In August 1914, Canada found itself jolted from its splendid isolation by the onrush of a European catastrophe. In Victoria, British Columbia, five hundred youth who had been educated at Victoria High School went to war and were forever changed by the experience.
From Classroom to Battlefield follows the experiences of this cohort through the Second Battle of Ypres, when Canadians suffered terribly from the German use of poison gas; the horrors of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Amiens; and, at last, victory at Mons. It weaves Victoria High School’s idealistic hopes into the realities of the pain, suffering, and death in faraway fields of fire, while examining legacies of the conflict at home. This is a poignant book about war, memory, and sacrifice from one of Canada’s preeminent writers of historical nonfiction.