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Canadians on the Western Front 2

The Film


Running Time
08 min 50 s

Topical Film Company

The year 1918 turned out to be decisive in the Great War. The Germans made the running initially, their huge attacks between March and June hammering the British and French armies and driving them back. But the Germans’ attacks wore down their reserves of men and materiel, and by August the Allies were ready to seize the offensive. Led by the Canadian and Australian Corps, huge gains were made in the fighting that began on August 8 and, in The Hundred Days until the armistice on November 11, the Germans were forced out of most of northern France. The Canadian Corps ended the war in Mons, Belgium, the city in which the British Expeditionary Force had first met the Germans in battle more than four years before.

The film clip offers vignettes from the first half of this year of great battles. Conditions in the crude and dirty Canadian trenches are featured, as are rare shots of men being wounded by shellfire and evacuated for medical treatment. We are also shown an army chaplain (a captain) talking to wounded and getting their names and regimental numbers, a Canadian soldier lighting a cigarette for a German prisoner, and scenes of soldiers’ wounds being dressed at a Casualty Clearing Station behind the lines.


A Stretcher Bearer Dressing a Canadian Wounded at the Battle of Arleux, [ca. 1918] First Line Hospital German Prisoners of War Bearing Stretcher, 1918

Other Materials

Unending Seige : Amiens

Teaching Materials

The Battles: In Flanders Fields