Trench Journals at LAC: The Canadian Machine Gunner


The Canadian Machine Gunner, Vol. 1 No. 8, March 1918. Source: Library and Archives Canada

I’ve spent a lot of time recently immersed in trench journals, one of my favourite resources when researching soldiers from the First World War. Library and Archives Canada has a stunning collection, parts of which I will be featuring in the coming weeks.

Their collection includes all 18 issues of The Canadian Machine Gunner which was published between January 1917 and January 1919. The issues ranged in size from 34 to 48 pages and featured striking colour covers, some of which I’ve featured in the gallery below. Each issue included a large number of b&w photographs, poetry, cartoons, “Company Notes”, sporting results, feature articles and a large number of period advertisements. The gallery below includes previews of the types of articles you can expect to find.

Each issue is available to download at Library and Archives Canada through this link to their description page. Click on the “File Consists of 18 lower level description(s)” link on the description page to see the complete list of issues. Library and Archives Canada should be commended for providing these trench journals in easy to read PDF format rather than through custom viewers often used by other institutions. If you have a soldier who served in the “C Emma Gees” then you must check out this fantastic resource.

Photo Gallery (click to view close-ups):

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4 replies

      • Totally agree with you in terms of the value of the pdfs; I find it incredibly frustrating when other institutions use what you describe as a custom viewer, which all but eliminates your ability to use them efficiently – or at all if you’re on a long flight and want to work off line.

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