Montreal at War 1914 – 1918 is the story of the ways in which the citizens of Canada’s largest city responded to the challenges of the First World War. The narrative begins with an introduction to the city and its communities in the first years of the 20th Century. We then focus more closely on events in the first eight months of 1914 before examining the initial response to the outbreak of war in Europe and the process of raising an army for service overseas. The shock of intense combat and heavy casualties in the Ypres Salient and the reaction to the sinking of the Lusitania form a coherent section followed by detailed study of the mobilization of volunteers in 1915 and 1916. A chapter titled Attrition traces the experience of battalions raised in Montreal from June 1916 to the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The central issue of 1917, conscription, is described in the context of both national and local developments. A chapter on 1918 discusses the experience of both the army overseas and civilians at home. A final chapter offers an overview of the impact of the war on Montreal and presents tentative answers to questions raised by the research.
A revised version of the text that originally appeared on this website has since been published by the University of Toronto Press as Montreal At War 1914-1918. The photographs and documents on this site continue to be available to the public as a compliment to the book.