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18:00 - 19:30 24 November 2014

For King and Country: Canada, Devon and the Great War


Seminar Room 105 | UCL – Institute of the Americas (link Map)
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Michael Cooper, Independent scholar, Hemyock History and Archiving Association, Michael Cooper is a local historian and chair of the Hemyock History and Archiving Association in Devon. After working for British Aerospace on the production of Concorde at Filton, near Bristol, he moved into the computer business and worked for NCR in London, Brussels and the company’s world headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. With this experience he then decided to start his own company back in the UK before retiring and immersing himself in the history of his local area on the Devon/Somerset border.

When war broke out in Europe and Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 the British Dominions, including Canada, were automatically involved as part of the Empire. The Canadian government under Sir Robert Borden immediately pledged to send a Canadian Expeditionary Force and the first troops began to arrive in Britain soon after. A majority of these Canadian soldiers were, in fact, emigrants from Britain and a significant number were from farming families in Devon and the West Country. This presentation looks at the stories of some of the young Devon men who emigrated to Canada in the early years of the 20th century only to return to Britain shortly afterwards to fight for ‘King and Country’ in the trenches of the Great War. Many died but others remained in Britain after the war or returned to Canada.


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)20 3108 9721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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