When Canada entered the Great War on August 4, 1914, the lives of Canadians across the country were changed forever. For the men who fought on the frontlines and the families that supported them from the home front, WWI was unlike anything Canadians had experienced. Canada’s contribution to the war led to growing autonomy and independence for the nation, but it came at a great price and many Oshawa men lost their lives.
The building of the new Oshawa Armouries was completed in 1914, and by September 1916, men from across Durham Region joined Ontario County’s 116th Battalion. They went on to fight in some of the great battles of the war including Vimy Ridge, Valenciennes and Passchendaele. On the homefront, local businesses worked hard to contribute to the war effort by manufacturing goods to support their family members, friends and neighbours fighting overseas. The Thomas Bouckley Collection’s large number of photographs taken in Oshawa during World War One act as a reminder of the great sacrifice that was made by the Oshawa community.
This exhibition is a part of the WWI Commemorative Project: Oshawa Faithful and Ready. The RMG, the Oshawa Community Museum & Archives, Trent University (Oshawa), Oshawa Public Libraries, Ontario Regiment Museum, Heritage Oshawa, City of Oshawa and Rogers TV have partnered to deliver an ambitious program throughout the year that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI.