had few hyperlinks with the Canadian west or the remainder of Canada. but it were thrown jointly through conditions with different parts of British North the USA and in 1871 grew to become a part of Canada. Its independence of viewpoint mirrored its geography, its isolation, its family members with First international locations, and its associations, spiritual, social, and academic. British Columbia, and Victoria on Vancouver Island, stood except the remainder of Canada and uniquely defended from its American neighbours in Washington country and Alaska Territory (the latter Russian prior to 1867). This strong point gave it a political point of view that used to be no longer “Wild West” yet used to be extra cosmopolitan and worldly than has been imagined. It had no longer been born the day before today. quite, it used to be a seat of imperial strength with international pursuits. The plants used to be lush, and Garry oaks growing to be in open glades or on rocky knolls gave the observer impressions of English parkland. Even the mild, salubrious weather imitated the outdated kingdom. No ask yourself it attracted such a lot of English and Scots settlers. the method was once gradual and halting. For a time Victoria grew to become a increase city as a result of the Fraser River gold rush. the longer term appeared wonderful. Already, as an early observer remarked, Victoria’s favorite subject matters have been in position: “a little bit of olde England and our rightful position less than the sunlight. ”1 Victoria and British Columbia pulsed to the rhythm of steam engines. The primeval stands of bushes quickly fell for the development of wharves, warehouses, workplaces, and administrative and political constructions. The swamps have been tired and the marshes crammed in. Tramways snaked throughout the urban, and streets, sidewalks, and roads speedy prolonged town to the east, north, and west. Bridges have been raised, and a railway from up-Island and a light-rail line from outlying groups got here into city. Marine industries sprang up, and sealing and fishing fleets crowded the harbour. by way of the top of the century, Victoria used to be a hub of North Pacific steam navigation, with hyperlinks to Seattle, Vancouver, and northern issues either on Vancouver Island and north to Alaska. Trans-Pacific connections through sea and submarine cable solid new imperial hyperlinks, whereas the Royal army, nonetheless stationed at within sight Esquimalt, used to be a daily reminder of ties to the outdated nation and to sister international locations and colonies around the seas. It had by no means been an American city, even though at one time an annexation petition was once raised, with no good fortune. The colonists and brideships arrived, and the payment societies and separately geared up schemes for bringing friends and family from the British Isles made Victoria into basically an English city, and few challenged the validity of that. It was once domestic to the 1st Chinatown in Canada, too, and the races lived in effortless concord till past due within the century, whilst a few problems arose as a result of the agitation of white labour and the wrong importation of replacement staff.

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