World War One

The military history of Canada during World War I began on August 4, 1914, when the United Kingdom entered the First World War (1914–1918) by declaring war on Germany.

A Commemoration of the Yukon’s WWI Fallen Soldiers

This slender volume contains brief biographies and photographs of the men from the Yukon who fought and died for Canada between 1914 and 1918. Seven of the enlisted died in 1919, but are recorded as still being in active service. Many of their names are recorded on cenotaphs or memorial plaques in Dawson City or …

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We will remember them

It’s important to reflect each November 11th and remember those young men and women who gave their lives on behalf of their country.

Honouring and remembering sacrifice

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a great victory for Canada, but it came at a price. In this battle, there were more than 10,500 casualties and about 3,600 killed. To our knowledge, Herbert Lawless was the only known Yukoner to fall in this battle.

For those who answered the call …

“Yukon soldiers are buried in more than 50 cemeteries on four continents.” –Michael Gates Lest we forget … This is why Michael Gates (Yukon historian and Yukon News columnist) and D. Blair Neatby (military historian, Yellowknife) have co-authored the memorial book, Yukon Fallen of World War I, a collection of more than 100 biographies that …

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The Northern Review remembers World War I

Volume 44 of The Northern Review contains the complete list of the papers from The North and the First World War Conference that was held in Whitehorse, and in Dawson City, May 9-12 2016.

Filling the Gaps in Our History

“Everyone talks about the Goldrush. I’m interested in the gaps in history. The points in between,” says Yukon writer Michael Gates, author of From the Klondike to Berlin. Published last month, this book is, perhaps surprisingly, the first to offer an in depth account of the Yukon’s contribution to World War I. Gates says that …

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Remembering Japanese Canadian Soldiers of WWI

Remembrance Day has taken more meaning for me lately.  Recently Yukon Archives shared some information about some Japanese from Dawson City who served in the First World War. This was a complete surprise to me. I wondered, Why would they serve? The Dawson Daily News of June 21, 1918 reported that there were five Japanese …

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Yukon History Image: Boyles Yukon Gun Detachment

The Yukon and the First World War

In the view of Dr. Ken Coates, the North’s response to the challenge presented by World War I was to do the opposite of what people Outside might have expected. “They historically were seen as being very separate from the whole country,” he says, “kind of unique places, off in the wilderness, having problems of …

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Mrs. Black Goes to War

During the Great War of 1914-1918, nearly a thousand Yukoners enlisted for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, or fought for Britain, France and other Allied countries. Of these only a small handful were women. One woman who did not formally enlist to serve in the armed forces, but played an extremely important role in …

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Surviving a Grizzly Attack and the Great War

Jim Christie was born in Scotland in 1867. He emigrated to Manitoba and then came to the Klondike in 1898. The short, wiry Scotsman took to living in the north like a duck to water. He prospected in the summers and trapped in the winters, learning everything about the isolated regions of the northland. He …

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Joe Boyle: The Klondike King Who Became a War Hero

Joe Boyle came to the Klondike with the first wave of gold-seekers in the early summer of 1897, but soon left with a dream of becoming rich. He was successful in obtaining a large mining concession in the Klondike Valley from the federal government in 1909, and within a decade had gained control of one …

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Flat Feet and Brave Hearts: The Yukon at War

Canada was part of the British Empire, so when war was declared by Great Britain on August 4, 1914, Canada, too, joined the the conflict. There was a tremendous upswing of patriotic fervour. The vast American influx during of the Klondike gold rush had been largely replaced by a more settled British population, eager to …

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Wonder Dog

In 1918, a young American soldier emerged from the ruins of a military kennel with a frantic, famished German Shepherd and her five newborn pups. Their survival on the battlefield in France was almost miraculous; Lee Duncan, their saviour, kept two of the puppies and named them after dolls worn as lucky talismans – Nanette …

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Yukon Hidden History: Extraordinary Endurance

Lucile Hunter was an intrepid Yukon pioneer. Just 35 years after slavery was abolished in 1863 in the United States, she and her husband, Charles, joined the stampede to the Klondike from the US in 1897. As black Americans, they hoped to trade the cruelties of their homeland for a frontier that promised equality and …

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Examining the Quest to Understand the Aurora Borealis

The most recent exhibition at Dawson’s ODD Gallery is nothing if not seasonal for its subject is the northern lights, also called aurora borealis, the light display named jointly after the Roman god of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas. Nicole Liao’s installation is called Against the Day, which …

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Looking Back: The most interesting man in the world

Every now and then, a figure emerges out of the shadows of history with so much success and so many adventures that you swear they must be made up. Without the historical record and extensive documentation, we might swear it is impossible for these people to exist. (After all, there’s only so much a person …

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