What is a soldier biography?
All program participants receive a Canadian soldier's military service file and prepare a biographical sketch to read at his grave. The files are provided by Library and Archives Canada through a program called Lest We Forget, which provides learners with these primary sources as an entry point to understanding the conflicts in which these soldiers fought. Some participants' biographies are written, while some others choose to compose songs or prepare pieces of theatre.
Teachers' Tour participant Dave Sullivan shares his soldier bio
Lest We Forget founder Blake Seward talks about the program
Participants are given a list of questions to help get them get started:
1. What do the documents reveal to you about your soldier?
2. Is there another possible interpretation of your documents?
3. How could you verify your interpretation? Where might you
need to search for relevant resources?
4. How is your soldier’s information similar or different to
information being researched by other teachers?
5. What are the short and long term consequences for
communities that suffer from the loss of local men to war?
6. What events that emerge out of the documents do you
consider to be historically significant?
7. Can you determine what other people may be affected by
the events that emerge out of the documents? (mother,
wife, father, sister, brother, community, industry, etc…)
8. How does your research connect to issues at the time?
9. What issues that you identified are still relevant today?
Explain your thinking.
10. How is each issue similar or different from today and when
11. Based on your research what information do you consider
to be the most significant? How did you determine this?
France and Flanders 2016
Loos British Cemetery
Private William John Armstrong
Private J. J. Acheson
Private Walter Bowron
Maple Copse Cemetery
Private Raymond Clifford Burton
Beaumont Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
Private George Abbott
Nine Elms British Cemetery
Private Cecil Carman
Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery
Sergeant Roland Marin
Private Alvin Gagnier
Private Ward Paff
Regina Trench Cemetery
Private John Daynes
Villers Station Cemetery
Lance Corporal Henry Charles Benson
Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery
Rifleman John Joseph Malinowski
Trooper George Joseph Brisette
Private Alfred Gagne
Private Henry B. De Wolfe
Private Thomas Gleason
Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery
Private Lionel Cohen