Canadians in Wartime Britain

During the two World Wars, nearly a million Canadians were stationed in military camps across Britain, waiting to be sent to the front lines.  What was it like for them, and for the British people they lived among?


Jonathan Vance will be presenting an illustrated talk on his new best-selling book, Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain, and Two World Wars, in a program sponsored by the St. Thomas Public Library, on Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m.  This event will take place at the Library’s temporary location at the Elgin Mall, in the Library Meeting Place.  Admission is free.


Vance has woven together a wide variety of research materials, including personal letters and previously unseen photographs to reconstruct a picture of life on the British home front and across battle lines in these momentous times in Canadian history.  He shows that not only did Britain have an impact on the visiting Canadians, but also that Canadians in some ways left their mark on Britain.  Vance’s presentation is sure to be of interest to local area veterans, as well as to those who resided in Britain during the war years and subsequently immigrated to Canada, perhaps as war brides.


Vance is a professor at the University of Western Ontario, specializing in Canadian military and cultural history.  From 2000 to 2010, he held the Canadian Research chair in Conflict and Culture, and in 2008 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.  Among his many publications are Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation and the award-winning A History of Canadian Culture.   There will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of Maple Leaf Empire at the conclusion of the program.


Every year, Canadians pause to remember their fellow citizens who have served and continue to serve in time of war, particularly those who have given their lives.  We invite everyone to come to the Library Meeting Place on November 8 to learn more about how Canadians experienced life in wartime Britain as revealed in Jonathan Vance’s excellent Maple Leaf Empire.

Maple Leaf Empire by Jonathan Vance


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