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10 Famous Canadians that you didn’t know served in the First World War

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posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 01:49 PM
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More than 600,000 Canadians served in the First World War. Many of their names are forgotten to time, but some of this country’s soldiers later became famous for other feats. Here are 10 well-known Canadians who heeded the call to duty in the Great War:

Lester B. Pearson
Canada’s 14th prime minister, volunteered as a medical orderly when the First World War began in 1914. He went overseas in 1915 and served as a stretcher bearer with the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He began as a private, but rose to become a lieutenant. He served in Egypt and Greece and even spent some time with the Serbian Army. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Two flying accidents left him injured and he was later hit by a bus in 1918 during a blackout and he was sent back to Canada.

Frederick Banting
The man who perfected the use of insulin to treat diabetes in humans tried several times to join the army when war broke out in 1914, but was rejected because he had poor eyesight. He was finally accepted in 1915, did his basic training then returned to medical school. When he graduated in 1916, there was a push to get more doctors into the service so he reported to duty the day after graduation. He won the Military Cross for heroism in 1918 at the Battle of Cambrai where he tended wounded men for 16 hours while was he himself was wounded.

Gregory Clark
One of Canada’s most famous journalists survived three years of trench warfare from 1916 to 1918 as a major with the Canadian Mounted Rifles. He won the the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry at Vimy Ridge. He wrote a notable short story about his war experience entitled “None Else of Name.”

A.Y. Jackson
An artist and member of Canada’s famed Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson joined the Canadian Army’s 60th battalion in 1915. He was wounded at the Battle of Sanctuary Wood in 1916. While in the hospital, Lord Beaverbrook helped him get transferred to the Canadian War Records branch as an artist. During this time he painted several important works depicting events connected to the war. He became an official war artists with the Canadian War Memorials between 1917 to 1919.

Conn Smythe
The man who built Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and was one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ early and long-time owners, served in the artillery during the First World War. Shortly after winning the Ontario Hockey Association championship in 1915, Smythe joined up with eight other teammates. He went overseas in 1916 where his unit served on the Ypres salient. Smythe won the Military Cross for heroism in 1917 when his battery was attacked by Germans. He later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he served as an airborne observer. His plane was shot down and he remained a prisoner-of-war until the Armistice

10 famous Canadians that you didn't know served in the First World War

Be sure to check out the link to see the other famous Canadians that I didn't list.

I have a deep respect for anyone who fought during World War 1. I can't imagine the hell of the trenches and other horrible experiences that happened during World War 1. My Grandpa was born in 1912 and served during World War 2, things weren't as ugly as they were during World War 1 but it still was an insane experience.




posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 01:56 PM
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All very brave and what and I tip my hat to them for fighting the bosh but I have not heard of any of them
.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 02:01 PM
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I remember seeing a monument to dead Canadians who fought in World War I. The monument was on an Indian reservation, the dead soldiers were all "Native Canadians", and this was a small village where the kids weren't even taught how to find Germany on a map. Rah Rah Rah.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:20 PM
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originally posted by: beforemorning
I remember seeing a monument to dead Canadians who fought in World War I. The monument was on an Indian reservation, the dead soldiers were all "Native Canadians", and this was a small village where the kids weren't even taught how to find Germany on a map. Rah Rah Rah.


At the outbreak of the First World War, a considerable number of Natives lived in remote communities and spoke neither English nor French. For many, joining a Canadian battalion marked their first exposure to the dress, terminology and unique customs of British military tradition.

A lot of Native Canadians served during World War 1. Canada's first inhabitants responded quickly and in impressive numbers. During the First World War, at least 4,000 Native Canadians volunteered to fight in the war. Native Canadians volunteered for the Second World War with more than 3,000 people and it is estimated that several hundred volunteered for the Korean War too.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

Don't feel bad, I only know A.Y. Jackson & Frederick Banting out of the 10 listed.



posted on Dec, 3 2014 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: Sabiduria

They all sound like brave people who did a lot with their lives. Sorry i haven't heard of any of them. I count that mainly due to growing up in America and the Canadian people being too showing or having too much flair internationally. No disrespect meant. Good on Canada.



posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Royal76
No offence taken. If this were the other way around, I'm not sure how many famous U.S people who taught during World War 1 that I would know.

I'm also not offended because I only know 3 (I know I said two earlier but my fiance pointed out the radio guy & said how he used to be referenced in a commercial about Canadian History. I can't recall the name of the series of commercials but one of the more popular ones they did is the Halifax Explosion.

I may be half U.S & had to learn the States in school but if I was given a map & told to name them all, I would only be able to name some. (Just like how many U.S people have a hard time doing the same with a map of Canada)




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