By Jonathan Franklin Willia Vance
Fifteen thousand Canadians have been captured during Canada’s twientieth-century wars. They experienced the bewilderment that observed the instant of catch, the humiliation of being thoroughly within the captor’s energy, and the feel of stagnating in a backwater whereas the remainder of the area moved forward. Jonathan Vance presents the 1st complete account of ways the Canadian executive and non-governmental agencies have handled the issues of prisoners of conflict, reading Canada’s function within the formation of elements of overseas law, the development and actions of nationwide and native philanthropic companies, and the efforts of ex-prisoners to safe reimbursement for the long term results of captivity.
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Additional resources for Objects of concern: Canadian prisoners of war through the twentieth century
And the Canadian public was largely uninterested in the entire subject, save when tales of atrocities perpetrated against prisoners caught their imagination and drove them to demand retribution. Canada was surely not alone in possessing this combination of thought patterns in the years before 1914, but this fact did not make its government and people any more prepared for the First World War. 24 TWO 'EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS' IF THE CANADIANS who flocked to answer Britain's call in August 1914 had any ideas at all about captivity, they were most likely unrealistic.
For Canada, the task of collating these lists fell to the Information Department, Casualties and Prisoners, established by the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) at 14 Cockspur Street, London, on n February 1915. Two very capable women controlled most of the department's operations. The directorship was held by Lady Julia Drummond, a prominent figure in Canadian philanthropic organizations such as the Victorian Order of Nurses and the National Council of Women. In 1908, as president of the Women's Canadian Club of Montreal, she had been the first woman to speak at a public banquet in the city.
57 Eventually, the scheme was picked up by many other groups, such as the Canadian Prisoners' Aid of Fort William, Ontario, the War Aid Department of the St. John Ambulance of Manitoba, and the Beaches Branch of the Toronto Women's Patriotic League. The Nova Scotia Red Cross was particularly active, arranging for the adoption of 270 prisoners in forty-eight camps. It accepted responsibility for two-thirds of the monthly cost of maintaining a POW (with the national Red Cross covering the balance), and encouraged individuals or organizations to make a monthly pledge towards that sum.