Manitoba

Remembering the First World War – Archives Blog

Set text to smallest size Set text to normal size Set text to larger size Set text to largest size

At Home and Away: Remembering the First World War through records at the Archives of Manitoba

Visit this blog for regular posts about records at the Archives of Manitoba that date from the time of the First World War. Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see the records in person.

From April 2016 to April 2017, this blog will feature the First World War letters of one Manitoba soldier, George Battershill, of East Kildonan. Most of the letters were written to his mother or to his father. The blog will follow the letters that George wrote in the same week, one hundred years ago.

May 2016 Posts:

16 May 2016

One Manitoba Soldier: Letters to Mother and to Dad

This week’s letters home from George Battershill include two to his mother and one to his dad. He writes to his dad that “this is about the second letter I’ve written to you. I write to Mother every day...” It is interesting that George writes separately to each of his parents. The tone of the letters seems different and he writes more of the reality of war and battle to his father while letters to his mother seem more news-y and reassuring. In the second letter for this week, George wrote to his mother that “We got 16 sausages for 23 men for this morning’s breakfast so we went on strike + we sure had some dinner.”

These letters were all written at the training camp at Shorncliffe, England. The first appears to have been misdated – George wrote May 16, 1915 but he was not overseas in 1915 and it clearly belongs with the May 1916 letters.

letter with 2 pages

enlarge (2 images)

Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
May 16, 1916
[misdated as 1915]
#496-497, P7471/1.

letter with 2 pages

enlarge (2 images)

Archives of Manitoba, Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
May 20, 1916,
#548-549, P7471/2.

Search Tip: Search the Battershill family fonds in Keystone for more information. All of the George Battershill letters have been digitized and can be read from the database (if you can’t wait for the weekly installments!).

Feedback (0)

E-mail us at archiveswebmaster@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post. Your comments may be included on this page.

back to top

12 May 2016

The Panoramic Record: Wide-Angle Photographs from the time of the First World War

Today, in honour of Manitoba Day, the Archives of Manitoba is launching its third First World War display in the entrance area of the Archives of Manitoba. This display features panoramic photographs from the time of the First World War.

hallway with paroramic photo on the wall

enlarge

Display of panoramic photographs in the Archives of Manitoba foyer.

Panoramic photography was a popular format in the early twentieth-century. Photographers used panoramic cameras to capture wide vistas and large groups of people. Cameras were manufactured specifically for panoramic photography beginning in the late nineteenth century. These cameras were either swing-lens cameras, where the lens rotated while the film remained stationary, or 360-degree rotation cameras, where both the camera and the film rotated.

This display includes nine panoramic photographs from the holdings of the Archives of Manitoba. These were all taken just before and during the First World War. They depict battalions, parades and conventions. Several also give a unique perspective of Winnipeg and its architecture at the time. The reproductions are 150% the size of the original photographs. The original photographs range in size from 65 cm x 20 cm (25½” x 8”) to 176 cm x 20 cm (70” x 9½”). The three largest panoramas were printed and then cut in half to accommodate matting.

Visit the Archives of Manitoba to see this display or other records related to the First World War. The original photographs, as well as other panoramic photographs, can be viewed in the Archives Research Room. We are located at 200 Vaughan Street in Winnipeg, and we are open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Search Tip: Search keywords “panorama” or “panoramic” in Keystone for more information on panoramic photographs at the Archives of Manitoba.

Feedback (0)

E-mail us at archiveswebmaster@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post. Your comments may be included on this page.

back to top

9 May 2016

One Manitoba Soldier: At Shorncliffe

Both of this week’s letters were written by George Battershill to his mother in East Kildonan. George begins, as he often does, by telling his mother that he is “well and having a good time.” At the end of the first letter, he asks his mother to “write often as I am pretty lonely.”

The letters and envelopes are the stationery of the 61st Overseas Battalion, which was George’s original battalion (later he became a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry). These letters are shown with their envelopes. Not all envelopes were saved but many were kept with the letters. The envelopes are interesting pieces of evidence in themselves. They show the stamps of the time, as well as the date and place where the letter was postmarked.

letter with 2 pages and envelope

enlarge (4 images)

Archives of Manitoba,
Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
May 9, 1916,
#535-537A, P7471/2.

Search Tip: Search the Battershill family fonds in Keystone for more information. All of the George Battershill letters have been digitized and can be read from the database (if you can’t wait for the weekly installments!).

Feedback (0)

E-mail us at archiveswebmaster@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post. Your comments may be included on this page.

back to top

2 May 2016

One Manitoba Soldier: Back from London and on to Shorncliffe

This week’s two letters see George having returned from his leave in London and then moving to the training camp at Shorncliffe. In the first letter, George writes about his experience in London:

“Well I have got back to Camp but I am broke flatter than a plate. I sure had some time in London and just got one day to visit the London Tower and Mlle Tussauds wax works but was in Hyde Park and St. James’s Park and the Marble Arch and the London Bridge. A bunch of us was along the embankment the other night and it sure is some tough dump.”

An important thing to note in George’s letters is that he frequently seems to have gotten the dates wrong. The first letter here is dated April 1 but is more likely May 1 or 2 as he is writing about his visit to London. On April 1, he was just departing Halifax. These were organized by date at the Archives some years ago and it is only upon close inspection of the content that we can see that some of the dates were written incorrectly.

letter with 4 pages

enlarge (4 images)

Archives of Manitoba,
Battershill family fonds,
Letter from George Battershill,
dated April 1 1916,
#508-511, P7471/2.

Search Tip: Search the Battershill family fonds in Keystone for more information. All of the George Battershill letters have been digitized and can be read from the database (if you can’t wait for the weekly installments!).

Feedback (0)

E-mail us at archiveswebmaster@gov.mb.ca with a comment about this blog post. Your comments may be included on this page.

back to top

Share This