Books by CMHS members
Collectively and individually, the members of the CMHS are passionate about military history. Several of our members have written excellent resource books, and we are proud to feature them on our website.
Artillery Flyers at War: A History of the 664, 665, and 666 'Air Observation Post' Squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force
by Darrell Knight
Published by Merriam Press (Hoosick Falls NY), 2010
ISBN 978-0-557-32963-2, 978-0-557-32964-9
Often referred to as the definitive account of the Canadian Air Observation Post in the Second World War, "Artillery Flyers at War" provides a day-by-day account of the creation, training and deployment of the three orphan "600-series" squadrons of the RCAF, and the evolution of the aircraft these formations were sent into battle with, the ubiquitous Taylorcraft Auster V. Included in the text is an array of unforgettable characters who contributed to the building of the Canadian AOP, including Star Trek's famed First Engineering Officer, 'Scotty' (Captain James Doohan, a distinguished pilot serving in 666 AOP RCAF in 1945). 482 pages. Many previously-unpublished photos included.
Kindle edition available from the Amazon.ca
Buffalo Airways – Diamonds, DC-3s and 'Buffalo Joe' McBryan
by Darrell Knight
Published by Alberta Publishing, 2011
In the wake of world-wide media attention generated by Omni Film Productions' ICE PILOTS NWT comes an insider's story of Buffalo Airways, written by one of the few chosen to fly for this colourful northern airline. This detailed narrative speaks of the long road to becoming a pilot, and the pitfalls and sacrifices attendant with landing a flying job with one of the toughest airlines to hire on with in the Canadian Arctic. A host of characters – including the tough, enigmatic war bird-airline owner, 'Buffalo Joe' McBryan – leap from the pages of this heart-felt reminiscence. The book is a rollicking, blow-by-blow "must read" for anyone interested in the aviation business, vintage aircraft and the Canadian north, as well as a testament to the human spirit caught in the struggle against adversity.
Available from the Lulu Online
History of the 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion C.E.F.
by Major Horace C. Singer
Edited by Darrell Knight
Published by Detselig Enterprises-Temeron Books (Calgary), 2006
This is the historical account and fighting history of Alberta's own 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force's famed "Iron Sixth" Brigade, of the Second Division during the First World War. Originally commission to be prepared by Major Singer for the battalion survivors in Lethbridge from 1930 to 1938, the original work was prepared simply as a binding-job by Knight Bindery of Calgary; the current work is the first commercial edition of this epic history. Additional notes are included in the text from Ms. Alberta Rafferty (Major Singer's daughter) and Mrs. Barb Knight, Granddaughter of Acting/Sergeant Art Watson, MM, survivor of the 31st Battalion. Many photos included. Hard-cover with jacket, 523 pages.
A Call to Arms: The Organization and Administration of Canada's Military in World War One
by David W. Love
Published by Bunker to Bunker Books (Calgary), 1999
This sourcebook on the origins, evolution and workings of Canada's military forces in the Great War details the response to the call to arms issued in 1914 and traces the subsequent development. Its principal focus, however, is on the organization of the Canadian military at its apogee in November 1918. The research is very thorough. Insights, for example, are offered into the organization of veterinary and forestry units and the chaplaincy. Even the duties of the laundry officer can be found! Canada evolved its own distinctive command structure during the course of the war and the author makes the point that the success of the Canadian Corps was due to this organization and its adaptability, as much as to the individual skill of its leaders.
This book grew out of the author's need as a long-time researcher and collector to gather together information not normally found in one place. Indeed much of the original material is long out of print.
OOP: Possibly available from Amazon.ca or other second hand resellers.
A Nation in Making — The Organization and Administration of the Canadian Expeditionary Force
by David W. Love
Published by Service Publications (Toronto), 2012
This work is a complete rewrite and extension of his original ‘A Call to Arms’. From additional research and response to feedback from readers, the author provides extensive new material and insights, photographs and details that were either not covered, or discussed only in summary, in the original work. Production values are also greatly improved. Response to this work has been universally favourable and complimentary.
The Canadian Expeditionary Force was the largest military force ever fielded by Canada in its day. The management of this force of five divisions, with four in the field, was a challenge to Canada's predominantly amateur Staff. Borrowing heavily from British practice the Canadians nonetheless had specific challenges that were theirs alone. David Love has adroitly described the organization and administration of the CEF and delves into a level of detail previously unimaginable. Two hard cover volumes: over 400 pages, with 391 illustrations, maps, charts and tables, and three full-colour pages of distinguishing patches. This is a 'must have' for any historian — amateur or professional — of Canadian military history.
The two-volume set is available from Service Publications
A Collector's Guide to Canadian Army Cap Badges: 1920-1952
by David Soltess
Published by the author, 2012
A digital book in Acrobat® PDF format.
INCLUDES information on cap badges, varieties, reproductions, lineages and pricing for every Canadian Army corps and service, infantry, cavalry and armoured regiment, the Royal Military College, and COTC contingent in service between Spring 1920 and 1952, plus every Canadian wartime service, volunteer, medical and civilian corps and service active during the Second World War.
Nearly 500 pages with over 460 badge entries and more than 430 new colour photos, organized alphabetically in twelve sections. The PDF format is completely navigable, completely portable. Optimized for use on iPads® or tablets, but equally at home on your laptop or desktop computer, providing convenient, single-source reference information at your fingertips whether you’re at home or at a trade show.
"A very good product, possibly the best money I've ever spent" (Buyer comment: 12-14-2012)
Medicine and Duty: The World War I Memoir of Captain Harold W. McGill, Medical Officer, 31st Battalion C.E.F.
by Harold W McGill
edited by Marjorie Norris
Published by University of Calgary Press, 2007
Medicine and Duty is the World War I memoir of Harold McGill, a medical officer in the 31st (Alberta) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. McGill attempted to have his memoir published by Macmillan of Canada in 1935, but, unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the company was not able to complete the publication. Decades later, editor Marjorie Norris came upon a draft of the manuscript in the Glenbow Archives and took it upon herself to resurrect McGill's story. Norris's painstaking archival research and careful editing skills have brought back to light a gripping first-hand account of the 31st Battalion and, on a larger scale, of Canada's participation in World War I. A wealth of additional information, including extensive notes and excerpts from letters written "from the trenches," lends a new sense of immediacy and realism to the original memoir and provides a fascinating, harrowing glimpse into the day-to-day life of Canadian soldiers during the Great War.
Available from Amazon.ca
Sister Heroines: The Roseate Glow of Wartime Nursing, 1914-1918
by Marjorie Barron Norris
Published by Bunker to Bunker Publishing (Calgary), 2002
ISBN: 1894255194 / 9781894255196
Jessie Barron, like other military nurses, was reticent to speak about or document her wartime experiences. But her daughter, author Marjorie Barron Norris, became intrigued with her mother's wartime mementos as well as the experiences of other women from Calgary who served during the First World War... .
In addition to Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) war diaries and records of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF), Norris uses a range of sources to fill gaps in existing evidence about these women: a collection of letters exchanged between a CEF officer and his wife; two published memoirs by trained nurses from eastern Canada; memoirs of a British Voluntary Aid Detachment; published histories of several Canadian General Hospital units; and local newspaper accounts related to women who either served or tried to serve overseas in some capacity. ...Thus the book offers a range of women's experiences related to wartime opportunities. It highlights many issues associated with the turn-of-the-century professionalization movement within nursing, as well as issues associated with women's desires for patriotism, adventure, and service opportunities in general.
– from a review by Cynthia Toman, Project Muse
OOP Possibly available from Amazon.ca or Cabin Fever Books