From the frontier to the front : imagined community and the Southwestern Alberta Great War experience

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Clifton, Brett
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of History
As Canada joins other nations in observing a succession of First World War centenaries, the public narrative constructed over the past hundred years holds up the Great War, particularly the battle for Vimy Ridge, as a pivotal point in Canadian history that forged our national identity. This thesis sets aside this romanticised and idealised construct, focusing upon the regional and cultural variations specific to Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta. While much work has been done on the French-English divide, comparatively few microstudies have examined the distinctive experiences and regional nuances of other communities within this vast and diverse nation. This work examines the settlement processes and previous martial and militia experiences of Southwestern Alberta, in an effort to explain the uniqueness of the local Great War experience. Included in this analysis are themes related to propaganda and censorship, recruitment and enlistment, and the construction of memory and meaning through commemoration.
conforming populations , constructed myth , imagined wartime community , Lethbridge's war experiences , non-conforming populations , shared war experiences