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HIST 203 - Canada Since 1867

Sample assignment

Topic: The Currie Libel Trial

[Background: On the night on November 10, 1918, and into the early hours of the 11th, General Sir Arthur Currie, Commander of the Canadian Forces in the First World War, led a drive to liberate the town of Mons in Belgium from the occupying German army.  Fierce fighting occurred and the Canadian forces suffered many losses.  On the morning of November 11, Armistice was declared.  Critics protested that, for the sake of personal glory, Sir Arthur sacrificed Canadian lives needlessly, and very pointed questions were asked in Parliament by Sir Sam Hughes. When in June 1927, the Port Hope Evening Guide, a newspaper in Ontario, published a forthright column on the subject, Sir Arthur – then McGill’s own Principal Currie – decided to sue for libel.  Some of these sources are relevant to the Battle of Mons, some to the trial.  And, yes, Sir Arthur won his suit.]

 

Primary sources (Documentation)

a. Contemporary (i.e. at the time of the event) newspaper article,

“$50,000 Libel Suit Begins at Cobourg.” The Globe. 17 April 1928, 1. The Globe and Mail: Canada’s Heritage from 1844. globeandmail.com http://199.198.129.206/default.asp (Accessed 18 January 2004).  (Source: The Globe and Mail: Canada’s Heritage from 1844)

b. Contemporary magazine article:

“McGill’s Ovation to General Currie.”  Saturday Night. 19 May 1928, 2. (Source: Index to Saturday Night)

c. Government report:

Currie, Arthur.  Canadian Corps Operations during theYear 1918: Interim report.  Ottawa, Department of Militia and Defence, 1919.  (Source: Library Catalogue)

 d. Record of House of Commons debates:

Hughes, Sam.  Address to Parliament. March 4, 1919.  Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates. 13th Parl. 2d sess., vol.1 (1919) p. 207.  (Source: Sharpe, 1988, below)

e. Record of debates in provincial legislature(s):

N/A

f. Literary material (movie, play, poetry, fiction, etc):

Gordon, Alfred.  "Vimy Ridge" and new poems. Toronto: Dent, 1918. CIHM/ICMH Microfiche; no. 71502  (Source: Library Catalogue  Subject = World War, 1914-1918 -- Canada -- Poetry.)

g. Historical photograph:

“Sir Arthur Currie walking to Victoria Hall, Cobourg, April 1928.” In Robert J.  Sharpe, The Last Day, the Last Hour: the Currie Libel Trial. Toronto: Carswell for the Osgoode Society, 1988.  (Source: Sharpe, below)

h. Statistical material (census data or other relevant info):

“[Average Daily Advances made by the Canadian Troups, Oct 11 – Nov 11, 1918.]”  In Arthur Currie, Canadian Corps Operations during theYear 1918: Interim report.  Ottawa, Department of Militia and Defence, 1919, 83-4. (Source: Currie, 1919, above)

i. Memoir, Diary or Correspondence related to the topic,

Hughes, Sam. Correspondence of General Sir Sam Hughes, ex-minister of militia, and the Right Hon. Sir Robert Borden G.C.M.G., at the time Sir Sam resigned: Sir Sam accused of insubordination but dismissed for writing the premier an insulting letter.  Ottawa: Central Liberal Information Office, [1916?] CIHM Microfiche series; no. 72598.  (Source: Library Catalogue)

j. Map.

“Sketch No. 12.  Advances made by the Canadian Corps from Oct 11th 1918 – Nov 11th 1918.” In Arthur Currie, Canadian Corps Operations during theYear 1918: Interim report.  Ottawa, Department of Militia and Defence, 1919.  Appendix.  (Source: Currie, 1919, above)

 

Secondary sources (Analysis)

a. Scholarly book:

Sharpe, Robert J.  The Last Day, the Last Hour: the Currie Libel Trial. Toronto: Carswell for the Osgoode Society, 1988.  (Source: Library Catalogue)

b. Scholarly article:

Wilson, Barbara. "The Road to the Cobourg Court Room: New Material from the Archives of the Canadian War Museum on the Sir Arthur Currie  Sir Sam Hughes Dispute, 1918-19." Canadian Military History 10 (2001): 67-73. (Source: America: History and Life)

c. Thesis or dissertation:

Mepham, Leslie Parker.  Making their mark: Canadian snipers and the Great War, 1914-1918.  MA Thesis  University of Windsor, 1997.  ProQuest Digital Dissertations AAT MQ30969.  (Source: ProQuest.  The role of snipers at the Battle of Mons is mentioned in the abstract.)

d. Scholarly website:

Canvas of War: Masterpieces from the Canadian War Museum.  The First World War.  Canadian War Museum.   March 10, 2000. Last update: September 27, 2001. http://www.civilization.ca/cwm/canvas/cwint01e.html  (Source: National Library of Canada: Canadian Information By Subject)

e. Popular book:

Corbett-Smith, Arthur. The Retreat from Mons: by One who Shared in it.  London: Cassell, 1916.  CIHM Microfiche series no. 98240. (Source: Library Catalogue)

f. Popular article:

Shannon, Norman. “Arthur Currie's longest battle.” Esprit de Corps, Canadian Military Then & Now. May 1997, 21. (Source: CBCA Reference)

g. Popular website:

Kierstead, Marc. "Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie: Thumbnail Bio."  World War I: Trenches on the Web. January 15, 2000. Mike Iaverone.  http://www.worldwar1.com/bioccurr.htm  (Accessed January 18, 2004). (Source: Google)

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