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Remembering WWI Exhibit

Saskatchewan Wartime Contributions
School Program

George Shepherd Library

Training Courses

Remembering World War I

When war broke out in August 1914, few thought it would last four long and terrible years. Trench warfare was bloody and brutal. Disease, mud and rats added to the misery. The number of casualties was enormous. Worldwide, some 8.5 million died; 21 million were wounded.

Impact on Saskatchewan

Some 42,000 Saskatchewan men served in the army, navy or flying corps; a few women went overseas as nurses. Five thousand were killed or died of injuries.

WDM Collection, WDM-1983-S-403

On the home front farmers grew food for the troops. Women knit socks, rolled bandages, sent parcels to soldiers and raised money for the Red Cross. The reform movement gained momentum as women took over jobs formerly the domain of men, pushed for Prohibition, and campaigned for the right to vote. At war’s end, Saskatchewan was a much different place.

Teachers: Saskatchewan Wartime Contributions Hands-On Discovery Box program

Students will learn about Saskatchewan's participation in the world wars, our contributions, and about life on the home front.

Find out more about this school program -->

Remembering Their Sacrifice: Did You Know?

Regina’s Albert Memorial Bridge was built as a memorial to those who died during the First World War? It was dedicated on November 10, 1930.

In Saskatoon two IODE members were the inspiration behind the Next-of-Kin Memorial Avenue in Woodlawn Cemetery. A tree was planted for each Saskatoon casualty and a small plaque was inscribed with the soldier’s name.

Right: Next-of-Kin Memorial Ave, Saskatoon
R. Bitner photo

Dozens of small communities in Saskatchewan honoured local residents who died during the conflict by erecting cenotaphs in their memory.

Above Left: Arcola War memorial, 2011
Above Right: Vonda War memorial, 2013
Below: Watrous War memorial, 2009
R. Bitner photos

More recently, in 1995 a memorial honouring the more than 5,000 people killed during the First World War and other wars was erected on the grounds of the Legislative Building in Regina’s Wascana Park

A Virtual War Memorial commemorates those who died in the First World War and subsequent wars by Saskatchewanians.

 WWI Artifacts from the
WDM Collection

Ernest Elmer Auckland’s Uniform

The Military Service Act introduced in 1917 required men between the ages of 20 and 45 to enlist if called up. One such conscript was Ernest Elmer Auckland. In January 1918 he reported to 1st Depot Battalion Saskatchewan in Regina. Little is known of Auckland's military service. Whether he saw active duty on the battlefield is uncertain as few, if any, Canadian conscripts did.

We do know that Auckland survived and returned to farm near Speers.

Find out more about Auckland -->

William Hurst Bothwell’s uniform

Trained with the local militia in Moose Jaw, Bothwell signed on with the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in September 1914. Two weeks later he was on his way to England with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Scarcely a month after Bothwell's battalion landed in France in March 1915, he was wounded. After his recovery he re-enlisted, this time with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Promoted to Major in 1917, Bothwell saw action in Belgium and France including the decisive September 1918 battle of Bourlon Wood.

Bothwell was discharged in April 1919 and returned to Saskatchewan where he found work with the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Find out more about William Hurst Bothwell -->

William Hurst Bothwell’s Gas Mask

The PH helmet introduced in late 1915 was the fourth protective device issued to British Empire soldiers. Made of two layers of flannel, one impregnated with chemicals to help counteract the deadly phosgene gas, the helmet covered the soldier's head and neck. After recovering from a wound suffered in April 1915, Bothwell joined the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. This helmet was part of his kit.

WDM Collection, WDM-1985-S-79

Find out more about William Hurst Bothwell -->

Rev. Frank Herbert King’s
Communion Set

King, originally from England, looked after five congregations in the Young and Zelma regions of Saskatchewan before enlisting as chaplain with the Australian Imperial Force in 1916. King was with his Australian unit in Jerusalem when the city fell to allied troops. In his words, the communion set was used at the first celebration of Holy Communion... immediately after the taking of the Holy City in... November 1917. Five years later, Reverend King was back in Young. When he left for good in 1923, King entrusted his precious communion set "to his beloved people of Young, Sask., Canada, in token of many happy hours spent there."

WDM Collection, WDM-1973-S-4132

Find out more about King and his communion set -->

Gift Box

gold coloured gift box
WDM Collection, WDM-1973-NB-7540

A Christmas gift in 1914, one of some gift 426,000 boxes given to British, Colonial and Indian troops serving in the First World War. The gifts, usually tobacco, candy, pencils and a Christmas card, were the idea of Princess Mary, daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The box is on exhibit in the Saskatchewan 1905 - 2005 timeline at the North Battleford WDM.

IODE Wall Hanging

The Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire was founded at Montreal in 1900 to help support British troops and Canadian soldiers at war in South Africa.

When war was declared in 1914, Saskatchewan IODE chapters were ready to raise money and to support Canadian soldiers and their families.

In Moose Jaw, Joanna St. Clair took up needle and thread, designing and stitching this impressive silk wall hanging to raise money for IODE causes. For a small fee, she embroidered the name of each donor.

WDM Collection, WDM-1996-MJ-1

Find out more and see close-ups of St. Clair's work -->

Military Exemption Certificate

WDM Collection, WDM-1982-NB-5

Farmers were exempt from military service when conscription was introduced in 1917 during the First World War. The original document is in storage at the WDM Curatorial Centre. Copies are on exhibit in the Saskatchewan 1905 - 2005 timelines at the Moose Jaw, North Battleford and Yorkton WDMs.

Sheet Music

Published by Empire Music Company in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Songs like this inspired patriotism during the First World War. The original is in storage; a copy is on exhibit in Winning the Prairie Gamble, Saskatoon WDM.

See more popular wartime songs -->

WDM Collection,


More WWI from the WDM

Canadian Agriculture through the World Wars Podcast hosted by Real Agriculture featuring WDM CEO Joan Champ

Research Paper: The Impact of the First World War on Saskatchewan's Farm Families by Joan Champ (PDF)

How did the First World War affect fashion in the 1920s?

History of the Poppy

When fuel was in short supply, Saskatchewan inventors wondered if straw gas would be the answer to their transportation challenges.

Research Paper: The Impact of the Spanish Influenza Epidemic on Saskatchewan Farm Families, 1918-1919 by Joan Champ (PDF)

Other Sites of Interest

Victoria Cross: Saskatchewan Recipients - Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

For Valour - Saskatchewan Victoria Cross Recipients - Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation (PDF)

You might also be interested in:

About the WDM Collection

How to donate an artifact