Military Ancestors: The weekly newspaper "Canada"

I came across a rather interesting, and rare, resource this week. During the first World War, a newspaper was published in London England called \”Canada: An Illustrated Weekly Journal for all Interested in the Dominion\”. Part weekly newspaper, part gazette, this fascinating resource is so rare that I had a hard time even finding out who published it and when. One rare book seller\’s website has 2 issues of it from 1917. From the description they are not in the best condition (loose pages and stains), and are being sold for $150 Canadian dollars as a set.

I cannot find a complete history of the publication. But what I\’ve been able to piece together from several different sources was that it started sometime before WWI, and published in London England, and/or possibly in Toronto. They had an office in each location, and a later edition listed an office in Montreal. Sometime after WWI, its name seems to have become \”Canada\’s Weekly\”. The most recent historical edition I could find was in 1942. Pre WWI issues had the set up as a general interest magazine. There were articles on just about anything under the sun. I found stories on commerce, agriculture, politics, tourism, fishing, and mining just to name a few. The articles were evenly balanced, highlighting areas across the country. After the start of WW1, the editions focus mainly on war news.

What makes this such a great resource is that among the war news, you\’ll find:

  • Birth announcements
  • Marriage announcements
  • Death announcements and Obituaries
Just look at some of the entries I found:
Births June 1907

Marriages August 1916

Deaths April 1922

Even better than this, the wartime issues lists soldiers who received war honours, those wounded, those presumed missing, and those killed. Not just the officers either. You\’ll find lowly privates, corporals and sergeants too. The best part about the war honours entries is that they tell you the reason why these soldiers received their medal. Here\’s a few examples:

July 1916

August 1916

So where do you get your hands on them? Like I mentioned above, these are hard to find, especially online. Here\’s a few places I found issues:

Internet Archive
They\’re there, but extremely hard to find among the tens of thousands of items in their database. They have varying years. Here\’s the links I was able to find:

Find My Past
If you\’re a subscriber to Find My Past, among their collection are the issues for April – August 1916

Hard Copies
Here\’s a list of places that have hard copies of issues:

  • Fredericton Region Museum
  • Harvard College Library
  • Vancouver City Archives 
  • Library of Congress in Washington
  • Yale University Library
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find other locations, though I am sure they\’re out there. If anyone has come across these either online or off line, feel free to leave a comment letting us know where.

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