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Banner: From Colony to Country: A Reader's Guide to Canadian Military History

Canadian Military History: An Overview
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Second World War

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Second World War
Personal Stories

Since about 1980, when they began to reach retirement age, veterans have increasingly written about their experiences in the form of books, articles and memoirs on websites. While only some of these narratives show all the benefits of a half-century of hindsight, each provides some nugget that increases our understanding of the wide variety of personal experiences of the Second World War. Many shed the first light on subjects that historians have not yet begun to address. Only a sample of these wartime experiences by combatant officers, soldiers, airmen, seamen and civilians are listed here.


The authors have included the English edition of works if they are available in both French and English. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are known to be available in French. Most titles included in this guide are held by Library and Archives Canada, and many are available for interlibrary loan, both within Canada and abroad.

General Group Biographies

Barris, Ted ; Barris, Alex. -- Days of victory : Canadians remember : 1939-1945. -- Toronto : Macmillan Canada, 1995. -- 304 p.

Hawkins, Ronald F. -- We will remember them. -- Woodstock, N.B. : R.F. Hawkins, 1995. -- 237 p.

  • Memoirs of New Brunswick veterans

Hibbert, Joyce. -- Fragments of war : stories from survivors of World War II. -- Toronto : Dundurn Press, 1985. -- 267 p.

Horrocks, William. -- In their own words. -- Ottawa : Rideau Veterans Home Residents Council, 1993. -- 247 p.

  • Wartime reminiscences of the men and women residents of the Rideau Veterans Home

McNeil, Bill. -- Voices of a war remembered : an oral history of Canadians in World War Two. -- Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 1991. -- 376 p.

Wells, Herb. -- Comrades in arms. -- St. John's, Nfld. : Printed by Robinson-Blackmore Print. & Pub., 1986-88. -- 2 vol.

  • Stories of Newfoundlanders in action

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