Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event Location: 
O'Kelly VC Armoury (317 Park Avenue)
Event Fee: 
Free. Everyone is welcome!
Event Contact Name: 
Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu
Event Contact Phone: 
(807) 343-8341
Event Contact E-mail: 
Event Contact Web: 

On 9 May, the Department of History at Lakehead University is pleased to host Colonel (Ret’d) Patrick M. Dennis, OMM, CD, who will speak on "Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War."

During the “Hundred Days” of the First World War, over 30 percent of conscripts who served in the Canadian Corps became casualties. Yet, they were generally considered slackers, shirkers, or malingerers for not having volunteered to fight of their own accord. Challenging long-standing myths about conscripts, Patrick Dennis examines whether these men arrived at the right moment, and in sufficient numbers, to make any significant difference to the success of the Canadian Corps. Apart from chronicling the seminal events that created the need for compulsory military service, he also focuses on the commanders who employed these conscripts and how their decision making was affected by a steady flow of reinforcements.

The presentation is based on his recent book and serves as the Thunder Bay launch of Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, published by UBC Press is association with the Canadian War Museum.

Speakers Bio: Colonel (Ret’d) Patrick M. Dennis, OMM, CD, is a retired Canadian Air Force colonel and fighter controller who served abroad for over twenty-two years, including tours as Canada’s deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium, and as the Canadian defence attaché to Israel. He is a graduate of the United States Armed Forces Staff College, the NATO Defence College, and Canada’s National Security Studies Course, and hold’s a master’s degree in Leadership and Communication from the University of Northern Colorado. After leaving the military, he lectured on global political-military issues at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and was a part-time instructor with the Canadian Forces College, Toronto, specializing in command and management and the law of armed conflict. He has written articles for Canada’s History, the Canadian Defence Quarterly, the Canadian Military Journal, the Canadian Military History journal, Air Power History, and Esprit de Corps magazine.

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