Nic Clarke

Nic Clarke received his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa in 2009. His research primarily focuses on disability and health during the Great War period.  Currently, he is examining how enlistment papers and service records can be used as a means to identify common health problems afflicting Canadian males (and some females) in the early twentieth century.

Nic’s dissertation, “Unwanted Warriors: The Reject Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force,” explores the different perceptions of martial ability and disability held by lay people, the medical profession, and the military during the Great War.  It is the first study to provide a detailed description of the mechanics of the Canadian Expeditionary Force medical examination, the evolution of physical standards for service, and the increasingly complex categories of fitness developed by military authorities as the Great War continued.

Nic is a sessional instructor at both the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Ottawa.


Clarke, N. “The Greater and Grimmer Game’: Sport as an Arbiter of Military Fitness in the British Empire – The Case of ‘One-Eyed’ Frank McGee.”The International Journal of the History of Sport 28, no. 3 (2011): 604-622.

Clarke, N. “‘You Will Not Be Going To This War’:  The Rejected Volunteers of the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.”  First World War Studies 1, no. 2 (2010): 161-184.

Clarke, N. “Passchendaele highlights uncounted casualties.” Canadian Military History 18, no. 4 (2009): 75-78.

Clarke, N. “‘He was my best subaltern’:  The life and death of Lieutenant Herrick S. Duggan, 70th Field Company, Royal Engineers.”  Canadian Military History 17, no. 2 (2008): 21-32.

Clarke, N.  “Research note: Opening Closed Doors and Breaching High Walls:Some Approaches For Studying Intellectual Disability in Canadian History.”   Histoire Sociale/Social History 39, no.78 (2007):467-485.

Clarke, N. “Sacred Daemons: The Perception and Treatment of Intellectually Disabled Children in British Columbia, 1870-1930.”BC Studies (Winter 2004/2005): 61-89.

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