Canada has a military history
going back to well before the War of 1812 (fought between Great
Britain and Canada, and the United States). Its roots are found
at the beginning of European supremacy in North America with the
arrival of the French. Although the letters reproduced here deal
with Canadians in the First World War, settlement of the country
throughout the Nineteenth Century progressed under the protection
of the Imperial Army and a large militia drawn from the civilian
population. An example of a military life, which began in the War
of 1812, continued in the West Indies, dealt with life on half-pay
in Paris, in London at the Horse Guards and concluded with the
obscure Carlist War of 1835-7 will be found in The Canadian Don
Quixote – the life and works of Major John Richardson by
David Beasley at www.kwic.com/davus.
Mavor collection is two bound volumes of correspondence, reports
and military orders collected and collated by Dr. James Mavor,
former Professor of political economy of Toronto University.
The correspondence covers a narrow period of the First World
War, abbreviated WWI, from August 1914 to September 1915 and
covers a wide range of operations in the conflict. This range
includes pre-war Germany, France, England, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia.
Mavor's correspondence collected from a wide circle of family,
friends, former students and colleagues who were involved in
the fighting or directly affected by it as in the case of Mrs.
Alfred E. Mavor whose journal, beginning 1 August 1914 and ending
5 August 1914, provides an interesting experience of a non-combatant
hoping to reach safety before the fighting began.
Mavor gathered the letters, reports, diary and journal entries
either sent directly to him or donated by people who knew him.
The collection includes some military documents that included
minor military intelligence reports and one set of orders issued
by a German Divisional Headquarters to corp commanders. Dr. Mavor
summarized collection and added photographs of the contributors
when he could. This, in short, is a brief description of the
set of the collected works that has come to be known as the 'Mavor
bequeathed the collection to his son, Brigadier Wilfred Mavor
in 1921. Some of Mavor Jnr's letters are to be found in the collection.
He, in turn, willed the set to his daughter Mrs. Sasha Armour.
The two volumes consist of copies of the original letters, the
originals having been donated to the University of Toronto Library.
According to the original deed, copyright ownership of the collection
remains with the Mavor-Armour family. The two volumes are presently
in the possession of Mr. Douglas M. Armour of Toronto, who has
sanctioned use of the material on this site.
correspondence, however, specifically stipulates that it is not
to be used for publication. For example, the correspondence of
Captain (later Major) Ramsay of the Cameron Highlanders, wounded
in May 1915, includes the note 'Copied in accordance with instructions
from him: not to be used for publication'. Major Ramsay was an
instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.
thread that binds the collection together, the letters at least,
is that the correspondents were either members of the Mavor family
help, cooperation and assistance of Mr. Douglas M. Armour, grandson
of Brigadier Wilfred Mavor and great-grandson of Professor James
Mavor, is gratefully acknowledged. The letters, documents and
reports listed here are generally presented in dated order, the
link being the persons or authorities here listed.
Alfred E. Mavor Mrs. Mavor takes flight
Williams - Letters to his mother
McCarthy RN - Letters to friends and relatives
of the Royal Fusiliers BEF- on the retreat from Mons
Paul Rochat, French Infantry - Extracts from his journal
of the BEF -Extracts of letters on the retreat from Mons
Earl of Kingston - Letter to an acquaintance
NCO of the French Army - Letter written from his bed
Lloyd C of the Black Watch - Letter to his father
F.W. Godsal, POW - Extract of letter printed in the Toronto
Otto M. Lund, Royal Horse Artillery - Letters to his mother
Arthur L. Bishop, Manchester Regt. - Letters to his family
privates of the BEF - Letters to Bank Manager of CIBC,
Wanklyn - Letter to Prof. Mavor regarding son serving in
lady in London - Letter to Pte Billy Goode on the Western
J.S. Pringle, British Army - Letter to a female family
Gordon Ramsay, Cameron Highlanders -Letters to his father
officer of The Royal Dragoons - Letter to an unknown recipient
W. Mavor, 49th Highlanders - Letters to Prof. Mavor
Edward Robertson, Surgeon - Letters to family in Toronto
H.V. Routh, Royal Field Artillery - Letter to a friend
Trumbull Warren, 48th Highlanders - Letters to his family
and perceptions - Mavor family and Sperintendent of Hospital
A.K. Haywood, Surgeon - Letter to colleague in Toronto
H.S. Watts, 21st Infantry Brigade - Address to troops
Agar Adamson, PPCLI - Letters to his wife
Brigade and Regimental Orders - Tables of work to field
(?) P. Schoeler, French Army - Letter to acquaintance in
Arthur Cecil Morrison-Bell MP, POW - Letters to his wife
of Sub-Lieutenant Douglas Alexander Hardy Nelles, RNAS