Tried, Tested, and Transformed

The Great War From The Perspective of Canadian Soldiers

Canadian Soldiers

The First World War served as a huge stepping stone for Canadians. In particular, Canadian soldiers experienced the war hands on. Through the treacherous life in the trenches and surviving or not surviving the deadly pandemic Spanish flu, it drastically changed and grew the lives of our brave troops.
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Tried 1914-1918

Canada was forced to go to war. Being part of the British empire meant that if Britain was at war, Canada was at war. Through powerful but manipulative propaganda, joining the army quickly became a status symbol. You were not a man until you fought in the war. However, propaganda gave us promising soldiers a false reality of the war. Propaganda posters gave the impression that war was an easy game. Soon after joining the war, a decision I thought was for the better, turned out to be for the worse. I am Felix Cullen. I fought hard and survived the Great War.

"We were walking on dead soldiers... I saw poor fellows trying to bandage their wounds.. bombs, heavy shells were falling all over them... it is the worst sight that a man ever wants to see."

Canadian soldier, Frank Maheux

"Trench life" was the most dangerous and stressful part of the war for me, as it was for many of my fellow troops. Being the only force to stand ground in the front lines, the Canadian army gained a strong reputation for being brave fighters. In the battle of Ypres, Canadian soldiers stood ground against poison gas. This bravery gave Canada recognition from the rest of the world. However, 1 in 5 Canadians were killed by the poison gas. I fought in various battles on the European front, including the Somme and the Ypres and the most deadly battles. I was one of the lucky ones who made it out alive.

Life in a Trench

Tested 1919-1923

After the Great War ended, Canada was an unfamiliar place for most of us returning soldiers. The millions of casualties literally left some soldiers in pieces. The deadly effects of living in the trenches and the constant sound of gun shots and bombs were taking a toll on returning men.
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Despite these challenges, Canadian soldiers fought and to overcome them and showed tremendous skill and teamwork in battle. Back to normal life was not an easy transition. Our jobs were not waiting for us when we came back. Women were already trained and made up much of the workforce. We were inexperienced after 4 years at war. The country was billions of dollars in debt. I was out of a job with no where to go.

Transformed 1924-1929

A New Nation

Years had passed and The Great War was a distant memory. The few Canadian soldiers who survived had been through a whirlwind of events. At this point in time, the government was working toward paying off the war debt, and soldiers were finally being compensated for the sacrifices we made to served our nation. Our economy is slowly returning to a balanced state.

Canadians won the war together. Though we lost many, we have united as a country to overcome the many hardships and challenges at hand. All these have shaped Canada to what it is today. May we remember all those who died. I, Felix Cullen, am proud to have served my country!

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