War history remembered
Sudbury made significant contributions to the Allied cause in both world wars
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause to remember.
In 1918 on that date and time, the signing of the armistice agreement between Germany and the Allies marked the end of a conflict known by many names: The Great War, First World War, the “war to end all wars”.
As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, take a moment to reflect on the history of the past century.
Sudbury made significant contributions to the Allies’ efforts in both world wars, from raising money via Victory Bonds to providing essential resources from the mining industry. Alongside those contributions were the sacrifices made by so many, including those from our own neighbourhoods.
Did you know two corvettes that served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were named HMCS Sudbury and HMCS Copper Cliff?
Did you know Private Frank Belanger of Chelmsford was one of three Canadians who were killed liberating the French town of Pecquencourt in October 1918?
The Greater Sudbury Public Library ’s Local History Collection at the Main Branch (74 Mackenzie St.) holds many resources available to the public to research and explore Sudbury’s contributions to the wars and how those at home were affected. Browse through the issues of the INCO Triangle magazine, read the headlines from The Sudbury Star on Armistice Day on microfilm, or read one of the many books available about the wars from a local perspective.
Untold: Northeastern Ontario’s Military Past Vol. 1 by Dieter Buse and Graeme Mount is a compilation of the region’s military history. The authors use letters, diaries and official records to piece together, for the first time, the military contributions of Northeastern Ontario. This first volume explores the period from 1662 to the end of the First World War.
Write Soon and Often: Life of a Bomber Pilot Through His Letters Home by Andy Thomson is the story of Donald Plaunt, the author’s uncle, as told through the 150 letters he wrote home. Born in North Bay, Donald attended Sudbury High School before enlisting in the RCAF and becoming a Lancaster pilot. In his letters, Donald shares stories of his Air Force training, various events during the war and details some of the characters he met along the way. The book also
explores the sorrow of friends and family when Donald, like so many others, did not return home.
In Memoriam, compiled by Jean Reid Lye, is a register of names from plaques, monuments and newspaper clippings, of the men and women who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom. The book includes soldiers from the two world wars and the various memorials from the Sudbury District.
These titles and many others are available in the Shantz book collection. The collection is named in honour of Mary C. Shantz, Head of the Reference Department at the Sudbury Public Library from
1966 to 1984. An active member of many local historical and genealogical organizations, she started the collection recognizing the need to preserve and promote Sudbury’s local history. From the history of Azilda to the history of the Wolves and all subjects in between, you can find your topic of interest from a local perspective.
If you are a local history author or know of a local history book not currently part of our collection, please let us know. We are always looking for new resources to add to our collection.
The 159th Batallion departing for camp, July 14, 1916. Greater Sudbury Heritage Image: Donated by the Sudbury and District Historical Society. MK0952
Men going to the First World War, Hanmer Railway Station, 1917. Greater Sudbury Heritage Image: Valley East Heritage Collection. VE0359