Sheila White holds a photo of her grandfather, Honorary Capt. William (Andrew) White, serving in the No. 2 Construction Battalion.


© CBC
Sheila White holds a photograph of her grandfather, Honorary Capt. William (Andrew) White, serving within the No. 2 Building Battalion.


An exhibit commemorating Canadian troopers who served and had been killed within the First World Battle was unveiled in Toronto’s north finish Saturday, forward of a Remembrance Day that may mark the centenary of the 1918 armistice.

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The exhibit “WWI Keepsakes and Propaganda” options lots of of artifacts and pictures from distant battlefields that seize the struggling of the bloody, four-year battle that devastated Western Europe and killed greater than 600,000 Canadians. 

“These are touching, fantastic, vital,” John Kennedy, a former psychology professor on the College of Toronto, mentioned of the images, letters and newspaper clippings on show on the Don Heights Unitarian Congregation in North York.

“They present you the size, the scope, the destruction of this battle.”

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A number of years in the past, Kennedy says he discovered a metallic trunk crammed with wartime supplies within the attic of a house he had simply moved into. He later realized its contents belonged to a earlier proprietor, Jeanne Compondou, who collected German propaganda writings and pictures from the First World Battle. 

The artifacts went on show Saturday. 

Kennedy hopes they are going to provide vital classes to Torontonians about tips on how to keep away from future conflicts and preserve peace. 

“How can we patch up any divisions which are occurring?” he requested, stating: “That is what we’ve to study from what  occurred in 1914.” 

‘He was an inspiration’

Sheila White’s grandfather, Honorary Capt. William (Andrew) White, was the primary black commissioned officer and chaplain within the Canadian Expeditionary Power when he enlisted within the No. 2 Building Battalion in 1917, in accordance with the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

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The segregated battalion was comprised completely of black males who volunteered to have interaction in battle work. The unit’s 500 troopers had been unarmed and by no means noticed fight. 

“He started an effort to foyer to have black males serve when the military was segregated they usually did not need blacks concerned,” mentioned Sheila, who by no means met her grandfather. He died of most cancers earlier than she was born.



John Kennedy, right, says he found this trunk filled with wartime materials in his attic.


© CBC
John Kennedy, proper, says he discovered this trunk crammed with wartime supplies in his attic.

However she says White’s legacy of combating for the rights of black males to serve within the battle lives on by means of the data he saved, together with sermons. 

“He was an inspiration, not solely to the black neighborhood in Canada, however all of Canada,” Sheila mentioned. 

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White’s wartime mementos are amongst these displayed on the small, free exhibit placed on by the Don Heights Unitarian Congregation.

“He was a chaplain who had averted a race riot between the white and black troopers in France in 1917 and he introduced a message of race relations again with him,” she mentioned.

Upon his return from the battle, White continued to evangelise and foster concepts of humanitarianism and brotherhood in Nova Scotia, Sheila mentioned. 



Honorary Capt. William (Andrew) White's sermons and mementos from the First World War are on display at the exhibit. He was the first black officer to serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


© CBC
Honorary Capt. William (Andrew) White’s sermons and mementos from the First World Battle are on show on the exhibit. He was the primary black officer to serve within the Canadian Expeditionary Power.


The exhibit shall be open each weekend till the tip of the month. 

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