Two Years of War As Viewed From Ottawa…

Two Years of War As Viewed From Ottawa…

In 1916 the Ottawa journal The Civilian published a special issue titled Two Years of War As Viewed From Ottawa.  The text is an “account of the war work of the Civil Service of Canada, 1914-16.” The Civilian was published ‘fortnightly’ and was established in 1903; at the time it was the in-house journal of the civil service.

The first hundred pages are brief entries that summarize the war work of various government departments, followed by a civil service roll of honour.  Peregrine Acland is mentioned three times in the text, which for our purposes is perhaps most interesting for establishing what Acland did between his leaving the Prince Rupert Daily News in September of 1913 and his enlisting in August of ’14.

Page 113 has the following under the heading Our Decorations Won:

Major P. P. Acland

Peregrine P. Acland had been embarked upon a civil service career as a clerk in the Department of Finance for less than a year when the war broke out.  Two days after the declaration he was in the ranks of the 3rd Battalion (Queen’s Own Rifles) of Toronto.  A month later he was appointed lieutenant in the 15th (Toronto) Battalion (48th Highlanders) and before that unit left Salisbury Plain was promoted captain.  On June 3rd, 1916, he was wounded, but returned to duty.  The Gazette of August 21st, 1916, announced the award to him of the Military Cross “for conspicuous bravery during an attack.  He led his company, formed under very heavy fire, with great dash, and though wounded, remained at his post and dug himself in.”  A few days later he received his Majority, and late in September, this year [1916], was again wounded.  He in a son of F. A. Acland, Deputy Minister of Labour.

Accompanying this brief biographical sketch is a photo seen elsewhere on this site, but this copy is perhaps a little sharper:

He’s a handsome lad, isn’t he?  Acland was one of seven members of the Civil Service that had won Military Crosses by 1916.  Finally, Acland’s name appears in a roll of the wounded on page 125.

Though not common, this publication is not particularly difficult to acquire; first editions run in the twenty to thirty dollar range.

The complete text can be downloaded from the internet archive here.




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