Mississauga At War, 1914-1918

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The First World War raged from 1914-1918 and caused world-wide upheaval. More than 100 years later, Canadians still seek to understand and honour the costly sacrifices it demanded.
As war came to the towns and countryside of historic Mississauga, local residents took up the challenge and “did their bit”. For some, it was the decision to enlist. For others it was a matter of supporting the troops with letters and care packages and prayers. Over time, the local war effort grew to include rationing, victory loans, income taxes, agricultural programs, registration and ultimately, conscription. Nonetheless, in the midst of all the regulations and worry, people went on with many of the everyday activities of family and community life.
Mississauga at War features news and letters from The Streetsville Review and Port Credit Herald, photographs from the war years, and stories of local men and women who enlisted. To see the articles in date order, scroll down the Pages section of the sidebar.
This site is sponsored by the Mississauga Library System. It is dedicated to the men and women from historic Mississauga who served in uniform and worked on the home front during the war. 
Additional materials are of interest. If you have photographs, letters or keepsakes to share, please contact Central Library at 905-615-3200 ext. 3660 or history.library@mississauga.ca.
For more local information, visit Lest We Forget and Mississauga Remembers.
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Loop the Loop – and Oops!

Canada’s first aerodrome opened in 1915 under the direction of J.A.D. McCurdy. Situated on land that would become the Lakeview Generating Station, the Long Branch Aerodrome and Flying School was used by the Royal Flying Corps to train aviator-cadets for combat in Europe.
George Collier Draper came from Montreal and enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps in Toronto on July 23, 1917. He was 26 years old and a Civil Engineer for Miscellaneous. His wife Dorothy and baby son George stayed in Montreal. 
While there are no details about where he took off, there is at least one report of Flight Lieut. Draper flying loops and stunts over Erindale!

Lieut Draper - Feb 7 1918
Streetsville Review, 7 February 1917

Draper also had to contend with engine trouble.  Thankfully, he survived his unorthodox landing without injury!

 

Vimy

The assault on Vimy Ridge took place on April 9, 1917. Four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified force for the first time and succeeded in dislodging the German defenders who had defied previous Allied attacks. The Streetsville Review published a number of reports, but the full significance of the battle in Canada’s young history was yet to be realized.

Anxious readers learned about the courage and determination of the Canadians in one of the first dispatches.

Five Days 19 April 1917
Streetsville Review, 19 April 1917

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Prize Composition

If you were asked to write about “The Great War”, what would you say? What is your response to the national and personal sacrifices it demanded?
In 1915 Eva Wolfe, age 15, wrote about “The Great War” for an essay competition in Streetsville and won first prize. Her composition began with Germany and as she described the steps that led to war, she placed responsibility firmly on the Kaiser. She saw Britain and the colonies as the opponents of German militarism and the defenders of freedom and equal rights for all nations. Eva was sure that Canada was fighting for what was right and good. While she mourned the deaths of many brave men, she was thankful to know that they were dying the “death of heroes” in the cause of everything they held dear. Her earnest desire was for the Allies to conquer and peace to reign in the world.

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AGAR S.A.M. ADAMSON, Lieutenant-Colonel, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

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Lieutenant-Colonel Agar Adamson  (PAMA, William Perkins Bull fonds, series 8, file 970)

Lieutenant-Colonel Agar Adamson was described by William Perkins Bull, in From Brock to Currie, as “one of Peel’s most famous warrior sons”. Agar Stewart Allan Masterton Adamson was born in Montreal 25th December 1865, the son of James Adamson and his wife, Mary Julia Derbishire, and the grandson of Church of England clergyman, William Agar Adamson. Agar grew up in Ottawa where his father was a clerk of the Senate and he too served as a clerk in the Senate.  While they lived in Ottawa, Agar joined the Governor–General’s Foot Guards in 1894 and served with the Strathcona Horse in the Boer War 1900-1901. According to his officer’s declaration he joined Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in 1914, joined them in England later that year, was promoted to captain and embarked for France in February 1915.

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