Shortlisted, Hamilton Literary Award (Non-Fiction)
Ypres, the Somme, Vimy, Passchendaele, Amiens — to many, these are the names of battles far away and long ago. To thousands of soldiers, now gone, the battles were hard-fought and costly campaigns fraught with danger, pain, and tears. Today, these combat zones are trod by tourists in search of a connection with the past.
Canadians at War follows the route of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from its first encounter with German forces at Neuve Chappelle to the site of the 1915 gas attack at St. Julien, from the Somme to Vimy and Passchendaele. In this informative guide, Susan Evans Shaw provides an historical overview of each battlefield as well as maps, photographs, and information on the memorials and cemeteries. The first book of its kind, Canadians at War fills a gap in heritage travel literature that has existed since the Armistice.
Evans Shaw made her first visit to the battlefields of World War I in 2004, where she realized that there was a dearth of material for Canadians. Collaborating with photographer Jean Crankshaw, she created this book as a tribute to her grandfather, who was killed in action in 1918.
A writer and reviewer, Susan Evans Shaw is the author of Heritage Treasures, a guide to historic homes of Hamilton and region, and My Darling Girl: Wartime Letters of James Lloyd Evans 1914-1918.
In 2005, photographer Jean Crankshaw first walked in her grandfather's footsteps in the fields of France. Her images of Canadian World War I battlefields have been exhibited in Hamilton and Dundas, Ontario.