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ARCHIVED - Oral Histories of the First World War:
Veterans 1914-1918

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Graphical element: Rendering first aid to a wounded Canadian soldier

Perspectives on War

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Essay on Perspectives on War

"Well the way in which you could scrounge…, would be to first of all to scrounge some kind of transportation…." -- H.S. Cooper, 3rd Battalion

"Why is it that returned men always talk on the funny side of life?"
-- Vick Lewis, 4th Battalion

"You can't define death all the time…."
-- Leo Lasner, 22nd Battalion

Recollections of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Veterans provide a deeper, broader, and more personal account of life during the years of the First World War, 1914-1918. These memories and anecdotes offer another way of understanding what war really is. The everyday events and tasks that these veterans carried-out create a back drop of reality for military life and the attitudes towards duty and warfare.

There are variety of emotions experienced during the calm and wild times of war, some of which are loss and sacrifice, and a desire to just live and return home. These first-hand accounts of CEF Veterans temper the romanticized view of soldiering and warfare and add a level of complexity and humanity that official histories seldom touch upon.