The Laurier Military History Speaker Series has been running for twenty-five years and is part our mandate to make the latest scholarship in Canadian military history available to the public in an accessible format. The Series runs each Fall and Winter, featuring a total of six historians throughout the calendar year. Events are hosted at 232 King St. N, Waterloo, ON. Admission is FREE.
The LCMSDS has also partnered with the Guelph Civic Museum to present the Guelph Military Lecture Series. The Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk St., Guelph. Admission is by donation.
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Fall 2018 Lineup
Terry Copp, Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies
Laurier Military History Speaker Series, Sept. 19, 7:00pm at the LCMSDS
“The Winter Line: Italy 1943”
The invasion of the Italian mainland was planned on the belief that a pre-negotiated Italian surrender meant an easy occupation of south and central Italy. After the near disaster at Salerno and clear evidence the Germans would fight south of Rome, a new strategy was called for. Instead of a weakened force, from Ortona to the Garigliano the Allies encountered a well-entrenched enemy taking advantage of weather and terrain. This talk will examine command decisions in December 1943 and assess their consequences.
Guelph Military Lecture Series, Sept. 27, 7:00pm at the Guelph Civic Museum
“Cities in Crisis: Montreal and Guelph in 1918. How citizens of Canadian cities responded to the challenges of the First World War.”
Terry Copp is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University. Terry is author or co-author of some 20 books, including Cinderella Army: and Fields of Fire, and was lead historian for the acclaimed No Price Too High television series. He recently completed a digital project on Montreal during the First World War (montrealatwar.com) and is currently working on a new guidebook to the battlefields of Dieppe and Normandy.
Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum
Laurier Military History Speaker Series, Oct. 17, 7:00pm, at the LCMSDS
Guelph Military Lecture Series, Oct. 18, 7:00pm, at the Guelph Civic Museum
“The Secret History of Soldiers”
Award-winning author and historian Tim Cook will talk about his new book, The Secret History of Soldiers. Based on over twenty years of research into the letters, diaries and memoirs of Canadian soldiers, Cook will explore how soldiers coped and endured in the trenches along the Western Front. To deal with the stress and strain, soldiers created their own society based on a unique culture forged in combat. Soldiers used songs, plays, theatre, slang and superstitions as a shield against the horror and to survive the rigours of service.
Tim Cook is the First World War historian at the Canadian War Museum and the author of 11 books. He has won many awards, including the RBC Taylor Prize, J.W. Dafoe Prize (twice), Ottawa Book award (twice) and C.P. Stacey award for best book in military history (twice). Tim was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Governor General’s History Award for Popular Media. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Jonathan Vance, University of Western Ontario
Laurier Military History Speaker Series, Nov. 7, 7:00pm at the LCMSDS
“From Farm to Front: The First World War and Rural Canada”
When Canada went to war in 1914, it was a nation dominated by rural life. Yet much of what we know about Canada in that period comes from the cities. When viewed from the back concessions, hamlets, and farms of rural Canada, the First World War looks quite different from what we are used to. Using rich local sources, “From Farm to Front” takes us back to a Canadian war experience that you may not recognize.
Jonathan F. Vance is a Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University where he teaches military history, Canadian history and social memory. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble (1997), Unlikely Soldiers (2008), Maple Leaf Empire (2011) and A Township at War (2018).
Roger Sarty, Wilfrid Laurier University
Guelph Military Lecture Series, Nov. 15, 7:00pm at the Guelph Civic Museum
“The Canadian Garrison Artillery Goes to War, 1914-1918.”
Roger Sarty is among Canada’s leading historians, specializing in the history of Canada’s Navy and coastal defence. He became the professor of naval, military, and Canadian history at Wilfrid Laurier University after twenty-three years as a historical researcher and manager for the Canadian government. As deputy director at the Canadian War Museum, he led exhibition development for the new museum building that opened in 2005.
Sarty will speak on how the Militia’s garrison artillery regiments guarded the coasts of Canada and raised the powerful siege artillery arm of the Canadian Corps on the Western Front.
Mark Humphries, Wilfrid Laurier University
Laurier Military History Speaker Series, Dec. 5, 7:00pm at the LCMSDS
“The Legacy of the First World War”
Mark Humphries is the Director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies and the Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published five books and more than a dozen articles on the medical, social and operational history of the Great War. His new book A Weary Road: Shell Shock in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914–1918 will be released with the University of Toronto Press in late 2018.
For details on our previous speakers, click here.