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First World War Collection (C218)

1914-1917. - 15 cm of textual records.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

The First World War, which lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918, was fought between the Allied Powers, a coalition made up of France, Great Britain and Russia (the Triple Entente), and the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary and their allies. It was the first war in the history of humanity fought by countries in all regions of the world. The main theatre of the Great War, as it was also known, was Europe (on the Western Front, France and Belgium; on the Eastern Front, Russia), but secondary theatres opened up in Italy, the Balkans, Asia (the Dardanelles, Palestine, Mesopotamia), Germany's African colonies (Togo, South West Africa) and the Far East as well as almost every ocean around the world.

The conflict started when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914. Germany's declaration of war on Russia on 1 August was the first phase in the spread of the war across the whole of Europe and ultimately the world, upon the entry, on the side of the Triple Entente, of Japan (1914), Italy (1915) and especially of the USA (1917).

Thirty-two nations took part in the war. Of those, 28 fought on the side of the Allies and the Triple Entente. Opposing them were the Central Powers, made up of Germany and Austria-Hungary, joined by Turkey (1914) and Bulgaria (1915).

The immediate cause of the war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia was the assassination on 28 June 1914 at Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina) of Archduke François-Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of the Hapsburgs, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian student linked to pan-Serbian circles. However, the deeper causes of the conflict went back to the end of the 19th century.

Scope and Content:

This collection covers the First World War (1914-1918). It contains a manuscript titled "An open letter to Mr. Henri Bourassa," written by his cousin Talbot Mercer Papineau about Canadian nationalism. Also found in it are the last letter written by Gordon Tupper to his father, Charles Hibbert Tupper, permits and correspondence as well as numerous articles from the following newspapers: The Westmount War Work, The Canadian Courier, The Standard, Knots & Lashings.