When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War

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Random House of Canada, 1993 - Soldiers - 354 pages
2 Reviews
Regardless of ancestry, background or status, almost every Canadian had a relative in the First World War. Yet very few of us realize what it was like or what exactly the Canadians were asked to do for country and king. How were these men trained? What was it like tin the trenches? Why did the early disasters of 1915 and 1916 end in the victories of 1918? How did soldiers find the courage to face death and terrible wounds? When your Number's Up is unique in that it deals directly with the lives of these soldiers; it is an upclose, personal view of a very terrible war.

The book begins with the "Old Originals" of 1914, describes recruiting, training, battle tactics, even the fate of Canadian prisoners of war. It tells of men who had very little understanding of what they had to face: brutal conditions, disease, mustard gas, trench warfare, and years away from home. Desmond Morton gets behind the battles and the generals and the politicians to give us fresh insight into the people who really make history.


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User Review  - RobertP - LibraryThing

A very readable description of the Canadian soldier in the First World War, how he lived, died, fit into the big picture, and how he returned to civilian life. Read full review

About the author (1993)

Desmond Morton, a ten-year veteran of the Canadian Army, is principal of the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus and the author or co-author of twenty-eight books on Canadian political, military and labour history, among them Marching to Armageddon, The Military History of Canada, and Silent Battle.

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