Fairfield in the First World War is my attempt to shine a light on the contribution made by the residents of my neighbourhood 100 years ago. It’s a micro history that focuses a lot of attention on a one mile strip of land two blocks wide situated thousands of miles from the front lines of France and Flanders. It’s also my patch, the one I’ve spent the better part of 20 years living in and exploring on foot. Note: the area I’ve focused on encompasses about one quarter Fairfield and not the entire neighbourhood.
Pulling together the data upon which these maps are based was time consuming but very rewarding, and to be honest I was startled by the numbers. To begin I’m publishing three Google Maps that illustrate, in no uncertain terms, the considerable contribution and sacrifice made by local families a century ago.
Among the 114 individuals identified there were some amazing discoveries: the Levirs family which included a father and three sons – the two youngest of whom enlisted when they were 14 and 15 years old; that three soldiers died at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917; that no fewer than five Nursing Sisters joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps; the McCannel brothers Donald and Neil, both gunners in the CFA who died six weeks apart and Neil only five days before the signing of the Armistice; and that of the 114 who served only three were conscripted.
I will add to Fairfield in the First World War over the coming months and look forward to researching and sharing the stories of Fairfield’s soldiers and nurses. In the meantime please check out my Fairfield in the First World War – Background Info page for more information on Fairfield as well as the sources and techniques used to compile this data.