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From LCMSDS Productions, The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Eric Story sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

Episode #7–The Conscripted


The Conscription Crisis was the central political conflict of the First World War, affecting not only the Canadian government but having an immediate impact on over 400,000 Canadians who were registered for conscription with the intention of being sent overseas. Historians have focused on national divisions between English and French, rural and urban, and the working and middle class, but what has often been lost in these debates are those most directly impacted by conscription – the conscripts themselves. With four of his own ancestors conscripted and casualties of the First World War, Patrick Dennis, in his recently released book, Reluctant Warriors, sheds new light on both the events which led to the decision of the Canadian government to enact conscription in 1917, and the vital contribution made by these conscripts during the Hundred Days campaign of 1918. Guest host Kyle Pritchard sits down with Patrick to discuss his research on the experiences of Canadian conscripts and the present-day legacies of conscription.

A former Fighter Controller in the Canadian Air Force, he served abroad for over 22 years. Apart from senior staff tours, he flew with both NORAD and NATO AWACS, was Canada’s Deputy Military Representative to the NATO Military Committee and the Canadian Defence Attaché to Israel from 2001- 2004. Subsequently he lectured on “global political-military issues” at Wilfrid Laurier University (2008 – 2011) and from 2009-2013 was an instructor in Command and Management with the Canadian Forces College, Toronto.

A graduate of the United States Armed Forces Staff College (Norfolk, Virginia) and the NATO Defence College (Rome, Italy), he has an M.A. in Communication and Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.


Past Episodes

Episode #1–The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen

Episode #2–Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

Episode #3–Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

Episode #4–Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

Episode #5–Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

Episode #6–Dunkirk with Terry Copp

Contact Information

Matt Baker, Senior Research Associate and Centre Coordinator
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