Digitized Canadian Trench Newspapers: Part 1 of 3


One of three digitized issues of the 4th Battalion’s “Dead Horse Corner Gazette”. Source: Library & Archives Canada

Trench newspapers are an excellent resource for anyone researching an individual or unit from the First World War. I featured the Canadian Machine Gunner in an article last summer and this time around I’m highlighting the amazing number of Canadian trench newspapers that can be found online.

Library and Archives Canada has recently digitized an extraordinary number of Canadian trench newspapers making them available to researchers around the world. Nearly 200 issues are featured in the list below and this is only the first in a three-part series. Part 1 highlights newspapers or journals published by numbered infantry and artillery units while in Part 2 I’ll feature trench newspapers issued by Canadian Medical units.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is my ‘go-to’ resource due to their large collection and the fact that you can download PDFs of each issue. The British Library (BL) is another helpful resource and I’ve provided links to their collection when a digitized issue was unavailable at LAC. There are other resources too, such as Early Canadiana Online and the Canadian War Museum (CWM), although as far as I know they do not include digitized issues that are not already available at LAC. The CWM Military History Research Centre compiled a list of Trench Newspapers of the First World War which can be viewed in person and in some cases photocopied for a fee.

If you find a broken link or if you know of other resources for digitized Canadian trench newspapers please contact me or leave a comment below and I will update my list accordingly. Thanks in advance.

Unit Publication Name Resource
4th Battalion Dead Horse Corner Gazette LAC:(3) No. 1 (Oct 1915) to 3 (June 1916). Note: ignore LAC’s reference to the 94th Battalion
4th Division Message from Mars LAC:(1) Christmas 1918
5th Battalion Garland from the Front LAC:(2) 1915/16 and 1916/17 Christmas Issues
7th Battalion The Listening Post BL:(2) No. 1 & No. 2 (Aug. 15 & 30 1915)
7th Battalion The Listening Post LAC:(31) No. 3 (Sep 1915) to No. 33 (Mar 1919)
11th Brigade Shell Hole Advance LAC:(1) No. 1 (Feb 22, 1917)
14th Battalion The Growler LAC:(1) No. 1 (Jan 1, 1916)
16th Battalion The Brazier BL:(1) No. 3 (May 1916)
16th Battalion The Brazier LAC:(8) No. 1 (Feb 1), No. 2, No. 4 to 9 (Apr 1917)
17th Reserve Battalion The Clansman LAC:(21) No. 1 (Nov 1916) to 5, No. 7 to 16 and No. 31 to 36 (Oct 1917)
17th Reserve Battalion The Clansman LAC:(15) No. 6, No. 17 to 30 not currently digitized
20th Battalion The Twentieth Gazette LAC:(5) No. 3 (Dec 1916), No. 6 to 9 (Mar 1916)
24th Battalion The Vics Patrol LAC:(2) No. 1 and 2 (Jun 3 and Jul 15 1916)
24th Battalion The Vics Patrol BL:(1) No. 3 (Dec 25 1916)
27th Battalion Trench Echo LAC:(4) Xmas ’15, ’17, Easter ’16, Whitsun ’17
47th Battalion The Weekly Chronicle LAC:(?) not currently digitized
49th Battalion Fortyniner LAC:(6) No. 1 to 6 plus three WW2 issues
53rd Battery Action Front! LAC:(1) May 1917
58th Battery The “O.PIP” LAC:(6) No. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and Rhine Number
66th Battery The Straafer LAC:(2) No. 1 (Aug 1917), No. 4 (Xmas 1918)
67th Battalion / 4th  Pioneer Bn The Western Scot LAC:(44) No. 1 (Oct 1915) to 19, No. 21 to 23, No. 26 to 45 (Sep 1916) + No. 2 Trench Edition + Commemorative Number
67th Battalion / 4th Pioneer Bn The Western Scot LAC:(1) No. 20 not currently digitized
72nd Battalion The Kilt LAC:(12) No. 1 (Nov 1915) to 12 (Apr 1916)
103rd Battalion Timber Wolf LAC:(1) No. 1 (Mar 25 1916)
107th Battalion The Morrissey Mention LAC:(3) No. 12, 14 and 17 not currently digitized
113th Battalion The Lethbridge Highlanders LAC:(18) No. 1 (Mar 1916) to No. 18 (Sep 1916)
134th Battalion The Kiltie LAC:(2) No. 1 (Nov 1917) to No. 2 (Dec 1917)
160th Battalion Bruce in Khaki LAC:(6) No. 1 (Oct 1917) to No. 6 (Nov 1917). Note: No. 2 can be found alongside No. 1
207th Battalion The Whizz Bang LAC:(6) No. 2, 3, 4, 18, 20, 21 (Jul to Nov 1916)
236th Battalion Breath O’ the Heather LAC:(7) No. 1 (Apr 1917) to 7 (Apr 1917)
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14 replies

  1. Thank you so much for this Steve! You did a lot of work on this. I wouldn’t have known where to start looking for the trenches relatives were in.

    • I’m not aware of a trench newspaper being published by the 78th but it would be worth checking those published by other Winnipeg units such as the 27th. The 107th is another Winnipeg battalion that published a journal but unfortunately at the moment those issues aren’t digitized.

  2. If I click on your LAC link to one of the issues and a page with a PDF icon comes up but clicking on the link next to the pdf file takes me to a gov’t site with info but no pdf file. How do I get the pdf file to open please?

  3. Oops, sorry! I figured out that you must click “Online MIKAN No xxxx” in the Title box to access the pdf file.

    • Hi Diane … glad you figured it out. There was no way to directly link to all the PDF’s for a particular newspaper so I elected to link to the index instead. There is that additional step of clicking on the MIKAN link which is not intuitive but you got there in the end. Cheers, Steve.

  4. cannot seem to locate the follow up editions of the Dead Horse Corner Gazette for the 4th Batttalion

  5. Hello Steve,

    Thank you very much for creating this helpful guide. I am unfortunately unable to access the links you have provided above to LAC. I understand these links are several years old and may no longer be viable, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how I could find these digitizations in the LAC catalogue. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Hello … LAC has just implemented a new search engine and unfortunately it doesn’t support links to their previous search results. I’ll have to update the page but it will be quite a bit of work and so I’m not sure when I will get to it. In the meantime you can go here: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/collectionsearch/Pages/collectionsearch.aspx and type in the name of trench newspaper you’re looking for. **Important note**: I just tried this myself and although it does provide a list of what appear to be correct search results when you try and view the actual trench newspaper it returns an error. It seems LAC still have some bugs in their new search engine. I’d keep trying this method in the hopes that they will resolve the problem … perhaps even my links will begin working again when they do? Cheers, Steve.

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