New First World War military newspaper titles

New First World War military newspaper titles

Early Canadiana Online continues to expand its database of First World War military journalism, with the addition of six primary-source titles scanned from original copies in luscious colour.

Background

In the First World War, a wide range of military journals took root in units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Notorious for their wit and black humour, these journals published a selection of humurous, poignant, and insightful submissions from the front lines, including letters, poems, editorial cartoons, awards, social events, and a wider commentary on military and civilian life.

Army journalism helped sustain morale and develop social bonds in the CEF by providing outlets for soldiers to socialize, share accomplishments, and vent frustrations with military life. The papers served many practical functions: announcing football matches and concerts, poking fun at civilians, and providing a forum for officers addressing other ranks. Poetry is a common feature, with verse ranging from playful or self-deprecating to the type of patriotic rhetoric found in government propaganda.

While writers in the trenches enjoyed some freedom relative to the heavily-censored wire stories consumed at home, military publications were called on to maintain martial resolve and enthusiasm, having little appetite for outright pessimism. Beneath the soldierly gripes lurks a buoyant and optimistic tone, reinforcing the belief in a just war and sustaining a sense of achievement and pride in Canada’s role in the conflict.

New titles

• The Vics Patrol (Victoria Rifles of Canada, 2 issues, 1916)

• Tchun! (Canadian Corps Training School, 1917)

• Canadian Official Record (Directorate of Public Information, 27 issues, 1918-19)

• Bulletin officiel canadien (Directeur de l'information, 27 issues, 1918-19)

• The O.Pip (58th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, 5 issues, 1917, 1918, 1919)

• Hamilton Mills Weekly (Dominion Orthopedic Hospital, 5 issues, 1920)