The Military Museums

Blood, Sweat And Tears

Blood, Sweat And Tears Lectures

Lecture: Lifesavers and Body Snatchers

Date: Fri 12 Jan 2024

Speaker: Tim Cook

Dr. Tim Cook, Chief Historian of the Canadian War Museum and author and editor of 17 books on Canadian military history will offer an illustrated presentation on his newest book, Lifesavers and Body Snatchers: Medical Care and the Struggle for Survival in the Great War. The shocking brutality of the fighting during the Great War led to medical innovations that saved soldiers’ lives. Doctors and surgeons prevented the disease from decimating armies, confronted ghastly wounds from chemical weapons, remade shattered bodies, and struggled to ease soldiers’ battle-haunted minds. After the war, the hard lessons learned by doctors and nurses were brought back to Canada to further treat and save Canadians.

Lecture: The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in the Second World War

Date: Thurs 18 Jan 2024

Speaker: Geoff Jackson

Canada’s largest military deployment in its history ended in 1945, with over a million of its people having worn a uniform and some 42,000 being killed or dying of wounds or disease. In the course of the war, tens of thousands had served in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) and its sister organizations within the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy. The army’s health system was the largest of the three, with 34,786 having worn its uniform; 598 of these became battle casualties, and 107 died of their wounds. This lecture will focus on the role the RCAMC played on the battlefield. The emphasis will be on Canadians in Italy and Normandy.

Lecture: Canadian Military Nursing

Date: Fri 19 Jan 2024

Speaker: Allan Kerr

This lecture will focus primarily on Georgina Pope Boer War and Edith Hudson. Sister Pope was one of eight Canadian nurses who went to Africa between 1899 and 1902. On display in Blood, Sweat and Tears is her tea cloth with 30 signatures of Canadian Officers, including Dr. John McCrae RCA. Sister Hudson was one of the first 120 Canadian Nurses who arrived in France before November 23, 1914. She received many medals, including the 1914 Star – 160 to Canadians. Royal Red Cross – 66 to Nurses. She remained active in Nursing work until her death in 1975. Her experience will be drawn out from her diaries and picture albums.

Lecture: Mental Wellness in Uniformed Service: Moving from Reactive to Proactive

Date: Wed 24 Jan 2024

Speaker: Dr. Megan McElheran

As part of Bell Let’s Talk Day (encouraging open discussion of mental health), this lecture will focus on mental health in the military. The evolution of our systems, processes, cultural norms, and ways of helping people requires that we understand how these things developed in the first place. In contemporary times, we have a far greater understanding of ways in which historical approaches to addressing operational stressors impact uniformed service personnel, which is knowledge that has only emerged in the last decade. It is important to understand how pseudo-stoic approaches to managing operational stress and exposure to potentially psychologically traumatic events within the military have potentially contributed to high rates of psychological injury for soldiers and veterans.

This lecture will describe the importance of continued cultural shifts within uniformed service to account for the psychological impacts of uniformed service and will explore factors that can support improved coping for those who have contributed service to our country.

Lecture: "...And A Few of the Best of Us"

Date: Thurs 1 Feb 2024

Speaker: Shari Peyerl

Canadians who volunteered to provide medical care to soldiers during the Great War included residents of Glenbow, a former quarry settlement located in today’s Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. Two of these personalities are featured in the exhibit Blood, Sweat and Tears. Meet a doctor (Andrew Park), who overcame his own grave illness to aid WWI veterans and help Calgary’s sick. Hear about the men of the Field Ambulances who risked and suffered personal harm while assisting injured soldiers. Learn how a gifted and trail-blazing nurse (Marion Moodie) defied limitations in order to answer the call to serve.

Join archaeologist and historian Shari Peyerl, who will share these stories and others from her book Alberta’s Cornerstone.

Lecture: John McCrae: Beyond Flanders Fields

Date: Thurs 8 Feb 2024

Speaker: Susan Raby-Dunne

Join author, historian, and battlefield guide Susan Raby-Dunne as she brings our Canadian icon, “In Flanders Fields” poet, John McCrae to life from her book by the same name as the lecture. With stories, details and photographs collected over 20-plus years of research and on-the-ground exploration, Raby-Dunne illustrates McCrae’s accomplished, tragic life in a unique, unforgettable way. Many Canadians know his indelible poem, "In Flanders Fields." Most don’t know the Great War wasn’t his first war. He served in the South African War commanding his own Artillery battery. With over 60 photographs, Susan brightly illuminates an amazing Canadian life cut short by war.

Lecture: Convalescent Craft Workshop


Date: Sat 10 Feb 2024

Speaker: Maggie Witt

The art of crafting is most often associated with domestic hobby or passion projects, yet, did you know that handcraft such as needlework, rug hooking, woodworking, chair caning, furniture making, and metalware were outlets for soldiers who convalesced in hospitals as part of their rehabilitation during the first and second world wars?

Join teacher and TMM volunteer Maggie Witt in discovering the history of how the Canadian Red Cross developed Vetcraft workshops in 1918 in as part of a convalescent program in General Hospitals across Canada from Halifax to Victoria not only to provide health rehabilitation but also as an outlet for financial stability for disabled soldiers to be able to have full earning power in civil life. This workshop will also include an interactive small craft project to take away.

Lecture: "Salvaging War’s Waste": Calgary, Craft, and Re-education

Date: Thurs 22 Feb 2024

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer E. Salahub

The reabsorption of veterans of the Great War into civilian life was of national concern; however, it was the job of the Military Hospital Commission (MHC) to address the needs of those who were returning home wounded, sick, or "damaged." The Red Cross Magazine of 1917 describes the MHC’s role as "Salvaging War’s Waste."

This lecture examines the fundamental role sloyd (craft) played in the process of re-education. In particular, how it was that two Calgary-based educationalists (Thomas B. Kidner and James C. Miller) and the work done at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art and the Ogden Convalescent Hospital received international acclaim and set the stage for a new profession - Occupational Therapy.

Lecture: Maintaining the Mobility of the Corps

Date: Fri 1 Mar 2024

Speaker: Dr. Andrew McEwen

This lecture explores the central role animal transportation played in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. Horses and mules kept units on the move by hauling artillery, ammunition, and supplies towards the front lines. Over 24,000 served with Canadian forces in France and Belgium by November 1918.

The task of keeping them healthy fell to only 850 personnel of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps. They kept this living and breathing transportation system on its legs by treating diseases, wounds, exhaustion, and exposure to the elements. In the words of Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, they were essential for "maintaining the mobility of the Canadian Corps." Drawing upon a range of previously unexplored archival materials, this presentation explores the role of Canada’s war horses and the experience of veterinarians striving to keep them healthy throughout Canada’s Great War.




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